Risperidone is a mental health medication that is used to treat several mental health disorders. It’s often used to treat schizophrenia as well as bipolar disorder. It can also be used to treat people who have irritability that comes with autistic disorder. For those who have bipolar disorder, this medication treats mania episodes as well as mixed episodes of both mania and depression.

It’s used in schizophrenia patients who are aged 13 and older and for mania and mixed episodes in patients aged ten and above. It is not used in the elderly who have dementia. It’s taken by patients who are ages five to 16 who have mood changes and aggression with their autism. It can also help them to avoid self-injury. Risperidone works by changing specific substances in the brain so that they engage in different activities. This medication is in a drug classification that is called atypical antipsychotics.

Risperidone Precautions and Warnings

If you’ve ever had an allergy to this medication, don’t take it. Let your doctor know if you’re allergic to paliperidone or other drugs. This medication can cause drowsiness, so don’t take other things that also cause drowsiness, such as alcohol or sleeping pills. Let your doctor know if you’ve ever had Parkinson’s disease, dyslipidemia (also known as high cholesterol), a low count of white blood cells in the blood, a hard time swallowing, balance problems, breast cancer, chest pain, liver disease, osteoporosis, irregular heartbeat, diabetes, seizures, stroke, heart attack, or kidney disease. If you have a family history of diabetes, tell your doctor about this as well.

If you’ve had to quit taking any mental health medications because of the side effects you had, let your doctor know before you start taking this one. Also, tell your doctor if you’re currently having a lot of vomiting, severe dehydration, or severe diarrhea. If these develop while you’re taking risperidone, tell them right away.

Call your doctor if you get pregnant while taking this medication or start breastfeeding. If this medication is taken during pregnancy, but especially in the third trimester, it can cause health problems in the baby.

If you’re going to have any surgery, even dental surgery,  make sure the dentist or doctor knows that you take this medication. Before you drive while on this medication, find out how it affects you. It may cause you to be too tired to drive. Taking cannabis or alcohol can make this worse. It’s best to avoid these things while taking this medication.

This medication can cause some people to have high blood sugar. When a patient has schizophrenia, they are more likely to become diabetic while taking this medication than people without schizophrenia.

Risperidone can make it harder to control your body temperature. This means that it can be harder to cool off if you get hot, and if you get cold, it can be harder to warm up. If you do a lot of intense exercise or will be out in the heat or cold for a while, make sure your doctor knows about this. For patients who suffer from phenylketonuria, it’s essential to know that phenylalanine is in the orally disintegrating tablet form.

This medication shouldn’t be taken by an older person who has dementia. Taking antipsychotics by anyone who has dementia can increase their risk of death. They are also more likely to have a ministroke or stroke while taking this medication.

Side Effects of Risperidone

It’s possible to have several side effects from taking risperidone. Some can be serious. Some may mean you must tell your doctor about them or get emergency medical care. If you have severe thirst, extreme hunger, weakness, frequent urination, or blurry vision, your doctor needs to know right away. This can mean that you have high blood sugar. When this happens, tell your doctor right away. If these side effects persist, they can lead to ketoacidosis, a severe condition. This can be life-threatening. The side effects of this condition are upset stomach, vomiting, decreased consciousness, shortness of breath, and a dry mouth.

A milder type of side effect that can happen when taking this medication is lightheadedness and dizziness. This often occurs when a patient begins taking this medication. It can cause fainting as well. These symptoms commonly happen when the patient goes upright from a lying position too quickly. It’s a good idea to get up from a lying position slowly. When you leave bed, do so slowly and put your feet on the ground for a little while before you stand up. There is a risk of falling with this medication because of the dizziness.

Some of the possible side effects of this medication include nausea, tiredness, drooling, and weight gain. If these side effects linger for a long time or worse, please let your doctor know as soon as possible. Another possible side effect is raising your cholesterol levels. If you have this happen and you have diabetes, you could be at a greater risk of heart disease. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about weighing the risks of taking it versus the benefits.

In rare cases, risperidone can cause patients to develop tardive dyskinesia, which is a permanent condition for some patients. This condition causes uncontrolled movements in various body areas, including the legs, arms, mouth, face, tongue, or lips.

Risperidone can cause your body to make more of a substance called prolactin. This can lead to missed periods, a stopped period, and breast milk development. It can also mean that it’s harder to get pregnant. In males, it can cause a decrease in sexual ability, enlarged breasts, or make it impossible to make sperm. If you have these symptoms, notify the doctor immediately.

Several other side effects are possible from taking this medication. These include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Increased saliva
  • Anxiety
  • Increased appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Pain in the joints, muscles, or back
  • Restlessness
  • Discolored or dry skin

Drug Interactions with Risperidone

There are many possible drug interactions for those who take risperidone. Because this medication can cause drowsiness, it’s best not to take it with another medication that can do the same. These include cough and pain relievers that contain opioids such as hydrocodone or codeine. Don’t use cannabis, alcohol, certain anxiety drugs, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, or antihistamines that cause drowsiness, such as diphenhydramine or cetirizine.

There are a lot of other medications that aren’t recommended while you’re taking risperidone. These include:

  • Bromopride
  • Dronedarone (found in Multaq)
  • Bepridil
  • Pimozide
  • Cisapride
  • Levomethadyl
  • Piperaquine
  • Metoclopramide
  • Ziprasidone

Risperidone Strengths and Dosages

This medication is available in injectable, tablet, and oral suspension forms. The oral solution is 1 mg per mL, and the tablet form is 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, and 4 mg. There are several injectable suspension types, each with its strengths.

Oral solution: 1 mg/mL
Tablet: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg
Long-acting injectable IM suspension: 12.5 mg, 25 mg, 37.5 mg, 50 mg
Extended-release form of IM injectable suspension: 12.5 mg, 25 mg, 37.5 mg, 50 mg
Extended-release form of SC injectable suspension: 90 mg, 120 mg
Extended-release form of SC injectable suspension: 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, 125 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg

Frequently Asked Questions About Risperidone

Can a patient with dementia take this medication?

No, it’s not recommended for those with dementia. It increases the risk of death for these patients.

Are there a lot of side effects with risperidone?

Many side effects are possible, with drowsiness or dizziness being the most common. The medication can cause anything from anxiety to dry mouth to vomiting for some patients. Side effects often go away as the body adjusts to the medication.

Is there an oral solution?

Yes, this medication comes in an oral solution, in tablet form, and as an injectable medication.

Can you drink alcohol with risperidone?

It’s best not to drink alcohol with it. This medication can make you sleepy, and drinking alcohol can make this worse. The same is true for cannabis and anything with opioid ingredients.

What does this medication treat?

It’s often used to treat schizophrenia. It can also be used for bipolar disorder and autism irritability.

What is the cost of Risperidone in America?

The risperidone cost depends on where you get it and what kind of health plan and coupons you have. The medication can generally be purchased for about $70 to $80 for a bottle of the 1 mg strength. Other strengths may have other prices. If you have health insurance, you’ll owe either a co-pay or the retail price if you haven’t met your deductible yet. You can use a free coupon to get a discounted price whether or not you have health insurance. Depending on the coupon, these can bring the price down to about $45.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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