By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Risperdal Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is Risperdal® (Risperidone) used for?

Risperdal® is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain.

Risperdal® is used to treat some symptoms related to brain such as:

  • Schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions)
  • Episodes of mania (frenzied, abnormally excited, or irritated mood) or mixed episodes (symptoms of mania and depression that happen together)
  • Bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods)
  • Behavior problems such as aggression, self-injury, and sudden mood changes who have autism (a condition that causes repetitive behavior, difficulty interacting with others, and problems with communication)

How should I take Risperdal® (Risperidone)?

For orally taken form, you should:

  • Take Risperdal® bymouth as directed by your doctor concerning: dose, schedule.
  • Consult your doctor for any information on the label that you do not clearly understand.
  • Use the dropper provided to measure your dose of Risperdal® 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.
  • Do not try to push the orally disintegrating tablet through the foil. Instead, use dry hands to peel back the foil packaging. Immediately take out the tablet and place it on your tongue. The tablet will quickly dissolve and can be swallowed with or without liquid. Do not chew or crush the tablet.

How do I store Risperdal® (Risperidone)?

Risperdal® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Risperdal® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Risperdal® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Risperdal® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Risperdal® (Risperidone)?

Before using this drug, you should know that:

  • Older adults with dementia (a brain disorder that affects the ability to remember, think clearly, communicate, and perform daily activities and that may cause changes in mood and personality) who take antipsychotics (medications for mental illness) such as Risperdal® have an increased risk of death during treatment.
  • Older adults with dementia may also have a greater chance of having a stroke or mini stroke during treatment.
  • Tell your doctor if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • Risperdal® may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • You may experience hyperglycemia (increases in your blood sugar) while you are taking this medication, even if you do not already have diabetes.
  • If you have schizophrenia, you are more likely to develop diabetes than people who do not have schizophrenia, and taking Risperdal® or similar medications may increase this risk.
  • Risperdal® 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 vigorous exercise or be exposed to extremely high or low temperatures.
  • Risperdal® may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category D, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown


Side effects

What side effects can occur from Risperdal® (Risperidone)?

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

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased saliva
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Stomach pain
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Dreaming more than usual
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Breast enlargement or discharge
  • Late or missed menstrual periods
  • Decreased sexual ability
  • Vision problems
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Dry or discolored skin
  • Difficulty urinating

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the important warning section or the special precautions section, call your doctor immediately:

  • Fever
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Confusion
  • Fast or irregular pulse
  • Sweating
  • Unusual movements of your face or body
  • Faintness
  • Seizures
  • Slow movements or shuffling walk
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Painful erection of the penis that lasts for hours

Risperdal® may cause children to gain more weight than expected and for boys and male teenagers to have an increase in the size of their breasts. Talk to your doctor about the risks of giving this medication to your child.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Risperdal® (Risperidone)?

Risperdal® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products may interact with Risperdal®, such as:

  • Antidepressants
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Clozapine (Clozaril)
  • Dopamine agonists such as bromocriptine (Parlodel), cabergoline (Dostinex), levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa), pergolide (Permax), and ropinirole (Requip)
  • Medications for anxiety, high blood pressure, or seizures
  • Medications for mental illness
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton)
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex)
  • Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
  • Sedatives
  • Sleeping pills
  • Tranquilizers
  • Valproic acid (Depakote, Depakene)

Does food or alcohol interact with Risperdal® (Risperidone)?

Alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication. Do not drink alcohol while taking Risperdal®.

What health conditions may interact with Risperdal® (Risperidone)?

Risperdal® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Tell your doctor if you have some health conditions, including:

  • Parkinson’s disease (PD; a disorder of the nervous system that causes difficulties with movement, muscle control, and balance)
  • Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol levels)
  • A low level of white blood cells in your blood or a decrease in white blood cells
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breast cancer
  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • A heart attack
  • A stroke
  • Seizures
  • Heart, kidney or liver disease
  • Diabetes


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Risperdal® (Risperidone).

What is the dose of Risperdal® (Risperidone) for an adult?

Schizophrenia (daily dose)

  • Initial dose: 2mg
  • Titration: 1-2mg
  • Target dose: 4-8mg
  • Effective dose range: 4-16mg

Bipolar mania (daily dose)

  • Initial dose: 2-3mg
  • Titration: 1mg
  • Target dose: 1-6mg
  • Effective dose range: 1-6mg

Irritability in autistic disorder (daily dose)

Initial dose:

  • 25 mg. Can increase to 0.5 mg by day 4 (body weight less than 20 kg).
  • 5 mg. Can increase to 1 mg by day 4 (body weight greater than or equal to 20 kg).

Titration: After day 4, at intervals of > 2 weeks:

  • 25 mg (body weight less than 20 kg).
  • 5 mg (body weight greater than or equal to 20 kg).

Target dose:

  • 5 mg (body weight less than 20 kg).
  • 1 mg (body weight greater than or equal to 20 kg).

Effective dose range: 0,5-3mg.

What is the dose of Risperdal® (Risperidone) for a child?

Schizophrenia: adolescents (daily dose)

  • Initial dose: 0,5mg
  • Titration: 0,5-1mg
  • Target dose: 3mg
  • Effective dose range: 1-4mg

Bipolar mania: children and adolescents (daily dose)

  • Initial dose: 0,5mg
  • Titration: 0,5-1mg
  • Target dose: 1-2,5mg
  • Effective dose range: 1-6mg

How is Risperdal® (Risperidone) available?

Risperdal® (Risperidone)  is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet 6mg, 8mg, 10mg, a solution (liquid) 1mg/ 1ml, and an orally disintegrating tablet (tablet that dissolves quickly in the mouth) to take by mouth.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Risperdal®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: December 29, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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