Risperidone is classified as an atypical antipsychotic and works by altering the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. This medication is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions in adults, teenagers, and children. In adults and teenagers 13 years of age and older, it is used to alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia, which is characterized by disturbed thinking, a loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions.
This medication is also used to treat episodes of mania or mixed episodes in adults and teenagers and children 10 years and older with bipolar disorder, which involves alternating episodes of depression and mania as well as other abnormal moods. For teenagers and children aged 5 to 16 who have autism, risperidone is used to address behavior problems such as aggression, self-injury, and sudden mood changes.
Uses and Dosage
Take risperidone orally with or without food, as directed by your physician. Typically, it is taken once or twice daily. If you are using the liquid form of the medication, read the Instructions for Use, provided by your pharmacist.
To ensure accurate dosing, use the special measuring device provided and avoid using a household spoon. If directed, you may mix the measured dose with a small amount of liquid such as water, coffee, orange juice, or low-fat milk. Do not mix the medication with cola or tea. The entire mixture should be consumed immediately, and it is not recommended to prepare a supply in advance.
The dosage is tailored to your individual needs and may be adjusted based on factors such as your age, medical history, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all products you are using, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements.
To reduce the risk of side effects, your doctor may start you on a low dose and gradually increase it. It is crucial to follow your physician’s instructions carefully.
For optimal benefits, take risperidone regularly at the same time(s) each day. Even if you feel well, continue taking the medication as prescribed. Do not discontinue use without consulting your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- increased dream activity
- increased length of sleep
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- aggressive behavior
- changes in vision, including blurred vision
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty speaking or swallowing
- inability to move the eyes
- increase in amount of urine
- loss of balance control
- mask-like face
- memory problems
- muscle spasms of the face, neck, and back
- problems with urination
- restlessness or need to keep moving (severe)
- shuffling walk
- skin rash or itching
- stiffness or weakness of the arms or legs
- tic-like or twitching movements
- trembling and shaking of the fingers and hands
- trouble sleeping
- twisting body movements
- back pain
- chest pain
- speech or vision problems
- sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs
Prior to taking risperidone, inform your physician or pharmacist if you have any known allergies, including an allergy to the medication or paliperidone. Provide a comprehensive medical history to your physician or pharmacist, including information about liver or kidney disease, history of seizures, difficulties with swallowing, low white blood cell count, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, cataracts, glaucoma, a personal or family history of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol/triglyceride levels, or sleep apnea.
Risperidone may cause a heart rhythm condition known as QT prolongation, which can result in rare but serious symptoms such as an irregular or fast heartbeat and dizziness that require immediate medical attention. The risk of QT prolongation may be increased in individuals with certain medical conditions or who are taking other medications that can cause QT prolongation. Prior to using risperidone, inform your physician or pharmacist of all medications being taken and to inform them of any history of heart problems, including heart failure, slow heartbeat, or a family history of sudden cardiac death or QT prolongation.
Risperidone may cause drowsiness or dizziness, and these effects may be intensified by the use of alcohol or marijuana. Avoid operating machinery or performing activities that require alertness until it can be done safely.
This medication may also cause decreased sweating, increasing the risk of heat stroke. To prevent this, avoid overexertion in hot weather, using hot tubs, and to drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly in hot weather.
Risperidone should only be used during pregnancy if deemed necessary by a physician. Infants born to mothers who have used this medication in the last three months of pregnancy may experience symptoms such as muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, difficulty feeding or breathing, or constant crying. If these symptoms are observed in a newborn, especially in the first month, inform a doctor immediately.
Risperidone may pass into breast milk and have adverse effects on a nursing infant. If a nursing infant experiences symptoms such as muscle stiffness or shakiness, excessive drowsiness, or difficulty feeding, inform a doctor immediately. Consult with a physician before breast-feeding while taking this medication.
As untreated mental or mood disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression, can be serious, do not discontinue this medication without first consulting with a physician.
Form and Strength
Risperdal is available in the following forms and strengths:
What does Risperdal make you feel like?
Common side effects include feeling sleepy, problems with your movement and headaches. It can make you feel more hungry than usual, so you may put on weight.
Is Risperdal a mood stabilizer?
Risperdal is considered a mood stabilizer, itcan help minimize episodes of mania, depression, and psychosis by helping to keep mood and behavior stable.