Olanzapine is a type of drug called an atypical antipsychotic. It is sold under a variety of brand names including Zolafren®, Zydis® and Zyprexa®.
There is a limited amount of research evidence to suggest that olanzapine may be beneficial for the short term treatment of significant problems faced by people with autism, including hyperactivity, aggression, and self-injurious behaviours.
However there are many potential side effects, especially significant weight gain in all who take it, as well as increased appetite and increased drowsiness in some. The implications of these side effects are unknown. For these reasons, it is important to use the lowest effective dose.
There is probably more weight gain with olanzapine than with other atypical anti-psychotics. It is therefore not the first choice and caution is needed.
There is some research evidence to suggest that some other atypical anti-psychotics are beneficial in treating some of the problems faced by some autistic people.
Further research should be undertaken into the use of these drugs for the treatment of specific, severe symptoms, as each has a different side effect profile, and so might suit some people better.Disclaimer
Last Updated : 26/03/2013 Back to Top