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FDA investigates Zyprexa Relprevv patient deaths

Tuesday - 6/18/2013, 2:01pm  ET

The Associated Press

Federal regulators are investigating the deaths of two patients who received injections of a longer-lasting version of Eli Lilly's antipsychotic Zyprexa.

The Food and Drug Administration says the patients died three to four days after receiving an appropriate dose of the drug known as Zyprexa Relprevv. They had very high levels of olanzapine in their blood. That is the chemical compound behind Zyprexa.

High levels of olanzapine can lead to cardiac arrest, irregular heartbeats, sedation or comas.

A Lilly representative did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the investigation.

The FDA approved Zyprexa Relprevv in 2009 for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. The injections can last two to four weeks. Eli Lilly and Co. has said that makes it easier for patients to stay on their medication.

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