Does anyone know Olanzapine's mode of action?

I had PP after my first son and was prescribed olanzapine. I also took it after my 2nd son at a lower dose as a preventative for a few months (that time I was fine).

Anyway, 2 years on, sometimes I take olanzapine 2.5mg if I'm under stress and feeling a bit wired/my mind is racing slightly etc. Maybe just for a 3-4 weeks, roughly about every 6 months. My perinatal psychiatrist said that was fine.

Every time I take it, it always surprises me how much it gets rid of my PMS irritability (which is severe and I've had since starting my periods age 13). I guess it calms down the system (calming certain excitatory neurotransmitters). But I also notice that my GERD ( I get reflux but not with heartburn- instead I get nasty tastes in the morning- signs of maldigestion) also goes away. Perhaps affecting neurotransmitters in my gut. Maybe it's as simple as by relaxing my mind my digestion works better. But I'm def not always stressed and often have it all the same! And in my job, I like to understand cause and effect and can't find the answer!!! I know it's a long shot but If anyone has had any other similar benefits, or are scientifically minded, I'd be grateful for replies.

9 Replies

  • I'm not scientifically minded but I have taken Olanzapine and I didn't like it. I found it to be very sedating -I likened it to moving through treacle.

    As I understand it most of the anti-psychotics take out the highs and the lows and leave you somewhere in the middle. I felt very flat when I was taking a higher dose of anti-psychotic. It's brilliant news for you that you get along so well with Olanzapine.

  • "Moving through treacle" I love the descriptions that only those who have been there can relate to!!

  • Hi

    I have recently started taking it, it is very sedating, but not in an adverse way as far as I am concerned.

    It helps me not to rush through my day, I feel I have more hours in the day....!

    I have just started a period and am normally very angry with the world in the run up, this time I was just hungry!!

    Very pleased that it kept my PMT under control.

    I do feel like I'm slurring sometimes.

    I am thinking of changing to another drug because of the slurring thing but other than that it suits me, far more than tegratol ever did.

    Hope this helps some


  • It's an interesting question, I'm not scientific but there's some information on Olanzapine here:

    If you click on the 'How does Olazapine work?' section, there's this link where 'You can download a booklet on how we think drugs used in mental health work and how and why you might get side effects'. It looks like there's plenty more info in there which might be helpful if you want to know more:

    I hope this helps x

  • Thanks ladies, good to hear your experiences/suggestions. I did find a higher dose above 7.5mg made me quite flat, but at 2.5mg and 5mg I feel very even and my PMS irritability pretty much goes away. I'm just calmer in my brain. (My dad, aunt and their mum-my gran all have/had bipolar or schizophrenia so I def have inherited a few genes, although I'm pretty stable I'd say!)

    Thanks Andrea that site looks great and the booklet on there. Will have a good read, just what I was after.

    If anyone notices their digestion is better, I'd be interested to hear more, but I guess if your brain is really calm when you sleep, and not really active, there is more energy for digestion and the neurotransmitters in your gut are also calmer etc..

  • Hi, I too felt really flat on olanzapine but it worked for me when other meds hadn't so we just stuck with it. With my pp episode I was on 2x a day and up to 20mg I think which I've since been told was a lot (yep, certainly felt like it too!) Reducing doses were really helpful tho and good milestones too. I also love the treacle analogy! I took a low dose after my 2nd baby (and remained well) of probably only 5mg I think. Whilst tired and sleeping like a log the feeling was more like an leveling out rather than flattening. I'm not sure I've had the links to digestion although it sounds like it may have had a positive effect for you. Xx

  • Yes when I was actually ill after 1st child, they slowly put me up as high as 20mg, and people who saw me in hospital said I acted like I was so drugged up. I think it was too high, but they kept increasing it, because I was getting lower and lower and more anxious. But actually it was going on sertraline (SSRI) that helped eventually when they realised my mood had got so low (I now know it's normal to get low after the high). So now I still take 50mg sertraline as it helps with my PMDD, but if I get stressed or can't sleep I take 2.5mg of olanzapine for a short period.

  • I do acupuncture once a week to help with mood and headaches and my awesome acupuncturist always says your stomach is your second mind. Like when u are nervous or upset your stomach is in knots. When some ppl are stressed they go too much or not at all. By what you eat you can cure (I think she said) 80-90% of ailments! I believe that but I also think lifestyle and self care are big components as well.

  • Yes it's true isn't it about the stomach being the 2nd mind! Glad your acupuncturist is so good. That's awesome. (I have tried acupuncture with limited success but that's just me, everyone responds differently don't they). Yep I agree that food is extremely powerful. I eat really well and it keeps me much more centred, I think I would have much more issues with my mood etc, otherwise without a diet that keeps my blood sugar levels really even etc. But I agree stress levels, psychology and genetics play a massive factor too obviously and are equally important. Thanks for your feedback:)

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