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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Risperidone

Why is this medication prescribed?

Risperidone is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). Risperidone is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.

How should this medicine be used?

Risperidone comes as a tablet, a solution (liquid), and an orally disintegrating tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take risperidone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Use the dropper provided to measure your dose of risperidone oral solution. You can take the oral solution with water, orange juice, coffee, or low-fat milk. Do not take the solution with tea or cola.

To take the orally disintegrating tablet, use dry hands to separate one blister unit at the perforation. Peel back the foil and remove the tablet. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Immediately place the entire tablet on your tongue but do not chew it. The tablet will quickly dissolve and may be swallowed with or without water.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of risperidone and gradually increase your dose every day for several days, and then not more than once every week.

Risperidone controls schizophrenia but does not cure it. It may take several weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of risperidone. Continue to take risperidone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking risperidone without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking risperidone, your symptoms may return and your illness may become harder to treat.

Other uses for this medicine

Risperidone is also sometimes used to treat severe behavioral problems in children and teenagers who have autistic disorders. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your child's condition.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking risperidone,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to risperidone or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention amiodarone (Cordarone); antidepressants; buproprion (Wellbutrin); carbamazepine (Tegretol); celecoxib (Celebrex); chlorpromazine (Thorazine); cimetidine (Tagamet); cisapride (Propulsid); clomipramine (Anafranil); clozapine (Clozaril); disopyramide (Norpace); dofetilide (Tikosyn); doxorubicin (Adriamycin); ergot alkaloids such as bromocriptine (Parlodel), cabergoline (Dostinex), ergonovine (Ergotrate), ergotamine (Cafergot, Ercaf, others), methylergonovine (Methergine), and methysergide (Sansert); erythromycin (E.E.S, E-Mycin, Erythrocin); fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem); levodopa (Dopar, Sinemet) medications for anxiety, high blood pressure, or seizures; metoclopromide (Reglan); methadone (Dolophine); moxifloxacin (Avelox); other medications for mental illness; paroxetine (Paxil); pimozide (Orap); phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); phenytoin (Dilantin); procainamide (Procanbid, Pronestyl); quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex); ranitidine (Zantac); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); ritonavir (Norvir); ropinarole (Requip); sedatives; sertraline (Zoloft); sleeping pills; sotalol (Betapace); sparfloxacin (Zagam); terbinafine (Lamisil); thioridazine (Mellaril); tranquilizers; and valproic acid (Depakote, Depakene).Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you use or have ever used street drugs or large amounts of alcohol and if you have or have ever had Alzheimer's disease, difficulty swallowing, phenylketonuria, breast cancer, angina (chest pain), irregular heartbeat, problems with your blood pressure, heart failure, a heart attack, a stroke, seizures, or kidney or liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking risperidone, call your doctor. Do not breastfeed while taking risperidone.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking risperidone.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy and may affect your judgement and thinking. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug. Also, using alcohol or street drugs can cause your symptoms to return and make your condition harder to treat.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Risperidone may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
  • you should know that risperidone may make it harder for your body to cool down when it gets very hot or warm up when it gets very cold. Tell your doctor if you plan to do hard exercise or be exposed to extreme heat or cold.
  • you should know that risperidone may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking risperidone. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Risperidone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • upset stomach
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • heartburn
  • weight gain
  • stomach pain
  • increased dreaming
  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • decreased sexual interest or ability
  • heavy bleeding during menstrual periods
  • runny nose
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • muscle pain
  • dry or discolored skin
  • dry mouth
  • difficulty urinating

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • fever
  • muscle stiffness
  • confusion
  • fast or irregular pulse
  • sweating
  • unusual movements of your face or body that you cannot control
  • slow or difficult speech
  • faintness
  • weakness or numbness in an arm or leg
  • seizures
  • difficulty swallowing
  • slow movements or shuffling walk
  • shortness of breath
  • rash
  • painful erection of the penis that lasts for hours

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Always store orally disintegrating tablets in their sealed package, and use them immediately after opening the package. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • drowsiness
  • rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • upset stomach
  • blurred vision
  • fainting
  • dizziness
  • seizures

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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