- Schizophrenia Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Schizophrenia Quiz
- Physical Symptoms of Depression Slideshow
- What is risperidone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for risperidone?
- Is risperidone available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for risperidone?
- What are the side effects of risperidone?
- What is the dosage for risperidone?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with risperidone?
- Is risperidone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about risperidone?
What is risperidone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Risperidone is an atypical antipsychotic drug that is used for treating schizophrenia, bipolar mania, and autism. Other atypical antipsychotic drugs include olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel), ziprasidone (Geodon), aripiprazole (Abilify) and paliperidone (Invega). Atypical antipsychotics differ from typical antipsychotics because they cause a lesser degree of movement (extrapyramidal) side effects and constipation. Risperdal Consta is an injectable, long-acting form of risperidone.
The exact mechanism of action of risperidone is not known, but, like other anti-psychotics, it is believed that risperidone affects the way the brain works by interfering with communication among the brain's nerves. Nerves communicate with each other by making and releasing chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters travel to other nearby nerves where they attach to receptors on the nerves. The attachment of the neurotransmitters either stimulates or inhibits the function of the nearby nerves. Risperidone blocks several of the receptors on nerves including dopamine type 2, serotonin type 2, and alpha 2 adrenergic receptors. It is believed that many psychotic illnesses are caused by abnormal communication among nerves in the brain and that by altering communication through neurotransmitters, risperidone can alter the psychotic state. Risperidone was approved by the FDA in December 1993.
Is risperidone available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes, risperidone. No, Risperdal Consta
What are the side effects of risperidone?
The most commonly-noted side effects associated with risperidone are:
- abdominal pain,
- fever, and
Another important side effect which may also occur include extrapyramidal effects (sudden, often jerky, involuntary motions of the head, neck, arms, body, or eyes) also occur. Risperidone may cause a condition called orthostatic hypotension during the early phase of treatment (the first week or two). Patients who develop orthostatic hypotension have a drop in their blood pressure when they rise from a lying position and may become dizzy or even lose consciousness.
Studies involving risperidone suggest an increased risk of hyperglycemia-related adverse reactions as seen in people with diabetes. Although there is no clear link between risperidone and diabetes, patients should be tested during treatment for elevated blood sugars. Additionally, persons with risk factors for diabetes, including obesity or a family history of diabetes, should have their fasting levels of blood sugar tested before starting treatment and periodically throughout treatment to detect the onset of diabetes. Any patient developing symptoms that suggest diabetes during treatment should be tested for diabetes.
What is the dosage for risperidone?
Risperidone can be administered once or twice daily. Initial oral dosing for treating schizophrenia is generally 2 mg/day. Dose increases can occur in increments of 1-2 mg/day, as tolerated, to a recommended dose of 4-8 mg/day. In children older than 13 years of age, risperidone should be initiated at 0.5 mg once daily, and can be increased in increments of 0.5 or 1 mg/day, as tolerated, to a recommended dose of 2.5 mg/day. Risperidone can be given with or without meals.
The recommended dose of Risperdal Consta is 12.5 to 25 mg injected into the deltoid or gluteal muscle every two weeks. Dosage should not be adjusted more frequently than every 4 weeks. Patients who have never received risperidone are started on oral risperidone in order to evaluate tolerability. Patients then may be transitioned to Risperdal Consta if oral risperidone is tolerated.
Bipolar mania is treated with oral doses of 2-3 mg/day initially. Dose may be increased by 1 mg/day at every 24 hours up to a dose of 6 mg/day. The dose of Risperdal Consta for bipolar mania is 12.5 to 25 mg injected into the deltoid or gluteal muscle every two weeks. Dosage should not be adjusted more frequently than every 4 weeks.
Which drugs or supplements interact with risperidone?
Risperidone may interfere with elimination by the kidneys of clozapine (Clozaril), a different type of antipsychotic medication, causing increased levels of clozapine in the blood. This could increase the risk of side effects from clozapine.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as paroxetine (Paxil), Sertraline (Zoloft), and fluoxetine (Prozac) when taken with risperidone causes the metabolism (breakdown) of risperidone by the liver to be inhibited, which in turn causes elevated blood levels of risperidone and may increase the risk of adverse reactions from risperidone.
Antifungal drugs such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral) when taken with risperidone also cause the metabolism (breakdown) of risperidone by the liver to be inhibited, which in turn causes elevated blood levels and may increase the risk of adverse reactions from risperidone.
Is risperidone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of risperidone in pregnant women. Some unwanted effects have been reported in animal studies. Risperidone can be used in pregnancy if the physician feels that the benefits outweigh the potential but unknown risks.
Risperidone is excreted in human breast milk. Women receiving risperidone should not breastfeed.
What else should I know about risperidone?
What preparations of risperidone are available?
- Tablets: 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 4 mg.
- Oral solution: 1 mg/mL.
