Compare chlorpromazine vs. Zyprexa

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Thorazine
(chlorpromazine)

Zyprexa
(olanzapine)

Stabilizes your mood. Thorazine (chlorpromazine) has more side effects than other medicines like it. It is most useful during psychotic episodes because it slows you down quickly.Helps control your thoughts and mood. Zyprexa (olanzapine) is good for treating psychosis, mania, and agitation, but it's more likely to cause weight gain and sleepiness than other antipsychotics.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zyprexa
41%
-41% worse vs. chlorpromazine
51%
-51% worse vs. chlorpromazine
51%
+51% better vs. chlorpromazine
Have you used Zyprexa (olanzapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
chlorpromazineZyprexa

The chlorpromazine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about chlorpromazine side effects »
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Constipation 6%
  • Personality disorder 4%
  • Weight gain 5%
  • Feeling dizzy/faint when standing up 3%
  • Akathisia (can't sit still) 4%
  • Drowsiness 22%
  • Dry mouth 15%
  • Weakness 9%
  • Stomach problems 6%
More Zyprexa side effects »
How it works
chlorpromazineZyprexa
Thorazine (chlorpromazine) is a derivative of phenothiazine, which regulates dopamine levels in your brain to improve your mood.Zyprexa (olanzapine) is an atypical antipsychotic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works. It seems to change chemical activity (like dopamine and serotonin) in your brain, which affects thoughts and mood.
Type of medication
chlorpromazineZyprexa
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
chlorpromazineZyprexa
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Injection
Used for
chlorpromazineZyprexa
Risk factors for serious side effects
chlorpromazineZyprexa
  • People over 65 with dementia and psychosis
  • Taking antipsychotic medications
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Acute respiratory infections
Detailed Thorazine (chlorpromazine) risks & warnings »
  • Elderly patients with dementia
  • History of heart problems
  • Drug interactions
  • People with diabetes
  • People with high cholesterol
Detailed Zyprexa (olanzapine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Alcohol
chlorpromazineZyprexa
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
No alcohol related info.
Sleep
chlorpromazineZyprexa
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Might make you more sleepy than some antipsychotics.
Weight
chlorpromazineZyprexa
No weight related info.
  • Zyprexa (olanzapine) is more likely to raise your blood sugar and cholesterol compared to other antipsychotic medications. Zyprexa (olanzapine) can also cause you to gain weight. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
  • May cause weight gain and increased cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • More likely to cause weight gain and increase cholesterol or blood sugar compared to other antipsychotics.
Upsides and benefits
chlorpromazineZyprexa
  • Acts fast to slow you down during a psychotic episode.
  • Can also be used for nausea or migraines.
  • Safe for use in children as young as 6 months.
  • Comes in a sugar-coated pill for easy administration.
  • Effective at relieving psychotic symptoms, manic episodes, and agitation in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  • Less likely to cause heart problems than other antipsychotics.
  • Less likely to cause movement problems compared to older antipsychotics.
Downsides and risks
chlorpromazineZyprexa
  • Has more side effects than other medicines like it.
  • Can affect how your other medicines work.
  • Makes you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can make you dizzy or lightheaded, especially when injected.
  • Cannot be stopped right away.
  • More likely to cause weight gain and increase cholesterol or blood sugar compared to other antipsychotics.
  • Might make you more sleepy than some antipsychotics.
  • Mild risk of Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS): Movement disorders that include stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive movements you can't control.
  • You may need routine blood tests to check how the medicine is affecting your body..
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
chlorpromazineZyprexa
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause involuntary muscle movements just like other medicines for your mood.
  • Can dry you out and make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
  • Cannot be stopped suddenly.
  • Takes at least 4 to 6 weeks to see full effects on thoughts and mood.
  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • May cause weight gain and increased cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • Report any unusual thoughts, inability to control muscle movements, or fever and excess sweating to your doctor.
  • Elderly people with dementia shouldn't take Zyprexa (olanzapine).
Learn more
More about chlorpromazineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZyprexaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zyprexa (olanzapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it