Zyprexa and Alcohol

by on June 29, 2012

The manufacturer of Zyprexa (olanzapine) does not recommend alcohol use and excessive consumption while taking this medication. This is because combination may increase the risk for serious side effects.

Zyprexa and alcohol are both CNS-active substances which can cause drowsiness. Concomitant use of these substances can cause severe drowsiness which can potentially lead to accidents and falls. In addition, alcohol is usually contraindicated in most people with mental illness. Drinking alcohol, especially in large amounts, has been shown to make psychosis worse.

For some people who are used to the effects of Zyprexa, drinking alcohol in small amounts is not likely to cause harm. However, it is recommended that alcoholic beverages should be avoided altogether during the first one to two months of treatment. After this and once you know the effect of Zyprexa, you can try a glass or two of your normal drink to check how it affects you. If this does not cause drowsiness, then it may be alright for you to drink very small amounts.

Be extra cautious while on Zyprexa as alcoholic beverages may affect people in different ways which may not be discussed in this medication guide.

Recommendations and Precautions

If you decide to drink alcohol or if alcohol consumption is unavoidable, do not drink large amount in an instant. Drink small amounts slowly to see its effects on you. Likewise, you may not be able to safely consume the regular amount of alcohol you are used to.

  • Zyprexa may lower your tolerance to alcohol and make you more sensitive to its effects.
  • Since alcohol and Zyprexa increases the risk of drowsiness, patients should never drink alcohol and drive.
  • Do not stop Zyprexa because you feel like drinking alcohol.
  • Discuss your alcohol consumption with your healthcare provider. Although alcohol is officially not recommended with Zyprexa, feel free to discuss with your healthcare provider any concerns you have about alcohol.
  • You and your doctor can make a shared decision about your alcohol consumption. If you have alcohol problem, your healthcare provider can suggest ways on how to stop drinking alcohol.