Olanzapine: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 5 of 7)

9.3 Dependence

In studies prospectively designed to assess abuse and dependence potential, olanzapine was shown to have acute depressive CNS effects but little or no potential of abuse or physical dependence in rats administered oral doses up to 15 times the daily oral MRHD (20 mg) and rhesus monkeys administered oral doses up to 8 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area.

Olanzapine has not been systematically studied in humans for its potential for abuse, tolerance, or physical dependence. While the clinical trials did not reveal any tendency for any drug-seeking behavior, these observations were not systematic, and it is not possible to predict on the basis of this limited experience the extent to which a CNS-active drug will be misused, diverted, and/or abused once marketed. Consequently, patients should be evaluated carefully for a history of drug abuse, and such patients should be observed closely for signs of misuse or abuse of olanzapine (e.g., development of tolerance, increases in dose, drug-seeking behavior).


10.1 Human Experience

In premarketing trials involving more than 3100 patients and/or normal subjects, accidental or intentional acute overdosage of olanzapine was identified in 67 patients. In the patient taking the largest identified amount, 300 mg, the only symptoms reported were drowsiness and slurred speech. In the limited number of patients who were evaluated in hospitals, including the patient taking 300 mg, there were no observations indicating an adverse change in laboratory analytes or ECG. Vital signs were usually within normal limits following overdoses.

In postmarketing reports of overdose with olanzapine alone, symptoms have been reported in the majority of cases. In symptomatic patients, symptoms with ≥10% incidence included agitation/aggressiveness, dysarthria, tachycardia, various extrapyramidal symptoms, and reduced level of consciousness ranging from sedation to coma. Among less commonly reported symptoms were the following potentially medically serious reactions: aspiration, cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiac arrhythmias (such as supraventricular tachycardia and 1 patient experiencing sinus pause with spontaneous resumption of normal rhythm), delirium, possible neuroleptic malignant syndrome, respiratory depression/arrest, convulsion, hypertension, and hypotension. Eli Lilly and Company has received reports of fatality in association with overdose of olanzapine alone. In 1 case of death, the amount of acutely ingested olanzapine was reported to be possibly as low as 450 mg of oral olanzapine; however, in another case, a patient was reported to survive an acute olanzapine ingestion of approximately 2 g of oral olanzapine.

10.2 Management of Overdose

There is no specific antidote to an overdose of olanzapine. The possibility of multiple drug involvement should be considered. Establish and maintain an airway and ensure adequate oxygenation and ventilation. Cardiovascular monitoring should commence immediately and should include continuous electrocardiographic monitoring to detect possible arrhythmias.

Contact a Certified Poison Control Center for the most up to date information on the management of overdosage (1-800-222-1222).

For specific information about overdosage with lithium or valproate, refer to the Overdosage section of the prescribing information for these products. For specific information about overdosage with olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination, refer to the Overdosage section of the Symbyax prescribing information.


Olanzapine is an atypical antipsychotic that belongs to the thienobenzodiazepine class. The chemical designation is 2-methyl-4-(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)-10 H -thieno[2,3-b ] [1,5]benzodiazepine. The molecular formula is C17 H20 N4 S, which corresponds to a molecular weight of 312.44. The chemical structure is:

Chemical structure

Olanzapine is a yellow crystalline solid, which is practically insoluble in water.

Olanzapine orally disintegrating tablets, USP are intended for oral administration only.

Each orally disintegrating tablet contains olanzapine equivalent to 5 mg (16 μmol), 10 mg (32 μmol), 15 mg (48 μmol) or 20 mg (64 μmol). It begins disintegrating in the mouth within seconds, allowing its contents to be subsequently swallowed with or without liquid. Olanzapine orally disintegrating tablets, USP also contains the following inactive ingredients: aspartame, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, mannitol, silicone dioxide, sorbitol, talc, and artificial pineapple flavor.

