Zyprexa & Mood Stabilizers
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Q:  Zyprexa & Mood Stabilizers

Dr. Phelps:
I am a 41yr old man recently diagnosed with "mini bipolar". Symptoms are low level depression, anxiety, insomnia,and attention/concentration problems. Doctor started me on 1.25 zyprexa, which seems to be helping. I would like to know if I should  stay on this med or switch to a mood stabilizer like Trileptal-I have never been prescribed a mood stabilizer. Thanks for a wonderfully informative sight-you are helping alot of people!!


Hello Mr. S' -- 
I hope that my site now reflects (it's been updated since you were there, e.g. the
mood stabilizers list) that Zyprexa is pretty clearly a "mood stabilizer" like lithium and Depakote and in fact performed as well as Depakote in one recent study (Zajecka); and better in another (Tohen).  (The first study was sponsored by the Depakote manufacturer, and the second by the Zyprexa manufacturer, with slight study design biases in favor of their respective drugs in each case).  

So, as long as you're not gaining weight (which may become more of a risk when you go past 2.5 mg, if you ever have to do that), there is not a clear reason to switch, in my view, both in terms of my clinical experience (which is extremely strongly supportive of Zyprexa, though also extremely concerning regarding weight gain risk at any dose higher than 2.5 mg per day) and the medical literature.  I hope you continue to see those same benefits without having to raise the dose!

Dr. Phelps

Published August, 2003


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