What is Risperdal?

Risperdal is a medication known as an atypical antipsychotic that is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia in teenagers and adults. The medication is also sometimes used to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder.

When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the medication?

Risperdal was first approved by the FDA in 1993.

Is there a generic version of Risperdal?

Yes, risperidone is the generic version of Risperdal and is available in the United States.

Are there any major differences between Risperdal and other antipsychotics used to treat Risperdal?

Risperdal belongs to the class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics or second generation psychotics. The drug is also used to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autistic disorder in children. The medication comes in tablet, oral solution, and orally disintegrating tablet forms. Talk to your doctor about what might work best for you and the costs and benefits of taking the medication. Some people may need to try several different antipsychotics before they find the most effective with the fewest side effects.

Can children take Risperdal?

Risperdal has been approved for treatment of schizophrenia for children ages 13-17 years, for Bipolar I disorder in children ages 10-17 years, and for irritability associated with autistic disorder for children ages 5-16 years.

Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Risperdal and any other drugs?

There are hundreds of other drugs which are known to interact with Risperdal in major, moderate, or mild ways. Some of these include antidepressants, carbamazepine, cimetidine, clozapine, dopamine agonists, anxiety medication, high blood pressure medication, seizure medication, paroxetine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, quinidine, ranitidine, rifampin, sedatives, sleep medications, tranquilizers, and valproic acid. Let your doctor know what other prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking before you begin taking the medication.

Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Risperdal therapy?

Talk to your doctor about other medical conditions before you take Risperdal, such as diabetes, dementia, seizures, low white blood cell count, Parkinson’s disease, high cholesterol, high or low blood pressure, a history of heart attack or stroke, breast cancer, heart disease, kidney, disease, or liver disease. Also, talk to your doctor if you have a history of substance abuse or any other mental health issues.

What is the typical starting dose that would be prescribed to someone taking Risperdal?

The FDA recommends a starting dosage of 2mg a day for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. Safety and efficacy have not been established beyond a dosage of 16mg a day. Dosage may differ when treating other conditions.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Take the dose of Risperdal when you remember, but skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next dose. You should never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses.

Can Risperdal cause side effects?

Common side effects of Risperdal can include:

  • Weight gain
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased saliva
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Trouble urinating
  • Stomach pain
  • Vision problems
  • Muscle or joint paint
  • Heartburn
  • Increased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Breast enlargement
  • Late or missed menstrual periods
  • Decreased sexual ability
  • Dry or discolored skin.

Doctors recommend that you not drink alcohol while on the medication. It also is recommended that you wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Report major side effects to your doctor immediately, which can include faintness, unusual body movements, sweating, fever, stiff muscles, fever, seizures, hives, itching, shuffling walk, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and long-lasting and pain erection. You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.

What are the potential long-term effects of taking Risperdal?

Your doctor should monitor for progression of potential long-term side effects of Risperdal, which can include changes in heart rhythm, weight gain, high blood sugar, and tardive dyskinesia.

Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, about to become pregnant, or nursing to take Risperdal?

There have been no controlled human pregnancy studies on the effects of Risperdal. The drug can be transferred via human breast milk, and patients are advised not to breastfeed while taking the medication. Before you take Risperdal, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing.

Can symptoms occur if Risperdal is discontinued?

It’s important not to discontinue use of the drug if you feel better. Withdrawal symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, sleepiness, and the return of symptoms of schizophrenia. Maintain contact with your doctor and seek medical attention if necessary when discontinuing the drug, and talk to your doctor about how to mitigate potential withdrawal symptoms.

What should I do if I overdose on Risperdal?

Seek immediate help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose, as it can be fatal. Symptoms may include fainting, blurred vision, drowsiness, fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, and seizures.

Is Risperdal habit-forming?
Risperdal has no habit-forming potential, but it is not recommended that you discontinue use of the drug before talking with your doctor, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.

How much does Risperdal cost?

According to goodrx.com, 30 tablets of 1mg Risperdal cost approximately $300. 30 tablets of 1mg generic risperidone cost approximately $14.

Are there any disadvantages to Risperdal?

The biggest disadvantages of Risperdal are the potential long-term side effects, which can include tardive dyskinesia, increased blood sugar, high triglycerides, and weight gain.


DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider.  This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.




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Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018