Risperdal

Risperdal is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia and conditions that cause mania, such as bipolar disorder.

Risperdal is used to treat many conditions that cause mania or manic symptoms, including schizophrenia. This medication can help manage these symptoms, but it cannot cure these mental disorders. In most cases, doctors will start patients on a low dose of Risperdal and increase the doses as necessary to treat your condition efficiently. Do not adjust your medication levels on your own or stop taking Risperdal without your doctor's instruction to do so. It may take several weeks before you begin to feel the full effects of this medication, so be sure to be even more cautious about taking your medication regularly during this time.

Indications and Usage

Risperdal is the brand name for the drug risperidone. It may also be sold under the name Risperdal M-Tab. This medication is used to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and in some cases Tourette syndrome and behavioral problems in those with dementia or autism. Risperdal is available as a disintegrating tablet, tablet, or solution which is given as an injection. When you take your dose you should be sure to drink plenty of fluids to get it down. Take care to read the instructions regarding taking the disintegrating tablet as handling this incorrectly can cause the tablet to break down before you can take it.

Risperdal Dosage

Those using Risperdal to treat schizophrenia will usually be given a 25 mg injection every two weeks. In some cases it has been found necessary to administer 37.5 or 50 mg doses every two weeks. Similar doses will be given to those who are using this medication for bipolar disorder.

Children under 13 should not use Risperdal. Those 13 or older who are still developing should consult with their doctor regarding the appropriate sized dose to manage their condition. Elderly patients or those with renal or hepatic impairment may need to restrict their dosing to .5 mg or 12.5 mg every two weeks, depending on the severity of their condition and what condition they are treating. In some cases your doctor may advise that you take the full 25 mg dose, but only have doses administered every three weeks.

Indications

Usual Dosage

Special Dosage

Schizophrenia

25 mg IM every 2 weeks, which may be increased to 37.5 or 50 mg in some cases

Doses of 12.5 mg may be necessary or those with hepatic or renal impairment.

Elderly patients should be restricted to 25 mg every two weeks, but they may need to limit their usage to 25 mg every 3 weeks if the drug is not clearing properly.

Bipolar Disorder

25 mg IM every 2 weeks, which may be increased to 37.5 or 50 mg as necessary

Patients with renal or hepatic impairment my begin doses at .5 mg, which can be increased up to 12.5 mg.

Elderly patients should be limited to 25 mg every two or three weeks.

Risperdal Side Effects

Common side effects of Risperdal include drowsiness, which occurs in up to 67 percent of users, increased appetite in 49 percent, upper respiratory tract infections in up to 34 percent, fatigue in 30 percent, insomnia in 26 percent, agitation in 26 percent, increased salivation in up to 22 percent, anxiety in 20 percent, abdominal pain in up to 18 percent, heartburn in 16 percent, nausea in up to 16 percent and dizziness in up to 16 percent of users. These side effects are not dangerous, but you may want to inform your doctor if they do not get better over time so you can determine whether or not you require a change in your prescription.

Less common side effects, occurring in 1-13 percent of users, include constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, vomiting, indigestion, irritated nose, sore throat, vision changes, bladder control issues, muscle pain, weight gain, coughing, toothaches, dry skin, sinus infections, confusion, fever, acne, decreased concentration, headaches, sexual problems and nosebleeds. These side effects are also not serious, but you should inform your doctor if they occur so that they can help you manage them effectively.

If you begin to suffer from signs of diabetes, rapid weight gain, depression, suicidal thoughts, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, dizziness, restlessness or jitteriness, uncontrollable muscle contractions, breast enlargement in men, abdominal muscle movements, or signs of allergic reaction contact your doctor right away. These are signs that your use of Risperdal is causing a negative reaction in your body that will require additional treatment. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, difficulty breathing, rash, itchiness or swelling.

Rare side effects of Risperdal include nightmares, yawning, vertigo, leg cramps, gas, canker sores, gastroesopageal reflux disease, pneumonia, asthma, changes in sweating, hair loss, high triglycerides, tinnitus, anemia, changes in sense of taste, high cholesterol, neutropenia, and tremors of the head. The percentage of users suffering from these side effects is not known. Let your doctor know if you begin to suffer from any of these side effects so you can receive any necessary treatment.

Types of Side Effects

Symptoms

Common Side Effects

Drowsiness, increased appetite, upper respiratory tract infections, fatigue, insomnia, agitation, increased salivation, anxiety, abdominal pain, heartburn, nausea, and dizziness.

Uncommon Side Effects

Constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, vomiting, indigestion, irritated nose, sore throat, vision changes, bladder control issues, muscle pain, weight gain, toothaches, coughing, sinus infections, dry skin, fever, confusion, decreased concentration, acne, sexual problems, headaches and nosebleeds.

Serious Side Effects

Signs of diabetes, rapid weight gain, depression, suicidal thoughts, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, dizziness, restlessness or jitteriness, uncontrollable muscle contractions, breast enlargement in men, abdominal muscle movements, and signs of allergic reaction.

Rare Side Effects

Nightmares, yawning, vertigo, leg cramps, gas, canker sores, gastroesopageal reflux disease, pneumonia, asthma, changes in sweating, hair loss, high triglycerides, tinnitus, anemia, changes in sense of taste, high cholesterol, neutropenia, and tremors of the head.

Interactions

Medications including carbamazepine, cimetidine, clozapine, fluoxetine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, rifampin and medications used to treat Parkinson's disease may negatively interact with Risperdal. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these medications or about any other over the counter or prescribed medications you may be taking to help avoid a potentially serious reaction.

If you are taking any medications that make you sleepy, such as those prescribed for seizures or depression, let your doctor know. This includes over the counter medications such as those to treat cold or allergies. These medications can increase your side effects and cause discomfort.

You should avoid extreme temperatures while on Risperdal. Drink plenty of water when you are in warm temperatures as it will be much easier to overheat or become dehydrated while you are on Risperdal.

You may experience dizziness while using this medication. Take care to get up from a resting position slowly to avoid falling or causing injury. You should not drive or perform any tasks that require your full attention until you know how this side effect affects you. Drinking alcohol may increase this risk, so this should be avoided while using this medication.

Recommended:

Diovan

Diovan is used to manage high blood pressure. This medication is often prescribed in addition to other medications to manage your condition.


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