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Last Friday Eli Lilly and Co. announced that they will be pumping up the warnings on the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa. Zyprexa is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The drug has been seen to induce weight gain, increase blood sugar levels and cholesterol among other concerns. The new warnings will give a more accurate representation of these potential risks associated with the use of Zyprexa.

One key change may put Zyprexa at a disadvantage to other meds. he new labeling says that Zyprexa (generic name: olanzapine) may be more likely to drive up blood glucose levels than other atypical antipsychotics. Other drugs in this class include J&J’s Risperdal, AstraZeneca’s Seroquel, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Abilify and Pfizer’s Geodon.

Zyprexa has been linked to cases to diabetes and other serious adverse effects in the past. Zyprexa is not approved fore use in persons under the age of 18 but through off-label prescription many doctors have prescribed the drug to adolescents. Zyprexa is the leading seller for Eli Lilly and Co. netting over $4.3 billion in 2006 despite numerous lawsuits filed associated with the drug.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.

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