Risperidone is a antipsychotic medicine. It works by changing the effects of chemicals in the brain.
What is it?
Risperidone belongs to a group of medicines called antipsychotics. These medicines work on the balance of chemical substances in the brain.
You may have been prescribed risperidone to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia or a similar mental health problem affecting your thoughts, feelings or behaviours. These problems are called psychoses. It is also given to treat aggressive behaviour problems in some people where these could become a danger to self or to others.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use risperidone if you are allergic to it. Risperidone is not approved for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Risperidone may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems;
- coronary artery disease or recent heart attack;
- diabetes (or risk factors such as obesity or family history of diabetes);
- a history of low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
- liver or kidney disease;
- a history of seizures;
- a history of breast cancer;
- low bone mineral density;
- trouble swallowing;
- Parkinson's disease;
- if you are dehydrated; or
- if you also take blood pressure medicine.
Some people with mental illness have thoughts about suicide. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using risperidone. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
The risperidone orally disintegrating tablet may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using orally disintegrating tablets if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
It is not known whether risperidone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking risperidone or within 12 weeks after you stop taking this medicine.
How should I take risperidone?
Take risperidone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Risperidone can be taken with or without food.
To take the orally disintegrating tablet (Risperdal M-Tabs):
- Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take it. Open the package and peel back the foil. Do not push a tablet through the foil or you may damage the tablet.
- Use dry hands to remove the tablet and place it in your mouth.
- Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
- Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Use risperidone regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Do not mix the liquid medicine with cola or tea.
It may take up to several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not liquid medicine to freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What should I avoid while taking risperidone?
- Risperidone may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
- Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
- Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of risperidone.
- While you are taking this medicine, 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.
Risperidone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to risperidone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);
- breast swelling or tenderness (in men or women), nipple discharge, impotence, lack of interest in sex, missed menstrual periods;
- severe nervous system reaction--very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremours, feeling like you might pass out;
- low white blood cells--sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;
- low levels of platelets in your blood--easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
- high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odour, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss; or
- penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer.
Common risperidone side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;
- tremors, twitching or uncontrollable muscle movements;
- agitation, anxiety, restless feeling;
- depressed mood;
- dry mouth, upset stomach, constipation;
- weight gain; or
- pain in your arms or legs.
What other drugs will affect risperidone?
- Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking risperidone with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
- Other drugs may interact with risperidone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.