The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Zyprexa Relprevv (olanzapine) as a long-acting antipsychotic formulation to treat schizophrenia in adults.

The approval is for an extended release injectable suspension of Zyprexa Relprevv, a long-acting intramuscular injection, which sustains the delivery of olanzapine for up to four weeks.

Long-acting medications allow psychiatrists to know when patients have received their medication and detect non-adherence, which is known to greatly increase the risk of relapse.

Lilly Research Laboratories vice-president John Hayes said that there is a growing recognition that non-adherence to medication is an even greater barrier to care for patients with schizophrenia than was previously understood.

“Long-acting treatments can play a beneficial role in helping patients maintain a stable treatment regimen,” said Hayes.

FDA approval is based on broad clinical data involving 2,054 patients, in which Zyprexa Relprevv was found to be effective in controlling symptoms of schizophrenia, including hallucinations, delusions, apathy and social withdrawal.