Meets USP Disintegration Test 2


12.1 Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of olanzapine, in the listed indications is unclear. However, the efficacy of olanzapine in schizophrenia could be mediated through a combination of dopamine and serotonin type 2 (5HT2) antagonism.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Olanzapine binds with high affinity to the following receptors: serotonin 5HT2A/2C , 5HT6 (Ki =4, 11, and 5 nM, respectively), dopamine D1-4 (Ki =11-31 nM), histamine H1 (Ki =7 nM), and adrenergic α1 receptors (Ki =19 nM). Olanzapine is an antagonist with moderate affinity binding for serotonin 5HT3 (Ki =57 nM) and muscarinic M1-5 (Ki =73, 96, 132, 32, and 48 nM, respectively). Olanzapine binds with low affinity to GABAA , BZD, and β-adrenergic receptors (Ki >10 μM).

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Oral Administration, Monotherapy — Olanzapine is well absorbed and reaches peak concentrations in approximately 6 hours following an oral dose. It is eliminated extensively by first pass metabolism, with approximately 40% of the dose metabolized before reaching the systemic circulation. Food does not affect the rate or extent of olanzapine absorption. Pharmacokinetic studies showed that olanzapine tablets and olanzapine orally disintegrating tablets dosage forms of olanzapine are bioequivalent.

Olanzapine displays linear kinetics over the clinical dosing range. Its half-life ranges from 21 to 54 hours (5th to 95th percentile; mean of 30 hr), and apparent plasma clearance ranges from 12 to 47 L/hr (5th to 95th percentile; mean of 25 L/hr).

Administration of olanzapine once daily leads to steady-state concentrations in about 1 week that are approximately twice the concentrations after single doses. Plasma concentrations, half-life, and clearance of olanzapine may vary between individuals on the basis of smoking status, gender, and age.

Olanzapine is extensively distributed throughout the body, with a volume of distribution of approximately 1000 L. It is 93% bound to plasma proteins over the concentration range of 7 to 1100 ng/mL, binding primarily to albumin and α 1 -acid glycoprotein.

Metabolism and Elimination — Following a single oral dose of 14 C labeled olanzapine, 7% of the dose of olanzapine was recovered in the urine as unchanged drug, indicating that olanzapine is highly metabolized. Approximately 57% and 30% of the dose was recovered in the urine and feces, respectively. In the plasma, olanzapine accounted for only 12% of the AUC for total radioactivity, indicating significant exposure to metabolites. After multiple dosing, the major circulating metabolites were the 10-N-glucuronide, present at steady-state at 44% of the concentration of olanzapine, and 4′-N-desmethyl olanzapine, present at steady-state at 31% of the concentration of olanzapine. Both metabolites lack pharmacological activity at the concentrations observed.

Direct glucuronidation and cytochrome P450 (CYP) mediated oxidation are the primary metabolic pathways for olanzapine. In-vitro studies suggest that CYPs 1A2 and 2D6, and the flavin-containing monooxygenase system are involved in olanzapine oxidation. CYP2D6 mediated oxidation appears to be a minor metabolic pathway in-vivo , because the clearance of olanzapine is not reduced in subjects who are deficient in this enzyme.

Specific Populations

Renal Impairment — Because olanzapine is highly metabolized before excretion and only 7% of the drug is excreted unchanged, renal dysfunction alone is unlikely to have a major impact on the pharmacokinetics of olanzapine. The pharmacokinetic characteristics of olanzapine were similar in patients with severe renal impairment and normal subjects, indicating that dosage adjustment based upon the degree of renal impairment is not required. In addition, olanzapine is not removed by dialysis. The effect of renal impairment on metabolite elimination has not been studied.

Hepatic Impairment — Although the presence of hepatic impairment may be expected to reduce the clearance of olanzapine, a study of the effect of impaired liver function in subjects (n=6) with clinically significant (Childs Pugh Classification A and B) cirrhosis revealed little effect on the pharmacokinetics of olanzapine.

Geriatric — In a study involving 24 healthy subjects, the mean elimination half-life of olanzapine was about 1.5 times greater in elderly (≥65 years) than in nonelderly subjects (<65 years). Caution should be used in dosing the elderly, especially if there are other factors that might additively influence drug metabolism and/or pharmacodynamic sensitivity [see Dosage and Administration (2)].

Gender — Clearance of olanzapine is approximately 30% lower in women than in men. There were, however, no apparent differences between men and women in effectiveness or adverse effects. Dosage modifications based on gender should not be needed.

Smoking Status — Olanzapine clearance is about 40% higher in smokers than in nonsmokers, although dosage modifications are not routinely recommended.

RaceIn-vivo studies have shown that exposures are similar among Japanese, Chinese and Caucasians, especially after normalization for body weight differences. Dosage modifications for race are, therefore, not recommended.

Combined Effects — The combined effects of age, smoking, and gender could lead to substantial pharmacokinetic differences in populations. The clearance in young smoking males, for example, may be 3 times higher than that in elderly nonsmoking females. Dosing modification may be necessary in patients who exhibit a combination of factors that may result in slower metabolism of olanzapine [see Dosage and Administration (2)].

Adolescents (ages 13 to 17 years) — In clinical studies, most adolescents were nonsmokers and this population had a lower average body weight, which resulted in higher average olanzapine exposure compared to adults.


13.1 Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis and Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenesis — Oral carcinogenicity studies were conducted in mice and rats. Olanzapine was administered to mice in two 78-week studies at doses of 3, 10, 30/20 mg/kg/day (equivalent to 0.8 to 5 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area) and 0.25, 2, 8 mg/kg/day (equivalent to 0.06 to 2 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area). Rats were dosed for 2 years at doses of 0.25, 1, 2.5, 4 mg/kg/day (males) and 0.25, 1, 4, 8 mg/kg/day (females) (equivalent to 0.13 to 2 and 0.13 to 4 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area, respectively). The incidence of liver hemangiomas and hemangiosarcomas was significantly increased in 1 mouse study in female mice at 2 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area. These tumors were not increased in another mouse study in females dosed; up to 2 to 5 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area in this study, there was a high incidence of early mortalities in males of the 30/20 mg/kg/day group. The incidence of mammary gland adenomas and adenocarcinomas was significantly increased in female mice dosed at ≥2 mg/kg/day and in female rats dosed at ≥4 mg/kg/day (0.5 and 2 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area, respectively). Antipsychotic drugs have been shown to chronically elevate prolactin levels in rodents. Serum prolactin levels were not measured during the olanzapine carcinogenicity studies; however, measurements during subchronic toxicity studies showed that olanzapine elevated serum prolactin levels up to 4-fold in rats at the same doses used in the carcinogenicity study. An increase in mammary gland neoplasms has been found in rodents after chronic administration of other antipsychotic drugs and is considered to be prolactin mediated. The relevance for human risk of the finding of prolactin mediated endocrine tumors in rodents is unknown [see Warnings and Precautions (5.15)].

Mutagenesis — No evidence of genotoxic potential for olanzapine was found in the Ames reverse mutation test, in vivo micronucleus test in mice, the chromosomal aberration test in Chinese hamster ovary cells, unscheduled DNA synthesis test in rat hepatocytes, induction of forward mutation test in mouse lymphoma cells, or in vivo sister chromatid exchange test in bone marrow of Chinese hamsters.

Impairment of Fertility — In an oral fertility and reproductive performance study in rats, male mating performance, but not fertility, was impaired at a dose of 22.4 mg/kg/day and female fertility was decreased at a dose of 3 mg/kg/day (11 and 1.5 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area, respectively). Discontinuance of olanzapine treatment reversed the effects on male mating performance. In female rats, the precoital period was increased and the mating index reduced at 5 mg/kg/day (2.5 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area). Diestrous was prolonged and estrous delayed at 1.1 mg/kg/day (0.6 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area); therefore olanzapine may produce a delay in ovulation.

13.2 Animal Pharmacology and/or Toxicology

In animal studies with olanzapine, the principal hematologic findings were reversible peripheral cytopenias in individual dogs dosed at 10 mg/kg (17 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area), dose-related decreases in lymphocytes and neutrophils in mice, and lymphopenia in rats. A few dogs treated with 10 mg/kg developed reversible neutropenia and/or reversible hemolytic anemia between 1 and 10 months of treatment. Dose-related decreases in lymphocytes and neutrophils were seen in mice given doses of 10 mg/kg (equal to 2 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area) in studies of 3 months’ duration. Nonspecific lymphopenia, consistent with decreased body weight gain, occurred in rats receiving 22.5 mg/kg (11 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area) for 3 months or 16 mg/kg (8 times the daily oral MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area) for 6 or 12 months. No evidence of bone marrow cytotoxicity was found in any of the species examined. Bone marrows were normocellular or hypercellular, indicating that the reductions in circulating blood cells were probably due to peripheral (non-marrow) factors.


