Side Effects of Ola are Sleepiness, Weight gain, Increased prolactin level in blood, Orthostatic hypotension (sudden lowering of blood pressure on standing), Dizziness, Dryness in mouth, Constipation, Restlessness, Tremor, Muscle stiffness.
The treatment of anxiety with Ola is not an approved indication. Ola has been studied for treatment of anxiety disorders but the results have not been very convincing. However, it can be used along with anxiolytics in anxiety disorders for better results.
Q. Is Ola a sleeping pill?
No, Ola is not a sleeping pill. It belongs to the atypical antipsychotic class of medicines. It is used to treat schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions. Ola also helps with bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder). It is a disease that causes episodes of depression, mania, and other abnormal moods.
Q. How long does it take for Ola to kick in?
Ola may start showing initial improvement within 1-2 week of starting. However, for full benefits it may take about 4-6 weeks. You should continue taking it and consult your doctor in case you feel that Ola is not helping you.
Q. What is the most important information that I should know about Ola?
Ola can cause serious side effects which include increased risk of death in elderly people who are confused, have memory loss and have lost touch with reality (dementia-related psychosis). It is important to know that it may increase blood sugar levels in diabetics and also in patients who never had diabetes. Furthermore, it may cause weight gain and high fat levels in the blood which is more common in teenagers.
Q. Can Ola be taken during pregnancy?
Ola should be avoided during pregnancy and should only be given if benefits outweigh the risk. Using Ola during last 3 months of pregnancy may cause unwanted symptoms in the unborn baby. These symptoms include shaking, muscle stiffness and/or weakness, sleepiness, agitation, breathing problems, and difficulty in feeding.
Q. Can I stop taking Ola if I am better?
You should not stop taking Ola without consulting your doctor. This is because sudden discontinuation of the medicine may cause unpleasant side effects which include sweating, unable to sleep, tremor, anxiety or nausea, and vomiting. To avoid such effects, your doctor will reduce the dose gradually before stopping the treatment.
Q. Does smoking or alcohol interfere with working of Ola?
Yes, smoking interferes with working of Ola causing an increase in its metabolism. One should avoid alcohol while taking Ola since it may cause more drowsiness. However, if you are a smoker then your doctor may increase your dose depending on your response to treatment.
Information last updated by Dr. Varun Gupta, MD Pharmacology on 11th Jun 2020. The medicine details are for information purpose only. Consult a doctor before taking any medicine.