Zyprexa vs. Eskalith (Lithium)

Reviewed on 10/21/2019

Are Zyprexa and Eskalith (Lithium) the Same Thing?

Zyprexa (olanzapine) and lithium are used to treat manic episodes of bipolar disorder.

Zyprexa is also used to treat schizophrenia.

Eskalith (Lithium) is also indicated as a maintenance treatment for individuals with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Maintenance therapy reduces the frequency of manic episodes and diminishes the intensity of those episodes that may occur.

Zyprexa and lithium belong to different drug classes. Zyprexa is an atypical antipsychotic medication and lithium is an antimanic agent.

Side effects of Zyprexa that are different from lithium include inability to sit still (akathisia), constipation, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, tiredness, restlessness, weight gain (more likely in teenagers), increased appetite, memory problems, stomach pain or upset, loss of bladder control, back pain, pain in your arms or legs, numbness or tingly feeling, breast swelling or discharge (in women or men), dry mouth, and missed menstrual periods.

Side effects of lithium that are different from Zyprexa include hand tremors, increased urination, mild thirst, diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, muscular weakness, lack of coordination, giddiness, blurred vision, and ringing in the ears.

Both Zyprexa and lithium may interact with seizure medications and heart or blood pressure medications.

Zyprexa may also interact with alcohol, other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing (such as cold or allergy medicines, narcotics, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicines for depression or anxiety), olanzapine, omeprazole, rifampin, and

medications to treat Parkinson's disease.

Eskalith (Lithium) may also interact with diuretics, acetazolamide, urea, xanthine preparations, alkalinizing agents such as sodium bicarbonate, iodide preparations, metronidazole, fluoxetine, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Zyprexa?

Common side effects of Zyprexa include:

  • stomach upset,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling),
  • constipation,
  • headache,
  • confusion,
  • memory problems,
  • loss of balance or coordination,
  • blurred vision,
  • double vision,
  • eye redness,
  • lightheadedness,
  • dizziness,
  • spinning sensation,
  • drowsiness,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • stuffy nose,
  • itching, or
  • rash, especially during the first few days as your body adjusts to this medication.

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Zyprexa including:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Eskalith (Lithium)?

Common side effects of Eskalith (Lithium) include:

  • mild hand tremor,
  • weakness,
  • lack of coordination,
  • dry mouth,
  • altered taste perception,
  • weight gain,
  • increased thirst,
  • increased frequency of urination,
  • mild nausea or vomiting,
  • loss of appetite,
  • stomach pain or upset,
  • impotence,
  • decreased libido,
  • diarrhea,
  • thinning or drying of the hair,
  • itching skin, and
  • kidney abnormalities.

What Is Zyprexa?

Zyprexa (olanzapine) is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and manic episodes of bipolar disorder.

What Is Eskalith (Lithium)?

Eskaltih (lithium) is an antimanic agent used for treating manic episodes due to bipolar disorder. Eskaltih is also combined with antidepressants to treat depression.

SLIDESHOW

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment See Slideshow

What Drugs Interact With Zyprexa?

Zyprexa may interact with other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing (such as cold or allergy medicines, narcotic pain medicines, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicines for depression, seizure, anxiety), and heart or blood pressure medications. Zyprexa may also interact with carbamazepine, diazepam, fluoxetine, olanzapine, fluvoxamine, omeprazole, rifampin, or medications to treat Parkinson's disease.

What Drugs Interact With Eskalith (Lithium)?

Lithium interacts with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), hydrochlorothiazide, ACE inhibitors, and methyldopa. Eskaltih can cause harm to a fetus. Do not use Eskaltih without your doctor's consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment with Eskaltih.

How Should Zyprexa Be Taken?

The recommended starting dose of Zyprexa is six grams a day for the first 48 to 72 hours of treatment. Thereafter, the dosage can usually be reduced to approximately 4 grams a day. Zyprexa may interact with pyridostigmine, donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, or tacrine. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you use. Zyprexa should be used during pregnancy only when prescribed. It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

How Should Eskalith (Lithium) Be Taken?

Lithium doses vary widely and are adjusted based on measurements of the levels of lithium in the blood. Most patients require 900-1200 mg daily in 2-3 divided doses.

QUESTION

Schizophrenia is the most disabling mental illness. See Answer
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References
Lilly. Zyprexa Product Information.

https://pi.lilly.com/us/zyprexa-pi.pdf

FDA. Lithium Product Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/017812s028,018421s027lbl.pdf

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