When using olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination, also refer to the Clinical Studies section of the package insert for Symbyax.

14.1 Schizophrenia


The efficacy of oral olanzapine in the treatment of schizophrenia was established in 2 short-term (6-week) controlled trials of adult inpatients who met DSM III-R criteria for schizophrenia. A single haloperidol arm was included as a comparative treatment in 1 of the 2 trials, but this trial did not compare these 2 drugs on the full range of clinically relevant doses for both.

Several instruments were used for assessing psychiatric signs and symptoms in these studies, among them the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), a multi-item inventory of general psychopathology traditionally used to evaluate the effects of drug treatment in schizophrenia. The BPRS psychosis cluster (conceptual disorganization, hallucinatory behavior, suspiciousness, and unusual thought content) is considered a particularly useful subset for assessing actively psychotic schizophrenic patients. A second traditional assessment, the Clinical Global Impression (CGI), reflects the impression of a skilled observer, fully familiar with the manifestations of schizophrenia, about the overall clinical state of the patient. In addition, 2 more recently developed scales were employed; these included the 30-item Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS), in which are embedded the 18 items of the BPRS, and the Scale for Assessing Negative Symptoms (SANS). The trial summaries below focus on the following outcomes: PANSS total and/or BPRS total; BPRS psychosis cluster; PANSS negative subscale or SANS; and CGI Severity. The results of the trials follow:

(1) In a 6-week, placebo-controlled trial (n=149) involving 2 fixed olanzapine doses of 1 and 10 mg/day (once daily schedule), olanzapine, at 10 mg/day (but not at 1 mg/day), was superior to placebo on the PANSS total score (also on the extracted BPRS total), on the BPRS psychosis cluster, on the PANSS Negative subscale, and on CGI Severity.

(2) In a 6-week, placebo-controlled trial (n=253) involving 3 fixed dose ranges of olanzapine (5 ± 2.5 mg/day, 10 ± 2.5 mg/day, and 15 ± 2.5 mg/day) on a once daily schedule, the 2 highest olanzapine dose groups (actual mean doses of 12 and 16 mg/day, respectively) were superior to placebo on BPRS total score, BPRS psychosis cluster, and CGI severity score; the highest olanzapine dose group was superior to placebo on the SANS. There was no clear advantage for the high-dose group over the medium-dose group.

(3) In a longer-term trial, adult outpatients (n=326) who predominantly met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia and who remained stable on olanzapine during open-label treatment for at least 8 weeks were randomized to continuation on their current olanzapine doses (ranging from 10 to 20 mg/day) or to placebo. The follow-up period to observe patients for relapse, defined in terms of increases in BPRS positive symptoms or hospitalization, was planned for 12 months, however, criteria were met for stopping the trial early due to an excess of placebo relapses compared to olanzapine relapses, and olanzapine was superior to placebo on time to relapse, the primary outcome for this study. Thus, olanzapine was more effective than placebo at maintaining efficacy in patients stabilized for approximately 8 weeks and followed for an observation period of up to 8 months.

Examination of population subsets (race and gender) did not reveal any differential responsiveness on the basis of these subgroupings.


The efficacy of oral olanzapine in the acute treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents (ages 13 to 17 years) was established in a 6-week double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of inpatients and outpatients with schizophrenia (n=107) who met diagnostic criteria according to DSM-IV-TR and confirmed by the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School Aged Children-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL).

The primary rating instrument used for assessing psychiatric signs and symptoms in this trial was the Anchored Version of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale for Children (BPRS-C) total score.

In this flexible-dose trial, olanzapine 2.5 to 20 mg/day (mean modal dose 12.5 mg/day, mean dose of 11.1 mg/day) was more effective than placebo in the treatment of adolescents diagnosed with schizophrenia, as supported by the statistically significantly greater mean reduction in BPRS-C total score for patients in the olanzapine treatment group than in the placebo group.

While there is no body of evidence available to answer the question of how long the adolescent patient treated with olanzapine should be maintained, maintenance efficacy can be extrapolated from adult data along with comparisons of olanzapine pharmacokinetic parameters in adult and adolescent patients. It is generally recommended that responding patients be continued beyond the acute response, but at the lowest dose needed to maintain remission. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment.

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