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What is risperidone?

Risperidone is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the effects of chemicals in the brain.

Risperidone is used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression). It is also used in autistic children to treat symptoms of irritability.

Risperidone may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Risperidone is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. This medication may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Do not give Risperidone to a child without a doctor’s advice.

While you are taking risperidone, 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.

Risperidone may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of risperidone.

Stop using risperidone 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.

Before taking this medicine

Risperidone 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. You should not use this medication if you are allergic to risperidone.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to risperidone.

To make sure you can safely take risperidone, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems;
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
  • a history of heart attack or stroke;
  • a history of low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
  • 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.

Risperidone 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 risperidone.

The risperidone orally disintegrating tablet may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of risperidone if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

FDA pregnancy category C. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking risperidone, do not stop taking it without your doctor’s advice. Risperidone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking risperidone. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Risperidone is used to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia and some other mental health problems. Such symptoms include hearing, seeing or sensing things that are not real, having mistaken beliefs and unusual suspiciousness. It is also used to treat disruptive behaviour or agitation where this becomes a danger to self or to others.Risperidone works by correcting the imbalance of chemical substances which act on the nervous system in your brain. Before taking risperidone Before taking risperidone make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:     If you have heart, circulation, liver or kidney problems.     If you have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (sometimes called a “mini-stroke” or TIA).     If you have diabetes, epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease.     If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.     If you have been told you have high prolactin levels.     If you have porphyria (a rare blood disorder).     If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.     If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines. How to take risperidone Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside the pack. Take risperidone exactly as your doctor has told you. It is usually taken once or twice a day. It is not important whether you take your doses before, with or after meals. If you have been given risperidone orodispersible tablets, peel open the packaging, remove the tablet from the blister and then place it on your tongue to dissolve. Do not try pushing the tablet through the blister of the packaging as it may crumble. If you have been given risperidone liquid you can take your dose added to any non-alcoholic drink except tea. Make sure you understand how to use the dose syringe (pipette) to measure out the dose which is correct for you. If you are unsure about this, ask your pharmacist to show you. Try to take risperidone at the same times each day to avoid missing any doses.  If you do forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.  Do not stop taking risperidone unless your doctor tells you to do so. Stopping treatment suddenly can cause problems and your doctor will probably want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary.

Getting the most from your treatment
Risperidone may cause drowsiness. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking risperidone as it could increase these feelings of sleepiness. Keep your regular appointments with your doctor so your progress can be monitored. Also, you may need to have regular weight checks. If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently as risperidone can affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this. Before taking or buying any ‘over-the-counter’ medicines, check with your pharmacist which medicines are safe to take alongside risperidone. If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking risperidone.

Can risperidone cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome. Muscle stiffness with a high temperature, sweating, and a fast heart beat. Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arms or legs, and speech or vision problems. Feeling dizzy or light. Increase in weight. Headache. Feeling sleepy, drowsiness, blurred vision. Stomach upset. Shakiness, abnormal movements of the face or body, restlessness, uncontrollable movements of the tongue, face or jaw. Mood changes, trouble sleeping, blocked nose, coughs and colds, aches and pains, skin rash, difficulty passing urine, and dry mouth.

How to store risperidone
Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children. Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.


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