What Is the Difference between Olanzapine and Risperidone?

Jay Leone

Doctors often prescribe medications such as olanzapine and risperidone to treat schizophrenia, manic episodes, and a host of other disorders. While both olanzapine and risperidone may be ideal for treating many of the same conditions, they are also prescribed for a variety of other different applications. Treating schizophrenia and certain other disorders with either olanzapine or risperidone tablets involves different dosing instructions.

Olanzapine, also known by the trade name Zyprexa, is sometimes prescribed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Olanzapine, also known by the trade name Zyprexa, is sometimes prescribed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

While both medications can be used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophernia in certain patients, they are also prescribed for a host of other applications. Olanzapine may be used in combination with other medications as part of a treatment plan for depression. The irritability linked with autistic disorders can be treated with risperadone. It may also be successful in treating Tourette syndrome and stuttering.

Risperidone may be useful in treating agitation and symptoms of distress in the elderly.
Risperidone may be useful in treating agitation and symptoms of distress in the elderly.

Both olanzapine and risperidone are available in different forms. Manufacturers produce 0.00009, 0.0002, 0.0003, 0.0004, 0.0005, and 0.0007 ounce (2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 15, and 20 milligram) olanzapine tablets as well as 0.0002, 0.0004, 0.0005, and 0.0007 ounce (5, 10, 15, and 20 milligram) orally disintegrating tablets. Risperidone is available in 0.000009, 0.00002, 0.00004, 0.00007, 0.0001, and 0.00014 ounce (0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 4 milligram) tablets and 0.00002, 0.00004, 0.00007, 0.0001, and 0.00014 ounce (0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 4 milligram) orally disintegrating tablets.

Doctors may prescribe risperidone to treat manic episodes.
Doctors may prescribe risperidone to treat manic episodes.

Olanzapine and risperidone also both come in powder forms for injection. Manufacturers offer 0.007, 0.01, and 0.014 ounce (210, 300, and 405 milligram) olanzapine injection powders. The risperidone powders for injection are available in 0.0004, 0.0008, 0.0013, and 0.0018 ounce (12.5, 25, 37.5, and 50 milligram) strengths.

The dosing instructions for olanzapine and risperidone are typically very different, and must be followed closely.
The dosing instructions for olanzapine and risperidone are typically very different, and must be followed closely.

The optimal temperature range for storing olanzapine tablets is slightly different than that of risperadone tablets. Manufacturers recommend storing olanzapine tablets at temperatures between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 35 degrees Celsius). Risperidone tablets can be safely stored at temperatures between 59 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (15 and 25 degrees Celsius).

Irritability linked with autistic disorders may be treated with risperadone.
Irritability linked with autistic disorders may be treated with risperadone.

Between 0.00035 and 0.00070 ounces (10 and 20 milligrams) of olanzapine make up the average single daily dose for treating schizophrenia. Therapy involving this medication usually begin with a daily dose of between 0.00018 and 0.00035 ounces (5 and 10 milligrams). Treating this disorder with risperadone typically begins with a daily dose of between 0.00004 and 0.00007 ounces (1 and 2 milligrams), which can be administered up to twice daily. The maximum recommended daily dose of risperadone should not exceed 0.0003 ounces (8 milligrams).

Risperadone may be prescribed to treat anxiety.
Risperadone may be prescribed to treat anxiety.

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