How do antipsychotics like zyprexa help with depression?


Doesn’t it lower dopamine? So would that be bad in this case?

In: Biology

Zyprexa is a brand name for Olanzapine. This is what we call an “antipsychotic” which is different from what we call “antidepressants”. Typically, we use antipsychotics to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The honest answer is we don’t know how almost any drugs actually help psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia or depression.

These drugs have what we call a “rich pharmacology”. That means they affect a lot of different brain chemicals, including dopamine as you point out, but also others like serotonin. Again, whether this is bad or not is again really complex. The best way to look at it is that if the drug produces more benefit to that person than the side effects cause harm then it is overall a good decision.