A case of teeth discoloration upon transition from zyprexa to generic olanzapine

Ochsner J. 2013 Winter;13(4):550-2.


Background: Although crucial to the success of the US healthcare system, generic medication is not without some risks, especially when a transition is made midtreatment from a brand-name formulation to its generic counterpart. Thankfully, such a transition is usually orderly and unnoticed, without disruption to the treatment; however, this is not always the case.

Case report: This case study details an example of 1 such unfortunate disruption to treatment. A stable patient with schizophrenia was switched from brand-name Zyprexa to generic olanzapine. Within several months of the switch, the patient suffered a marked grayish discoloration of his teeth. His medication regimen was then transitioned from generic olanzapine to a new but different brand-name medication (Abilify). The transition was a success, with resolution of the adverse effect and continued stability of his mental state.

Conclusion: Generic olanzapine was introduced to the market in fall 2011. It remains to be seen whether this adverse effect was simply an anomaly or the beginning of a more ominous trend.

Keywords: Drug toxicity; drugs—generic; psychotropic drugs.

Publication types

  • Case Reports