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What Is Olanzapine/Fluoxetine?

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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Olanzapine/fluoxetine is a combination drug prescribed to treat mental disorders like depression; however, usually other medications are tried first before this one. The drug fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is an antidepressant. Olanzapine, which is an antipsychotic drug, works on the chemicals in the brain to help restore mental balance.

When first beginning this treatment, patients may not notice the full benefit for up to four weeks. It is essential that they do not take more than prescribed. Patients who overdose may experience seizures, loss of consciousness, and an irregular heartbeat. In addition, abruptly discontinuing this drug may cause a worsening of the patient's condition. Olanzapine/fluoxetine is an oral medication that may be taken with or without food.

Certain precautions must be taken while taking olanzapine/fluoxetine. Patients should be aware that this drug may impair their reactions. It can also make patients more susceptible to dehydration and dangerous overheating, so patients should consume plenty of liquids. The consumption of alcohol should be avoided, because this can worsen some side effects. Olanzapine/fluoxetine may also increase blood sugar levels, which may worsen diabetes.

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Some side effects may occur with the use of olanzapine/fluoxetine, which patients should report to the physician if they are severe or persistent. An increased appetite may occur, along with weight gain and insomnia. Constipation, diarrhea, and dizziness have also been reported, as well as dry mouth, problems concentrating, and cold symptoms like a sore throat or a runny nose.

Patients should seek emergency medical care if they experience a fever, rapid heartbeat, and muscle stiffness. These could be signs of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a possible complication of olanzapine/fluoxetine. Tardive dyskinesia may also rarely occur, which causes uncontrollable muscle movements. This condition could become permanent.

Olanzapine/fluoxetine, especially when taken in combination with certain other drugs, may also rarely cause serotonin syndrome, a condition in which the body has too much serotonin. Hallucinations, loss of coordination, and severe dizziness may occur with this condition. It may also cause severe nausea and vomiting, abnormal restlessness, and an unexplained fever. Other uncommon side effects, not caused by serotonin syndrome, can include severe abdominal pain, vomit with the appearance of coffee grounds, and changes in sexual ability. Additionally, olanzapine/fluoxetine and other antidepressants have rarely caused suicidal tendencies in patients who are younger than age 24.

Before taking this drug, patients must disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements. It is not intended for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Those who have liver disease, glaucoma, or high cholesterol may also be unable to use it. This drug may interact with other medications, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and diuretics.

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