Monday, March 17, 2008

Olanzapine and stuttering

This is science the way I love to see it.

Olanzapine (Zyprexa) is a popular antipsychotic for which I've found about 30 reported off-label uses in the literature. Rationales for off-label uses of medications are not always bad, but since this medication also has a large body of research documenting its potential to provoke diabetes and heart disease, it has always seemed to me that off-label uses for this medication should be very judicious and sparing.

The reference below challenges one of those off-label uses--stuttering. After reviewing literature, the authors concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the use of olanzapine as a treatment modality for this problem.

Medications are chemicals. Yes, they can be miraculous in some cases. But they are not always the answer.

As I've encouraged before, I'll remind you again. If you're prescribed a medication, understand before agreeing to use it if the intended use is FDA-approved or off-label. And even if it's FDA-approved, know beforehand what the risks and potential side effects of this medication can be. Be informed.

Bothe AK, Franic DM, Ingham RJ, Davidow JH. Pharmacological approaches to stuttering treatment: reply to meline and harn (2008). Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2008 Feb;17(1):98-101.

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