Dangerous Drug Facts: Symbyax
Common Uses of Symbyax
Symbyax’s (Olazapine and Fluoxetine HCI Capsules) uses include treatment of treatment-resistant (TRD) and bipolar I depression in adults.  Symbyax was first developed to treat bipolar I depression, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later approved the medication for treatment with TRD.
Treatment-resistant depression is defined as a major depressive disorder in adults who do not respond to 2 or more separate trials of different antidepressants in significant doses and duration.  Symbyax’s release on the market has helped numerous individuals, but the drug has also shown serious and sometimes fatal side effects. 
If you are experiencing any of the side effects listed within this article associated with Symbyax’s use, you need to tell a family member and contact your doctor right away.  
Dangerous Side Effects of Symbyax
Antidepressants like Sym. have been known to increase thoughts of suicide and similar behavior in children, teens, and young adults.  Sym is prescribed to adults, but if you or anyone you know show signs of new or worsening depression symptoms, unusual changes in behavior, or thoughts or suicide, you need to contact a doctor immediately.  
The symptoms associated with Symbyax’s use may appear more frequently during the first couple of months of treatment or if the dose amount is changed by a physician.  Sym. is not prescribed to child or adolescents because of its high correlation with increased suicidal thoughts, and the medication is not prescribed to elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.  
What should I discuss with my doctor before taking Symbyax?
Your doctor will review your medical history and past medications when thinking about prescribing Sym.  You should never take Symbyax if you’ve taken a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) in the last two weeks, and you should never take an MAOI within 5 weeks of stopping Sym.  The side effects associated with Symbyax’s use and a MAOI at the same time can be serious and deadly.  
Your doctor will not prescribe Sym. if you’ve already take Mellaril (thioridazine) or the antipsychotic medicine pimozide (Orap).  Additionally, your doctor will not prescribe Sym. if you take any olanzapines liked Zyprexa, Zyprexa Relprew, or Zyprexa Zydis or take any fluoxetine hydrochlorides like Prozac, Prozac Weekly, or Sarafem.  You should also discuss all other prescription and over-the-counter drugs (including herbs) you take while discussing Symbyax’s use with your doctor.  
Additionally, you’ll want to discuss any health concerns you’ve had in the past or may have in the future before taking Symbyax.  Your doctor may avoid prescribing Sym. if any of the following conditions apply: 
Heart problems
Diabetes or high blood sugar levels
High cholesterol or triglyceride levels
Liver problems
Low or high blood pressure
Strokes or “mini-strokes”
bleeding problems 
Alzheimer’s disease or family history
Narrow-angle glaucoma
Enlarged prostate 
Bowel obstruction
Breast cancer
Plans to become pregnant or if you are already pregnant 
Common Side Effects Associated with Symbyax
Symbyax’s use can cause common side effects, and a doctor will only prescribe Sym. if they believe the positive benefits of the medication outweigh the negative effects.  A doctor will usually start a patient out with a small dose of Symbyax and gradually work them up to a normal dose of 3mg/25mg, 6mg/25 mg, 6mg/50mg, 12mg/25mg, or 12mg/50mg of olanzapine/fluoxetine.  
Side effects may increase or decrease depending on Symbax’s dose amount, and some common side effects associated with the drug include the following: 
feeling weak
increased appetite 
sleep for long periods of time
blurred vision
Tremors or shakes
Dry mouth
swelling of the hands and feet
There are other side effects associated with Symbyax’s use, and you’ll want to read the information packet that comes along with your medication in order to identify related side effects in the future.  
Other Serious and Dangerous Side Effects While Using Symbyax
Symbyax’s use can cause other serious side effects apart from suicidal thoughts or actions.  Most people will show no side effects while taking Sym. but others may face any of the serious side effects: 
1. High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia) - taking Sym. will usually increase everyone’s blood sugar a bit, but having a history of diabetes can pose a serious risk to your well-being, and common signs of high blood sugar include the following: 
feeling abnormally thirsty
need to urinate more than usual
feeling very hungry
feeling weak or tired
feeling sick to the stomach
Feeling confused
Fruity smelling breath 
2. High Cholesterol and Triglycerides- Symbyax’s use can cause very high fat levels in the blood if the patient took olanzapine before they were 18
3. Increase Weight- Symbyax’s use will usually cause a person to gain some weight, and some individuals may gain more weight than others
4. Severe Allergic Reactions- Symbyax’s use can cause severe and life threatening allergic reactions, and you need to contact a doctor immediately if you experience hives or a rash, high fever and joint pain, swelling of the face, eyes, or mouth
5. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome- NMS is rare but can cause death if not treated, and you need to contact your doctor if you experience any high fever, excessive sweating, rigid muscles, confusion, or changes in breathing, heartbeat, or blood pressure while taking Symbyax
6. Tardive dyskinesia- Symbyax or coming off of Sym. can cause uncontrollable movements (especially of the face and tongue)
7. Serotonin syndrome- Symbyax’s use can cause this serious syndrome, and you need to tell your doctor if you experience any hallucinations, over-active reflexes, nausea, vomiting, or racing heart beat
8. Abnormal bleeding- Symbyax can cause unusual bleeding and bruising, especially when taken with a blood thinner, anti-inflammatory, or even aspirin 
9. Low Salt Levels- Symbyax’s use can cause hyponatremia, and you need to tell your doctor right away if you feel weak or confused, have problems concentrating, or have constant headaches
The use of Sym. can cause other serious side effects, and you need to discuss all proper side effects and precautions with your doctor before considering Symbyax.  




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