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Olanzapine Alternatives

Olanzapine Alternatives

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Olanzapine alternatives at the Alternative to Meds Center are well worth considering, given olanzapine’s potential toxicity, which can cause dramatic side effects and rarely, even death.


Rarely can you find a medical professional who has the expertise needed to find workable and effective olanzapine alternatives for planning long-term treatment.  

A prescription for antipsychotics like olanzapine, even if indicated during a time of unquestionable crisis, does not always mean that a person has no other options besides remaining medicated for life.

Are you really your Diagnosis?


Alternative to Meds has been the expert on olanzapine alternatives, strategies and treatments for over 15 years. We have published evidence regarding our success. Underlying issues can in many cases be addressed in much less toxic ways. We find that frequently there were medical conditions that were left untreated. Or, that the original factors that contributed to the crisis have since shifted. These could have resulted in a premature diagnosis, or even misdiagnosed entirely (incorrect patient labeling).

Olanzapine users should not have to suffer drastic and harsh symptoms when olanzapine alternatives are available and less harmful. We have clinically proven ways to reduce, soften and elminate adverse effects and symptoms so that they can fade away. Alternative to Meds Center has shown that there are many other techniques that result in feeling good and once again engaged in life. We provide our clients with proven olanzapine alternatives.  

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Olanzapine Alternatives Rather than Long-Term Use?

In general, atypical antipsychotics are not recommended for longterm use once any initial crisis point has well passed, for instance, once a psychotic episode has ceased. Clinical trials were very short (3-4 weeks) even for the approved uses of the drug, whereas longterm use was not well explored in any of the pre-approval trials done on olanzapine (brand name Zyprexa). (1)  

Risks of Extended Use of Antipsychotic Medications 

Extended use of antipsychotic medications can increase the risk of diabetes, tremors, movement disorders like tardive dyskinesia, akathisia, heart disease, NMS (neuroleptic malignant syndrome) and many other side effects that can begin to significantly outweigh any perceived benefits of drug therapy.

Studies show that in any group of patients who take antipsychotic medication, 66% will find the results were ineffective or only partially effective and will seek a different mode of treatment. (5)

These are good reasons to think about alternative treatments where olanzapine or similar drugs did not produce the desired results in treatment, and where side effects have made life difficult. 

Antipsychotics and Off-Label Uses

For elderly dementia patients, olanzapine was once promoted “off label” for dementia-related behavior problems, but this practice has largely disappeared since too many deaths resulted. A $1.4 billion fine was imposed on the manufacturer, Eli Lilly, for their ad campaign that ran from 1999 to 2003, that targeted elderly rest homes. In addition to the fines, the FDA put a black box label on the packaging of olanzapine or brand name Zyprexa, warning of increased mortality when prescribed to elderly dementia patients. (2) (3)

Off-label use of virtually all of the atypical antipsychotics has become all too common, and in fact, reportedly doubled from 1995 and 2008. Drugs like olanzapine, paliperidone, Clozaril, etc., are prescribed for many issues besides the FDA approved ones, i.e., to treat schizophrenia, bipolar mania, and psychosis. Off-label uses include the treatment of anxiety (due to the drug’s sedating effects), depression, insomnia, substance abuse, personality disorders, PTSD, eating disorders, and also OCD. 

Olanzapine Alternatives for Schizophrenia and Other Conditions

Whether or not one was prescribed for treatment of schizophrenia or for insomnia, the efficacy of using atypical antipsychotics for off-label use has not shown to be significant enough to discount alternative treatments which can be extremely effective for such a wide array of disorders and symptoms. 

For anyone prescribed antipsychotics for schizophrenia, psychosis, mania, etc. there may have been a dire need to dampen the symptoms during a time of crisis. However, once the crisis has passed, it may be advantageous to consider alternative treatments that will produce better results and less harm for sustainable mental stability and wellness without heavy drugs.

Diet as an Alternative Therapy 

One example of alternative treatments found effective for schizophrenic symptoms is converting to a ketogenic-based diet. 

Studies have shown a dramatic reduction in auditory hallucinations, a dramatic reduction in delusions, and many other desirable outcomes from a ketogenic diet alone. (6)

There are many other alternative therapies and strategies besides adding more drugs to one’s daily regimen. 

 

Special FDA Warning About Stopping Olanzapine and Similar Medications

However easy it may have been to begin taking medication, coming off a drug like olanzapine may not always be easy to do unless informed help and guidance is available, and in any case, should never be done abruptly. (5)

Always seek guidance and competent help for planning your gradual discontinuation of heavy pharmaceutical drugs such as olanzapine, or similar antipsychotics. 

The Alternative to Meds Center Offers Olanzapine Alternatives

At the Alternative to Meds Center, we specialize in getting to the root causes of symptoms a person is troubled with and seeks to remedy these using scientific, effective and safe methods. Along with safe tapering programs, protocols are used to eradicate the reasons for someone’s insomnia, or eating disorders, etc. In documenting our successes, we know how well our clients have responded to sound and natural (non-drug-based) protocols. Our facility is beautiful, relaxing and welcoming and our clients appreciate the nurturing atmosphere and support provided. 

Rather than being stuck on heavy medications for a lifetime, there are olanzapine alternatives that can be accessed at Alternative to Meds for relief and we encourage anyone interested in finding out more about our inpatient programs to contact us. 


(1) “Overdose and death with olanzapine” (Gerber, Cathon) published September 2000 in the US National Library of Medicine, accessed online January 13, 2020.  

(2) “Eli Lilly pays record $1.4bn for promoting off-label use of olanzapine”, (Kmietowicz) published in the British Medical Journal in January 2009, accessed online January 13, 2020

 (3) FDA ZYPREXA (olanzapine) label  

(4) “Atypical antipsychotics appear to be effective for only a few off-label uses” (JAMA article) published September 2011, accessed January 13, 2020

(5) “CAMH (Canadian Assn for Mental Health) Antipsychotic Medications” accessed online January 13, 2020 

(6) “The Ketogenic Diet for Schizophrenia – Ketonutrition” (Sirtoli, PHD) published January 2019, accessed January 13, 2020. 



This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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