- Orally disintegrating tablets: 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 4 mg.
- Powder for injection: 12.5, 25, 37.5, and 50 mg.
How should I keep risperidone stored?
Tablets should be kept at room temperature, 15 C to 25 C (59 F to 77 F).
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Risperidone (Risperdal, Risperdal Consta, Risperdal M-TAB) is an atypical antipsychotic drug prescribed for treating bipolar mania, schizophrenia, stuttering, Tourette syndrome, autism in children and adolescents, and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Bipolar Disorder (Mania) Quiz: Test Your Emotional Wellness IQ
Who is at risk for developing bipolar disorder? Are you? Take this Bipolar Disorder Quiz to learn more about bipolar disorder, if...
Depression Quiz: Signs & Symptoms
Many people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With...
Schizophrenia Quiz: What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder. Learn more about the challenges of mental illness with the Schizophrenia Quiz....
Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
What is schizophrenia? Learn about schizophrenia symptoms, signs, and treatment. Read about schizophrenia types such as paranoid...
Related Disease Conditions
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one...
Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder that may cause hallucinations and delusions and affect a person's ability to...
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric condition, can develop after any catastrophic life event. Symptoms include...
Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment...
Suicide is the process of intentionally ending one's own life. Approximately 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year,...
Autism Spectrum Disorder (In Children and Adults)
Autism in children and adults is a developmental disorder, characterized by impaired development in communication, social...
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that causes a person to suffer repeated obsessions and compulsions....
Tourette syndrome is disorder, which symptoms include involuntary facial tics, motor tics, and vocal tics. The cause of Tourette...
Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion to food. Anorexia is a serious...
Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. Different types of psychotic disorders include...
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes...
Stuttering is a speech disorder characterized by speech disruptions such as prolongations of speech sounds, syllables or words,...
Brief Psychotic Disorder
Brief psychotic disorder is a short-term mental illness that features psychotic symptoms. There are three forms of brief...
Mental health is an optimal way of thinking, relating to others, and feeling. All of the diagnosable mental disorders fall under...
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by odd behaviors, feelings, perceptions, and ways of relating to others that...
Bipolar Disorder vs. Schizophrenia
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are mental illnesses that share some risk factors and treatments. Symptoms of bipolar disorder...
Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens
Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness, is a disorder that causes unusual and extreme mood changes. Symptoms of bipolar...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Poor Hygiene
- Altered Mental Status
- Loss of Speech
- Abnormal Facial Expressions
- Unusual Behavior
- Vocal Outbursts
- Inability to Regulate Emotions
- Lack of Facial Expressions
- Catatonia (Catatonic Behavior)
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Bipolar Disorder
- Panic Attack
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Depression FAQs
- Schizophrenia FAQs
- Bipolar Disorder Mania FAQs
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- Do Antipsychotic Meds for Kids Raise Diabetes Risk?
- Antipsychotic Meds Pose Little Danger to Fetus, Study Finds
- 'Managing' Elderly Patients Without Powerful Antipsychotics
- Antipsychotic Drugs Tied to Risk of Early Death in Parkinson's Patients
- Too Few Psychiatric Patients Screened for Diabetes: Study
- Beware Safety Risks Posed by 'Off-Label' Drug Use
- Brain Scans May Take Guesswork Out of Schizophrenia Treatment
- Are Too Many Young Americans Getting Antipsychotics for ADHD?
- Medications Plus Parent Training May Help Kids With Aggression, ADHD
- Certain Antipsychotic Meds Tied to Kidney Problems in Elderly
- Too Many Foster Kids With ADHD Treated With Antipsychotic Drugs: Study
- Study: Kids With ADHD, Aggression May Benefit From 2nd Med
- Many Kids With Autism on Multiple Medications, Study Finds
- 'Exposure Therapy' Along With Antidepressants May Help With OCD
- Bipolar Disorder Drugs May 'Tweak' Genes Affecting Brain
- Antipsychotic Meds Not That Helpful for Depression: Study
- Long-Term Use of Some Antipsychotics Not Warranted in Older Adults: Study
- Alzheimer's: Are Antipsychotic Drugs Worth It?
- Research Lacking on Drugs for Older Children With Autism, Study Finds
- Older Antipsychotics May Work as Well as Newer Ones: Review
- More Kids Taking Antipsychotics for ADHD: Study
- Health Highlights: April 13, 2012
- 'Parent Training' May Help Kids With Autism Behave Better
- Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds
- Dementia: Some Antipsychotic Drugs Riskier Than Others
- Prozac May Lessen Autism Symptom in Adults
- Study: Antipsychotic Drug Does Not Help Veterans With PTSD
- Antipsychotic Drug Risperdal Recalled Because of Odor
- FDA Reports Requip, Risperdal Medication Errors
- Antipsychotics in Pregnancy Risky for Newborns
Mental Health Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information