Risperdal

Risperdal Medication Information:

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Generic is available for less money: Generic Risperidone

Risperdal medication comes in several different strengths; click on the strength you need to view prices from pharmacies competing to earn your business.

Risperdal 0.250 mg
Risperdal M 0.500 mg
Risperdal 0.500 mg
Risperdal 1 mg
Risperdal 2 mg
Risperdal 3 mg
Risperdal 4 mg
Risperdal 6 mg

General Information

Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults and older children. It is also for the irritability associated with some children that have autism spectrum disorders. It also has some non FDA-approved uses for the treatment of Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

How does Risperdal Work and What Does it Do?

It is not really known for sure how it works, but Risperdal affects the way the brain works. It interferes with communication between the brains nerves by blocking neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters work by traveling to other nerves and attaching themselves to the receptors or the chemicals on the nerves. The chemicals, called dopamine and serotonin either inhibit or stimulate the function of the nerves. Risperdal blocks the receptors and changes the communications among the nerves which can change the psychotic state.

How is Risperdal Taken?

Risperdal can be taken in pill form or as an oral solution. It can be taken with or without food. In children and adults it is recommended that it be taken at bedtime because it can make you very drowsy. It is also important that it be taken on a regular schedule to minimize the risk of forgetting a dose. If a dose is forgotten, and it is close to the time when the next does would be taken, do not take the missed dose. It could increase the chance of an overdose. Do not increase dosage or stop taking Risperdal without the recommendation of a doctor.

Side Effects of Risperdal

The most common side effects include increased appetite, fatigue, upper respiratory infection, vomiting, coughing, increased saliva, constipation, muscle stiffness, abdominal pain, anxiety, rash, restlessness, nausea, dizziness, tremors, and dry mouth.

Tardive Dyskinesia is a serious and possibly permanent side effect of Risperdal. This is uncontrollable movements in the face or other parts of the body. These sudden jerky movement could become permanent so it is important to check for this side effect. If caught early, it can go away or be reduced if Risperdal is stopped.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome is a rare but serious and sometimes fatal side effect. The signs of this include high fever, stiff muscles, shaking, confusion, changes in pulse, or blood pressure.

Other Brand Names

Risperidone is the generic name.

Safety Information:

Risperdal should not be taken by nursing mothers because it is excreted through the milk. It should not be taken by elderly patients who suffer from dementia since it can increase the chance of a stroke. If a person has had an allergic reaction to other major tranquilizers they should also not take Risperdal.

Dosage:

The dosages recommended for Risperdal vary for adults and children. Risperdal can be taken in pill form either once or twice a day. It is usually started in small amounts and increased over a few days or weeks as the body adjusts. Adults can start with generally 2mg/day whereas children should start with .5mg just once a day. For adults, the dose can be increased in increments of 1/2m per day to maximum dose of 4-8 mg per day. With children, the dosage can be increased by .5mg per day up to a maximum of 2.5mg per day. It can be taken with or without food. It is important to take Risperdal exactly as prescribed. Do not increase or decrease the dosage without the recommendation from your doctor.

Visual Description:

The Risperdal tablets are small and oval shaped. The color varies depending on the mg. The .5mg tablets are dark yellow, the .25mg tablets are red brown, the 1mg tablets are white, the 3mg tablets are yellow and the 4mg tablets are green. They all have Jannsen imprinted on them.

About Risperdal

What Risperdal is used for

RISPERDAL belongs to a group of medicines called antipsychotic drugs.

Use in Schizophrenia

RISPERDAL is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders, which may include hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that are not there), delusions, unusual suspiciousness, emotional withdrawal. Patients suffering from schizophrenia may also feel depressed, anxious or tense.

Use in Inappropriate Behaviour Associated with Severe Dementia

RISPERDAL may also be used for the short-term symptomatic management of behavioural disturbances such as verbal aggression (e.g., screaming, cursing) or physical aggression (e.g., kicking, hitting, biting, scratching, throwing things), as well as unusual suspiciousness and agitation in patients with severe dementia.

Use in Acute Mania Associated with Bipolar Disorder

RISPERDAL may be used for the acute treatment of manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Signs and symptoms of bipolar mania include but are not limited to: feeling invincible or all powerful, inflated self-esteem, racing thoughts, easily lose your train of thought, overreaction to what you see or hear, misinterpretation of events, speeded-up activity, talking very quickly, talking too loudly, or talking more than usual, decreased need for sleep, and poor judgment.

