Introduction: Olanzapine was the second first-line atypical antipsychotic medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult schizophrenia and later approved for adolescent schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Initial studies performed on adults demonstrated efficacy compared to placebo and a first-generation antipsychotic medication. Initial assessments in adolescents with schizophrenia demonstrated significant symptom reduction without movement disorder, but with weight gain. Later studies reported efficacy for bipolar disorder in teenagers, but with weight gain. The assessment of olanzapine safety in teenagers has shown substantial weight gain and metabolic measures. Because of equivalent efficacy to other atypical antipsychotic medications and the metabolic side-effects, olanzapine is often recommended as a second-use medication. Areas covered: Studies of olanzapine use in adolescents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder demonstrate significant reduction in symptoms while causing no movement disorder side-effects. There has been reduction in use of olanzapine with adolescents as newer atypical antipsychotics have emerged associated with less weight gain. Expert opinion: Studies of olanzapine have demonstrated effectiveness in adolescents with a psychotic illness. Metabolic side-effects are a strong concern of the field and have led to the recommendation of using the medication in a secondary fashion.
- Antipsychotic medication