What is Risperdal?
Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication. It is an "atypical antipsychotic". It works by changing the effects of chemicals in the brain.
Risperdal is used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression). It is also used in autistic children to treat symptoms of irritability.
Risperdal may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Risperdal
Risperdal is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Risperidone may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
Do not give this medication 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 can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of Risperdal. Stop using this medication 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.
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect this medication. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Before taking Risperdal
Risperdal is not for use in psychotic conditions that are related to dementia. Risperdal has caused fatal heart attack and stroke in older adults with dementia-related conditions. You should not use this medication if you are allergic to risperidone.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems;
- a history of heart attack or stroke;
- a history of breast cancer;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- diabetes (risperidone may raise your blood sugar);
- a history of suicidal thoughts;
- Parkinson's disease; or
- trouble swallowing.
Risperdal may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Talk to your doctor if you have any signs of hyperglycemia such as increased thirst or urination, excessive hunger, or weakness. If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking Risperdal.
The risperidone orally disintegrating tablet may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of risperidone if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medication to a child without a doctor's advice.
How should I take Risperdal?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Risperdal can be taken with or without food.
To take risperidone orally disintegrating tablets (Risperdal M-Tabs):
- Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take the medicine. Open the package and peel back the foil from the tablet blister. Do not push a tablet through the foil or you may damage the tablet.
- Using dry hands, remove the tablet and place it in your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away.
- Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.
- Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid after the tablet is completely dissolved.
It is important to take Risperdal regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Measure the liquid form of Risperdal with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not mix the liquid form of Risperdal with cola or tea. It may take several weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve. Store Risperdal at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat. Do not allow the liquid form of Risperdal to freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical treatment if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include 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?
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 risperidone. Risperdal can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of Risperdal.
Risperdal side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Risperdal and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats;
- restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
- tremor (uncontrolled shaking);
- trouble swallowing; or
- feeling light-headed, fainting.
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild restlessness, drowsiness, or tremor;
- sleepiness, dreaming more than usual;
- blurred vision;
- dizziness or headache;
- weight gain;
- problems with urination;
- nausea, dry mouth, constipation; or
- decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.
What other drugs will affect Risperdal?
Before you take Risperdal, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by Risperdal.
Also tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);
- phenytoin (Dilantin);
- phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
- clozapine (Clozaril);
- fluoxetine (Prozac) or paroxetine (Paxil);
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater); or
- medicines used to treat Parkinson's Disease such as levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa, Sinemet, Atamet, others), bromocriptine (Parlodel, others), pergolide (Permax), pramipexole (Mirapex), or ropinirole (Requip).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Risperdal. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Risperdal.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.