BACKGROUND: Neuropathic pain is a global clinical problem; nevertheless, nerve injury treatment methods remain limited. Olanzapine has antinociceptive and anti-nueropathic properties; however, its preventive effects have not been assessed in nerve injury models. METHODS: We prepared a partial sciatic nerve ligation (Seltzer model) or sham-operated model in male Sprague-Dawley rats under isoflurane anesthesia. In a pre-treatment study, we administered olanzapine (10 mg/kg) intraperitoneally 1 h before nerve ligation. In post-treatment and dose-dependent studies, we injected 3 different doses of olanzapine intraperitoneally 1 h after nerve ligation. Mechanical allodynia was measured before and 7 days after surgery. Immunohistochemical analysis using anti-Iba-1 antibody was used to assess the effect of olanzapine at the spinal level. RESULTS: In the pre-treatment study, median withdrawal thresholds of the normal saline groups were significantly lower than those of the sham-operated groups; however, those of the olanzapine (10 mg/kg) and sham-operated groups were not different. In the post-treatment and dose-dependent studies, the median withdrawal thresholds of the olanzapine (2.5 mg/kg) and normal saline groups were not different; however, those of the olanzapine (10 and 50 mg/kg) groups were significantly higher than those of the normal saline groups. Olanzapine did not have a significant effect on the density of Iba-1 staining. CONCLUSIONS: Olanzapine attenuated mechanical allodynia dose-dependently in the Seltzer model. This anti-allodynic effect of olanzapine was observed even when injected 1 h after nerve ligation. This effect of olanzapine appeared to be unrelated to microglia activation in the ipsilateral dorsal horn of the lumbar spinal cord.