Risperidone (Risperdal)


Overview: Risperidone, known by the brand name Risperdal, is an antipsychotic of the Atypical class – the most frequently used class of antipsychotics. Risperidone is used to treat Psychosis – including Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder among others. Risperidone has helped many people control their symptoms. Risperidone is only available on prescription.


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Key Facts: It will take around four to six weeks for a patient to feel the full benefits of Risperidone. However, anxiety should lessen rapidly upon consumption of the drug. There are some side effects to Risperidone, as mentioned below. Risperidone should be used without interruption – you shouldn’t suddenly stop taking the medicine. The medicine should help control your symptoms.


How do they work?: Antipsychotics cannot help cure mental health conditions, but they are usually effective in reducing and controlling some of the symptoms associated with these conditions. These symptoms can include delusions and hallucinations, disturbed thoughts, agitation, mania and violence. The medication works by blocking the action of dopamine. It is believed psychotic episodes are caused by the brain producing too much of the chemical dopamine. The medication also regulates levels of other chemicals that are responsible for regulating mood – such as noradrenaline and serotonin. It is recommended that Risperidone is used in conjunction with therapy.


Dosage: The normal dose of Risperidone is 4mg per day for Schizophrenia. The dose might begin at 2mg at the start of treatment. You should be able to take the dose in one go. 6mg is normally the maximum dose. For mania as part of Bipolar disorder, the dose can be anywhere from 1mg to 6mg per day. You should swallow your Risperidone tablet with a glass of water. You should limit your contact with the tablet, and place it in your mouth as quickly as possible after removing it from your blister. The tablet should disintegrate in your mouth quickly, then swallow. You can also receive Risperidone in injection or liquid form. There is no set duration of treatment for Risperidone, with the course differing from patient to patient, dependent on circumstance and symptoms.


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Side Effects

With each box of Risperidone, there will be an information leaflet enclosed. This will provide an exhaustive list of side effects. Side effects from Risperidone can last any length of time from just a few days to permanent changes. It is natural to experience some side effects as your body gets used to the medication.


Common side effects of Risperidone include sleepiness, insomnia, shaking, headache, weight gain, depression, dizziness, blurred vision, muscle spasms.


Serious side effects include suicidal thinking, chest pain, movement disorders, seizures, jaundice, tardive dyskinesia, blood clots or allergic reaction. An overdose should be avoided. You should contact your doctor if any of these serious side effects take place.




You should always read the information leaflet that comes with your medication as it will include important information there. You should tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. You shouldn’t use any other antipsychotic medication with Risperidone. Do not use any antipsychotic with Tricyclic Antidepressants. Other medicines that interact negatively with Risperidone include benzodiazepines, opiates, allergy medicines, medicines for Parkinson’s disease, diuretics, epilepsy medicines, antidepressants, medicines for HIV and AIDS and more. Ask your doctor for advice if you need.


Exert caution when using Risperidone if you have a heart problem, high blood pressure, movement disorder, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, diabetes, have liver or kidney problems or a history of blood clots in your family.


Alcohol acts as a sedative, therefore it is recommended that anyone taking an antipsychotic doesn’t consume alcohol. Combining Risperidone with recreational drugs is also not recommended.


Risperidone is not recommended in pregnancy or the breastfeeding stage. It is believed that Risperidone can cause withdrawal symptoms in breastfed babies.


Other Atypical Antipsychotics: