After an investigation, the US Food and Drug Administration has stated that they are still unsure whether the long-acting, injectable antipsychotic drug Zyprexa Relprevv (olanzapine pamoate) killed two people who died within several days of receiving the injection, according to an FDA press release.
Zyprexa is an antipsychotic often given to people diagnosed with schizophrenia, or to control behaviors in people with dementia. In recent years, long-acting injectable forms of antipsychotics are being more commonly given to people who are forgetful, “non-adherent” or resistant to taking psychiatric drugs.
“This is not the first time [the drug manufacturer] Lilly has faced safety issues tied to its Zyprexa franchise,” reported FiercePharma. “Zyprexa Relprevv’s label warns of the risk of ‘post-injection delirium sedation syndrome,’ which is caused when the drug enters the blood too quickly.”
“The study results were inconclusive,” stated the FDA press release. “The study suggested that much of the drug level increase could have occurred after death, a finding that could explain the extremely high blood levels found in the two patients who died 3 to 4 days after receiving injections of appropriate doses of Zyprexa Relprevv.”
FDA lets Lilly’s long-acting Zyprexa off the hook in patient deaths (FiercePharma, March 24, 2015)