The doctor has prescribed RISPERDAL to help relieve the symptoms that are bothering you/the patient you are caring for. Although RISPERDAL cannot cure the illness, it can keep the symptoms under control and reduce the risk of relapse as you/the patient you are caring for continues treatment.

What Risperdal does

Antipsychotic medications affect the chemicals that allow communication between nerve cells (neurotransmitters). These chemicals are called dopamine and serotonin. Exactly how RISPERDAL works is unknown. However it seems to readjust the balance of dopamine and serotonin.

When Risperdal should not be used

Do not take/give RISPERDAL if an allergic reaction to the medicine or any of the nonmedicinal ingredients of the product has occurred.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include: itching, skin rash, swelling of the face, lips or tongue, shortness of breath. If you experience any of these symptoms/if these symptoms are experienced by the patient you are caring for, your doctor/the treating physician should be contacted immediately.

The safety and efficacy of RISPERDAL in children under the age of 18 have not been established.

What the medicinal ingredient is

Risperidone.

What the nonmedicinal ingredients for Risperdal are

RISPERDAL tablets: All tablets contain the following nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose, cornstarch, microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, sodium lauryl sulphate and propylene glycol. In addition all tablet strengths except the 1 mg contain talc and titanium dioxide. The 0.25 mg tablets also contain yellow ferric oxide. The 0.5 mg tablets also contain red ferric oxide. The 2 mg tablets also contain FD&C Yellow #6 Aluminum Lake. The 3 mg tablets also contain D&C Yellow #10. The 4 mg tablets also contain D&C Yellow #10, FD&C Blue #2 Aluminum Lake.

RISPERDAL oral solution: tartaric acid, benzoic acid, sodium hydroxide and purified water.

RISPERDAL M-TAB orally disintegrating tablets: All tablets contain the following nonmedicinal ingredients: polacrilex resin, gelatin, mannitol, glycine, simethicone, carbomer 934P, sodium hydroxide, aspartame, red ferric oxide and peppermint oil. The 2 mg tablets manufactured from 2006 onwards and the 3 and 4 mg tablets also contain xanthan gum.

Phenylketonurics

RISPERDAL M-TAB contains aspartame, which may not be suitable for those who cannot have phenylalanine (see Warnings and Precautions:).

What dosage forms Risperdal comes in

RISPERDAL tablets: 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 4 mg. RISPERDAL oral solution: 1 mg/mL. RISPERDAL M-TAB orally disintegrating tablets: 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 4 mg.


Warnings and Precautions

Serious Warnings and Precautions

Studies with various medicines of the group to which RISPERDAL belongs, when used in elderly patients with dementia, have been associated with an increased rate of death. Some of these studies included treatment with RISPERDAL.

BEFORE you use RISPERDAL, talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you/the patient you are caring for:

  • have/has a history of stroke, mini-strokes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure;

  • have/has diabetes or a family history of diabetes;

  • are/is pregnant or planning to become pregnant;

  • are/is breast-feeding;

  • have/has ever had blackouts or seizures;

  • have/has a history of kidney or liver problems;

  • have/has a history of problems with the heart and/or blood vessels;

  • are/is prone to hypotension;

  • have/has Parkinson's disease;

  • are/is taking or planning to take any other medicines (prescription or over-the-counter medicines);

  • drink/drinks alcoholic beverages or use/uses drugs;

  • cannot take phenylalanine because RISPERDAL M-TAB tablets contain aspartame, a source of phenylalanine;

  • have/has or have had/has had breast cancer;

  • have/has pituitary tumours;

  • suffer/suffers from Alzheimer's Disease;

  • suffer/suffers from Lewy body dementia;

  • are/is dehydrated;

  • exercise/exercises strenuously.

Elderly Patients with Dementia

Studies in elderly patients with dementia have shown that RISPERDAL taken by itself or with furosemide is associated with a higher rate of death (see Serious Warnings and Precautions Box).

Tell your doctor if you are taking furosemide. Furosemide is a drug which is sometimes used to treat high blood pressure, some heart problems, or to treat swelling of parts of the body caused by the build-up of too much fluid.

In elderly patients with dementia, a sudden change in mental state or sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arms or legs, especially on one side, or instances of slurred speech have been seen. If any of these should occur, even for a short period of time, seek medical attention right away.

If you are taking blood pressure medication

Low blood pressure can result from using RISPERDAL together with medications used to treat high blood pressure. If you need to use both RISPERDAL and medications used to reduce blood pressure, consult your doctor.

If you may be pregnant

Shaking, muscle stiffness and difficulty in feeding, all of which are reversible, may occur in newborns, if a mother used RISPERDAL in the last trimester of her pregnancy.

