Zyprexa Overdose

by on July 1, 2012

Zyprexa (Olanzapine) is a prescription medicine that is used for people with emotional and neurologic conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. As with other medications, taking too much of Zyprexa can lead to an overdose. The specific effects of a Zyprexa overdose may vary depending on several factors such as the amount of drug taken, the drug formulation taken, and whether it was taken together with other substances.

Although an overdose of Zyprexa is usually not severe, there are reported cases of fatalities. If an overdose is suspected, seek medical attention right away.

Zyprexa Overdose Symptoms

An overdose of Zyprexa can lead to different symptoms. Some of the possible symptoms of overdose include:

  • Agitation or aggression
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred or disrupted speech
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Decreased consciousness or stupor
  • Coma

It can also lead to other symptoms such as:

  • Excessive perspiration
  • Fever
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Breathing difficulties or decreased breathing
  • Changes in blood pressure (high blood pressure or low blood pressure)
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Loss of life (Death)

Management of a Zyprexa Overdose

If you suspect a drug overdose or if you have taken more than the recommended dose, contact your healthcare provider or local poison control center immediately. Usually, management of Zyprexa overdose varies depending on the severity of the condition.

If the overdose occurred recently, the healthcare provider may insert tube into the stomach to pump out the medication (gastric lavage). However, once the medication has been absorbed by the system, there is no antidote that can quickly counter the drug’s effects. In this case, appropriate supportive measures should be done based on the patient’s symptoms. If the patient develops low blood pressure, intravenous fluids and certain heart medications may be given. The cardiovascular system should be continuously monitored to detect and treat possible abnormal heart rhythms. If the patient develops seizure, anti-seizure medication may also be given. Other treatments are prescribed based on the patient’s complications.

Do not attempt to initiate vomiting as Zyprexa can cause seizures, obtundation, and dystonic reaction which can potentially lead to aspiration.

Prevention is still the best way to go. Be sure to read your prescription label before starting the medication and at every drug refill. If you miss a dose, never take double dose. Always keep a contact number of your healthcare provider or your local poison control.