The FDA is recommending that healthcare professionals use caution when considering Zyprexa (olanzapine) for treating adolescents 13 to 17 years old for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Physicians, patients and caregivers should understand that adolescents may experience weight gain and hyperlipidemia with Zyprexa. In fact, they have a greater risk of these effects than adults. They are likely to gain more weight than adults and have greater increases in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, prolactin, and hepatic transaminase levels. Adolescents are also more likely to experience sedation than adults. Clinicians should take these effects into account when deciding on antipsychotic medications for adolescents, and they may want to consider trying other drugs first.

If Zyprexa is prescribed for adolescents, it should be part of a comprehensive treatment program that often includes psychological, educational and social components. It is also important to note that Zyprexa has not been approved for patients under the age of 13.