What is Risperdal?
Risperdal (risperidone) is an antipsychotic medicine. It works by changing the effects of chemicals in the brain.
Risperdal is used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression). Risperdal is also used in autistic children to treat symptoms of irritability.
Risperdal is not approved for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Risperidone may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
Do not give Risperdal to a child without a doctor’s advice.
While you are taking Risperdal, you may be more sensitive to temperature extremes such as very hot or cold conditions. Avoid getting too cold, or becoming overheated or dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise. It is easier to become dangerously overheated and dehydrated while you are taking this medication.
Risperdal may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of risperidone.
Stop using Risperdal and call your doctor at once if you have fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, restless muscle movements in your face or neck, tremor (uncontrolled shaking), trouble swallowing, feeling light-headed, or fainting.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Risperdal if you are allergic to risperidone.
Risperdal is not approved for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. It may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
To make sure Risperdal is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems;
coronary artery disease or recent heart attack;
diabetes (or risk factors such as obesity or family history of diabetes);
a history of low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
liver or kidney disease;
a history of seizures;
a history of breast cancer;
low bone mineral density;
if you are dehydrated; or
if you also take blood pressure medicine.
Some people with mental illness have thoughts about suicide. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using Risperdal. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
The Risperdal orally disintegrating tablet may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of risperidone if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Risperdal will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking risperidone or within 12 weeks after you stop taking this medicine.
Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, do not stop taking it without your doctor’s advice.
Risperidone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while taking this medicine and for at least 12 weeks after your treatment ends.
Do not give this medicine to a child without a doctor’s advice.
How should I take Risperdal?
Take Risperdal exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Risperdal can be taken with or without food.
To take the orally disintegrating tablet (Risperdal M-Tabs):
Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take it. Open the package and peel back the foil. Do not push a tablet through the foil or you may damage the tablet.
Use dry hands to remove the tablet and place it in your mouth.
Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Use Risperdal regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Do not mix the risperidone liquid with cola or tea.
It may take up to several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not liquid medicine to freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention.
Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, fast heart rate, feeling light-headed, fainting, and restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck.
What should I avoid while taking Risperdal?
Risperdal may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Risperdal.
While you are taking Risperdal, you may be more sensitive to temperature extremes such as very hot or cold conditions. Avoid getting too cold, or becoming overheated or dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise.
Risperdal side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Risperdal: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);
breast swelling or tenderness (in men or women), nipple discharge, impotence, lack of interest in sex, missed menstrual periods;
severe nervous system reaction–very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out;
low white blood cells–sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;
low levels of platelets in your blood–easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
high blood sugar–increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss; or
penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer.
Common Risperdal side effects may include:
dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;
tremors, twitching or uncontrollable muscle movements;
agitation, anxiety, restless feeling;
dry mouth, upset stomach, constipation;
weight gain; or
pain in your arms or legs.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
What other drugs will affect Risperdal?
Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking Risperdal with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Other drugs may interact with risperidone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.