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Can I take olanzapine during pregnancy?

Olanzapine (Zyprexa) is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It is used to control symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, unusual thinking and strange or unpredictable behavior and emotions. It is also used to control depression and mania in people with bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder). 

Olanzapine has been classified in Pregnancy Category C by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that some adverse effects were seen in animals when they were given large doses. However, studies in animals don't always accurately predict what will happen in humans. When this drug was tested there were few women who were pregnant and some experienced complications including fetal loss, but it was unclear if olanzapine was the cause.

When babies were born to mothers who took olanzapine during the last trimester of pregnancy, they sometimes experienced withdrawal symptoms following delivery such as agitation, increased or decreased muscle tone, tremor, sleepiness and breathing and feeding problems that could require intensive care.

As with all drug use during pregnancy, the benefits should outweigh any risks to both you and your baby.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.