Olanzapine: Palliative Medicine Update

  • Prommer E
  • 38


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 14


    Citations of this article.


Olanzapine is an atypical antipsychotic agent of the thienobenzodiazepine class. Olanzapine blocks multiple neurotransmitter receptors, including dopaminergic (D(1), D(2), D(3), and D(4)), serotonergic (5-hydroxytryptamine 2A [5-HT(2A)], 5-HT(2C), 5-HT(3), and 5-HT(6)), adrenergic (α(1)), histaminic (H(1)), and muscarinic (M(1), M(2), M(3), and M(4)) receptors. Olanzapine has a high affinity for the 5HT(2A) receptor, which is up to 5 times greater than the dopamine receptor, resulting in less propensity to the development of extrapyramidal side effects. The affinity of olanzapine for multiple receptors has lead to the identification of olanzapine as an important agent in the treatment of delirium, nausea, and vomiting. Olanzapine has been demonstrated to have opioid-sparing properties. Olanzapine is principally metabolized by glucuronidation, with a smaller metabolic contribution from the cytochrome oxidase system. Adverse effects of olanzapine include somnolence, postural hypotension, constipation, dizziness, restlessness, and weight gain. The purpose of this article is to outline the pharmacodynamics, pharmacology, and evidence for the use of olanzapine in palliative care.

Author-supplied keywords

  • delirium
  • nausea
  • olanzapine
  • pain
  • pharmacology
  • vomiting

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Eric Prommer

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free