Other cautions

Very rarely, a state of confusion, reduced consciousness, high fever or stiff muscles might occur. If this should happen, contact a doctor right away and tell him or her that you are receiving RISPERDAL.

During long-term treatment, RISPERDAL might cause involuntary twitching in the face. Should this happen, consult your doctor.

Since medications of this type may interfere with the ability of the body to adjust to heat, it is best to avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated (for example with vigorous exercise or exposure to extreme heat) while taking RISPERDAL.

RISPERDAL should be used with caution, and only after consultation with your doctor, if you have heart problems, particularly irregular heart rhythm, abnormalities in electrical activity of the heart, or if using medications that can change the heart’s electrical activity.

Because some people experience drowsiness, you should not drive or operate machinery until you are reasonably certain that RISPERDAL does not affect your ability to carry out these activities.

It is important for the doctor to have all the above information before prescribing treatment and dosage. This list should be carefully reviewed by you/the caregiver and discussed with the doctor.


Interactions with Risperdal

Inform all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking RISPERDAL.

Inform them if you are taking or are planning on taking any other medicine. They will tell you which medicines you can take with RISPERDAL.

RISPERDAL can increase the effect of alcohol and drugs that reduce the ability to react (e.g., “tranquillizers”, narcotic painkillers, certain antihistamines, certain antidepressants). It is recommended that you DO NOT drink alcohol and only take drugs prescribed by your doctor.

Inform your doctor if you start or stop taking any of the following medications:

  • Dopamine agonists, e.g. levodopa (antiparkinsonian agent), as these may decrease the effect of RISPERDAL.

  • Phenothiazines and some heart medications (e.g., medication for high blood pressure, antiarrhythmics, or β-blockers), as these may interact with RISPERDAL to cause your blood pressure to drop too low.

  • RISPERDAL should be used with caution when taking medications that may change the electrical activity of the heart, such as but not restricted to: medicines for malaria, heart rhythm disorders, allergies, other antipsychotics, antidepressants, water tablets or other medicines affecting body salts (sodium, potassium, magnesium).

  • Carbamazepine and topiramate (anticonvulsants), as these may change the effect of RISPERDAL.

  • PROZAC (fluoxetine), PAXIL (paroxetine) (antidepressants) and CLOZARIL (clozapine), as these may increase the level of RISPERDAL in your blood.

  • LASIX (furosemide): Studies in elderly patients with dementia have shown that taking RISPERDAL with furosemide, a drug which is sometimes used to treat high blood pressure, some heart problems, or to treat swelling of parts of the body caused by the build-up of too much fluid, is associated with an increased rate of death (see Warnings and Precautions:).

RISPERDAL oral solution is not compatible with cola or tea.


Proper Use of Risperdal

Usual dose

  • It is very important that you take/give RISPERDAL the way the doctor has prescribed it.

  • The doctor has decided on the best dosage for you/the patient you are caring for based on individual needs. Dosage may be increased or decreased depending on the response.

  • You may take/give RISPERDAL together with meals or between meals. Once a regular dose has been established, the total amount can be taken once a day, or divided into two intakes, one in the morning and one in the evening.

  • Try to take/give RISPERDAL at the same time each day.

  • RISPERDAL tablets should be swallowed with some water or other liquid.

  • Before taking/giving RISPERDAL oral solution, read the “Directions for Use of RISPERDAL Oral Solution:”. Be sure to mix the exact dose of RISPERDAL oral solution that the doctor has prescribed in 100 mL of one of the following beverages: water, coffee, orange juice or low-fat milk; DO NOT MIX it in cola or tea.

  • It is important that you keep taking/giving RISPERDAL even after your/the symptoms have improved or disappeared. Do not change or stop taking/giving RISPERDAL without consulting the doctor.

  • Before taking/giving RISPERDAL M-TAB tablets, read the “Directions for Use of RISPERDAL M-TAB Orally Disintegrating Tablets:” for opening the blister and handling the tablet.

DO NOT give RISPERDAL to anyone else. The doctor has prescribed it for you/the patient you are caring for.

Risperdal Facts

RISPERDAL has been approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia, the mania of bipolar disorder and the irritability associated with autism.

Clinical trials for RISPERDAL reported that 90% of the study's subjects cited at least a 25% improvement in their conditions.

In 2005, sales worldwide for RISPERDAL topped $3.5 billion.

RISPERDAL is available as an oral liquid for people who have trouble swallowing pills.

 

Technical Information