Compare Lithium vs. Zyprexa

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

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Lithobid (Lithium)

Prescription only

Zyprexa (olanzapine)

Prescription only
Stabilizes mood.

Lithobid (Lithium) is the most effective long-term treatment for bipolar disorder, but it comes with a lot of side effects, so it can be difficult to take.

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.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 68 reviewsforZyprexa
Upsides
  • A first-line, long-term treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective at stabilizing mood and preventing relapse.
  • For manic episodes (acute mania), more effective when taken together with an antipsychotic medicine.
  • The only drug proven (so far) to lower the risk of suicide, possibly because it lowers aggressiveness and impulsivity.
  • 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
  • Has many short- and long-term side effects.
  • The dose for it to work well is very close to the amount that causes overdose, so you have to be careful, watch out for symptoms, and get help immediately if you accidentally take too much.
  • Probably not safe if you have kidney problems.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • 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..
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
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68 reviews so far
41%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
51%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Lithobid (Lithium) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
9possible side effects
  • Drowsiness
    48%
  • Weight gain
    28%
  • Increased appetite
    28%
  • Headache
    17%
  • Fatigue
    14%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Dry Mouth
    7%
  • Abdominal pain
    6%
  • Pain in extremity
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Overdose
    • Low sodium
    • Dehydration
    • Drug interactions (diuretics, ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs like ibuprofen)
  • Pregnancy
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Reduced kidney function
    • Long-term use
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Increased risk of death
    • Elderly patients with dementia
  • Blood disorders
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Drug interactions
  • Shaking and restlessness
  • Higher blood sugar, high cholesterol, and weight gain
    • People with diabetes
    • People with high cholesterol
See more detailed risks and warnings