What is Risperdal?Risperdal is used for the treatment of schizophrenia. Risperdal is also used alone or in combination with other drugs for the short-term treatment of mania associated with bipolar disorder. In addition, Risperdal is approved for the treatment of irritability associated with autistic disorders in children and adolescents.
What is the most important information I should know about Risperdal?Risperdal may increase the risk of death when used to treat mental problems in elderly patients caused by dementia (an illness involving loss of memory and judgment, and confusion). Risperdal is not approved to treat mental problems caused by dementia.
Risperdal may cause tardive dyskinesia, a potentially irreversible condition that causes involuntary muscle spasms and twitches in the face and body. Elderly women appear to be at a higher risk for this condition. Tell your doctor immediately if you begin to have any involuntary muscle movements. You may need to discontinue Risperdal therapy.
Risperdal may mask signs and symptoms of drug overdose and of conditions such as intestinal obstruction, brain tumor, and Reye's syndrome (a dangerous neurological condition that may follow viral infections, usually occurring in children). Risperdal may also cause difficulty when swallowing, which in turn can cause a type of pneumonia.
Risperdal may cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS, a life threatening brain disorder), a potentially fatal condition marked by muscle stiffness or rigidity, fast heartbeat or irregular pulse, increased sweating, high fever, and blood pressure irregularities. Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
Certain antipsychotic drugs, including Risperdal, are associated with an increased risk of developing high blood sugar, which on rare occasions has led to coma or death. See your doctor right away if you develop signs of high blood sugar, including dry mouth, unusual thirst, increased urination, and fatigue. If you have diabetes or have a high risk of developing it, see your doctor regularly for blood sugar testing.
Risperdal may affect the production of disease-fighting white blood cells. Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of a fever or infection.
Risperdal may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects. This effect may be more prominent when you first start taking Risperdal.
Risperdal has the ability to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to Risperdal.
Risperdal may increase the amount of a certain hormone (prolactin) in your blood. Symptoms may include enlarged breasts, missed menstrual period, decreased sexual ability, or nipple discharge. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
Risperdal may rarely cause a prolonged, painful erection. This could happen even when you are not having sex. If this is not treated right away, it could lead to permanent sexual problems such as impotence. Contact your doctor right away if this happens.
In rare instances, Risperdal has been shown to induce seizures. Caution should be used in patients with a history of seizures.
Who should not take Risperdal?If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Risperdal or other major tranquilizers, you should not take Risperdal.
Risperdal should not be used in elderly patients who have dementia due to an increased risk of death.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Risperdal?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Risperdal. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have breast cancer, liver, kidney or heart disease, high or low blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, a history of heart attack or stroke, seizures, alcohol or substance abuse or dependence, diabetes or elevated blood sugar, Alzheimer's disease or dementia, stomach or bowel problems, history of neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a history of suicidal thoughts, a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (an inability to process phenylalanine, a protein in your body), Parkinson's disease, trouble swallowing, or a low white blood cell count. In addition, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Irritability Associated with Autistic Disorder
Children and Adolescents 5-16 years: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child.
Bipolar Mania (Short-term Treatment of Acute Episodes)
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 2-3 milligrams (mg) per day, given as a single dose. Your doctor will adjust your dose as necessary to achieve optimal effect.
Children and Adolescents 10-17 years: The initial recommended starting dose is 0.5 mg/day, given as a single dose. Your doctor will adjust your dose as necessary to achieve optimal effect.
Adults: The total daily dose of Risperdal can be taken once daily, or divided in half and taken twice daily. The initial recommended starting dose is 2 mg per day. Your doctor will adjust your dose as necessary to achieve optimal effect..
Adolescents 13-17 years: The initial recommended starting dose should be 0.5 mg/day, given as a single dose. Your doctor will adjust your dose as necessary to achieve optimal effect.
How should I take Risperdal?Do not take more or less of Risperdal than prescribed. Higher doses are more likely to cause unwanted side effects.
Risperdal may be taken with or without food. Risperdal oral solution is available in a 1 mg per milliliter (mL) concentration, and comes with a calibrated pipette to use for measuring. The oral solution can be taken with water, coffee, orange juice, and low-fat milk, but not with cola drinks or tea.
Risperdal M-TAB orally disintegrating tablets come in 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, and 4 mg strengths. Remove the tablets from the blister unit with dry hands and immediately place on the tongue. The tablets are designed to quickly disintegrate in your mouth, and can be swallowed with liquid if needed. Do not chew or divide the tablets.
Take Risperdal on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking Risperdal at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
Continue to take Risperdal even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
What should I avoid while taking Risperdal?Risperdal may make you sleepy. Avoid driving or operating potentially dangerous machinery and do not participate in any activities that require full alertness until you know how this medication affects you.
Do not drink alcohol with Risperdal.
Check with your doctor before taking medicines that may cause drowsiness (such as sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Risperdal; it may add to their effects.
When sitting or lying down, stand up slowly to avoid any feelings of lightheadedness or dizziness.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Risperdal?If Risperdal is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Risperdal with the following: blood pressure medicines, bromocriptine mesylate, carbamazepine, cimetidine, clozapine, fluoxetine, levodopa, paroxetine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, quinidine, rifampin, ranitidine, and valproic acid.
What are the possible side effects of Risperdal?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: seizures, involuntary movements, high blood sugar and diabetes, low white blood cell count, dizziness upon standing, suicidal thoughts, impaired judgment, infections, upset stomach
Can I receive Risperdal if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Risperdal during pregnancy are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Because Risperdal is excreted in breast milk, do not use it if you are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Risperdal?Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Risperdal?Store at room temperature. Protect the tablets from light and moisture. Protect the oral solution from light and freezing.