Risperidone is a prescription used for the treatment of schizophrenia. It is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person feels, thinks, and behaves. People with this condition may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms may be very disabling. Some signs and symptoms include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Movement disorders or agitated body movements)
  • Thought disorders (unusual dysfunctional ways of thinking)

This may also be used to treat bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autistic disorder.

Bipolar disorder is also called manic-depressive illness. It is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, activity levels, and energy. It also causes the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. There are several types of bipolar and related disorders. They may have included mania and depression. Symptoms can cause unpredictable changes in behaviors and mood. It may result in significant distress and difficulty in life.

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects social and communication skills. Irritability is a symptom of autism that can complicate adjustment at home and in other settings. It can also manifest itself in aggression, tantrums, and self-injurious behavior.

Risperidone is in the class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. This changes the activity of certain natural substances in the brain. It may help you think clearly and take part in everyday life. Risperidone is effective in relieving both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, whereas conventional antipsychotics are usually less effective against the negative symptoms.

This product is available as a sterile two-syringe mixing system; a liquid syringe prefilled with the delivery system. It is a colorless to yellow solution. Each dosage form contains Risperidone as an active ingredient. It is a white to off-white powder that is practically insoluble in water and soluble in methanol. In 1993, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication.

How does Risperidone work?

Risperidone works by interfering with communication among the nerves of the brain. 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. This drug blocks several of the receptors on nerves including serotonin type dopamine, type 2, and alpha 2 adrenergic receptors. It is believed that many psychotic illnesses are caused by abnormal communication among nerves in the brain. By altering communication through neurotransmitters, Risperidone can alter the psychotic state.

How to use Risperidone?

Risperidone is to be given by injection under the skin of the abdomen. It is given usually once a month or as directed by your doctor. The injection site will be cleaned with rubbing alcohol before each dose is injected. The site should be changed each time to lessen injury under the skin. You may have a lump at the injection site for several weeks. Do not rub or massage the injection site. Try not to place belts or clothing waistbands on the lump. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment.

Remember to use the drug at the same time and in the same way every day. For the best benefit, take it regularly. This drug may help control your symptoms, but it will not cure your condition. Even if you feel well, continue to take this prescription. Do not suddenly stop taking this without consulting your doctor. Even if you feel well, continue to take this treatment until the whole prescription is finished. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. Never mind the missed dose and follow your regular dosing schedule if it’s almost time for the next dose. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one.

What are the side effects of Risperidone?

Common side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Weight gain
  • Cough or shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Sleepiness
  • Abdominal discomfort or pain
  • Constipation
  • Increased appetite or changes in appetite
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Pain extremities
  • Back pain
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Change in taste
  • Skin reactions (itching, rash, acne, dry or flaky skin)
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms (slow movement, muscle spasms, muscle stiffness, and jerky movements)

Get emergency medical help if you have these signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Hives or itching
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

Warnings and Precautions

  • Before starting this treatment, discuss with your doctor about fertility. Your ability to become pregnant or father a child may be affected.
  • Consult your doctor first if you are breastfeeding women.
  • You should use this with caution in people with decreased liver function or severely decreased kidney function.
  • Do not have any immunizations or vaccinations without the consent of your doctor.
  • Before taking Risperidone, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it. This may not be recommended for use if you have a history of an allergic reaction. Tell as well if you have any allergies. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.  
  • This product is suitable for adults. It is not prescribed for children.
  • The injection should not be given into an area of skin that is irritated, bruised, and infected.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications such as vitamins or herbal supplements.
  • This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol can make you dizzier. Do not use any machinery or do anything that needs your alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Keep this drug from heat, moisture, and reach of children.

This should be used with caution in people with:

  • Low blood pressure or high blood pressure
  • those who are dehydrated
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • A very slow heart rate
  • A disease involving the heart and blood vessels
  • History or risk of stroke or small temporary strokes
  • Diabetes and a history of seizures
  • High levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood