bipolar disorder, Dr. Paul Markovitz  Q. I would like to ask the Dr. a question- "Is Zyprexa a useful drug for someone who has bipolar disorder and if it seems to work for someone what does that implicate as far as diagnosis is concerned?" I have bipolar disorder and Zyprexa seems to have worked wonders for me, but I thought it was only used for people with Schizophrenia.

  A. Zyprexa is currently indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia by the FDA. It has many other uses, however, and treating bipolar disorder is one of them. There are studies which unequivocally show it is effective in bipolars (both short and long-term). The fact it is working in you simply means it is working. It has no diagnostic implications at all.

Many psychiatric medications are used for what are referred to as "off-label" uses. Effexor, for example is used for panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and borderline personality disorder. All of these are off-label (unapproved from an FDA standpoint). We use Ativan for sleep, in a mixture with haloperidol in agitated patients, and for panic attacks. None of these have indications. The use of lithium to add on to antidepressants to treat depression is documented. All of these are off-label. They all work, but are not approved. Your doctor did something to get you better, and it works. That is what really matters. A diagnosis is only good if it tells the physician how to treat. Otherwise it is just a label. Be happy you have a doctor who reads and is willing to go the extra mile to help you feel well, and do not fret any implications of the treatment. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor.