The Mental Health Miracle Pill: Risperidone
“Risperidone, marketed under the trade name Risperdal among others, is an antipsychotic medication. It is used to treat schizophrenia in adults and children with autism.”
In recent years, a drug was developed: risperidone. This drug was initially designed for schizophrenia but has also shown success when treating autism in children. The use of this medication in autistic patients can be life-changing; it can help people who were previously frustrated or anxious become more comfortable and happy!
Uses of Risperidone
Risperidone is used to treat certain mental/mood problems (such as schizophrenia). It may also be used for other purposes. Talk to the doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
This medication is an atypical antipsychotic. It works by affecting certain substances in the brain that cause symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations and unusual behavior or feelings/thoughts.
How to use Risperidone
How to use: this medication is not for people under 18 years old and should only be taken as instructed by a doctor. It comes in capsule, tablet, and liquid form; it can be taken with or without food. It is recommended to take it once a day, but if the doctor determines another schedule would be better for you they will help you figure out what’s best.
If you’re taking the liquid version, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when measuring your dose. To help you get the right dose, use a special measuring spoon or cup. It’s also important to note that you should not use a regular spoon since it might not give the perfect dosage. The dosage is determined by your age, medical condition, response to therapy, and any other drugs you’re taking.
Capsules and tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water or other liquid. Do not chew the capsule or tablet since it will release all the medicine at once; this could lead to an overdose that may damage your liver or cause death. To minimize the risk of adverse effects, your doctor may advise you to start with a low dose and gradually increase it.
It is recommended that you take this medication exactly as it’s prescribed. In some cases, if a person has missed taking the drug they may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety or agitation.
To prevent sleepiness during the day, take risperidone in the morning. Don’t wait until bedtime to take it because this can increase your risk of falling asleep during normal daytime activities such as driving and working.
How to store:
keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom because humidity can cause the drug to break down.
Risperidone can produce side effects such as dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, sleepiness and weight gain. More serious risks associated with this drug include: seizures, high blood sugar levels and diabetes, liver damage and selective serotonin syndrome. If you experience any of these symptoms it is recommended to notify your doctor as soon as possible.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medicine since he or she thinks the advantage to you justifies the risk of side effects. If you have any serious adverse effects, tell your physician immediately.
This drug has the potential to raise your blood sugar rarely, so it’s important to discuss this with your doctor if you have a history of diabetes.
Seizures may also occur rarely, but the chances are higher in people who take another medicine that lowers the seizure threshold (such as other antipsychotics). If you experience seizures or convulsions contact emergency services immediately.
Risperidone may cause your blood pressure to rise, so inform the doctor of any heart problems you have before starting this medication.
If you are allergic to, or have an allergy to paliperidone; or if you have any other allergies, tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking risperidone.
If you’ve been taking risperidone for a long time and don’t feel well, do not stop taking the medication abruptly. Instead, talk to your physician about how to slowly reduce the dose in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety/agitation or insomnia. Since stopping this drug suddenly may also cause serious side effects it’s a good idea to discuss a plan with your doctor first.
Before having surgery tell your physician that you’re taking risperidone since there is a risk of high blood sugar levels or a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
This product may include inactive components that might produce allergic reactions or other issues.
Be careful about driving or operating machinery until you know how risperidone will affect your body. Since this medication can cause drowsiness, it may impair your ability to drive a car or operate heavy equipment. Avoid drinking alcohol since that might increase the chance of getting dizzy from taking this drug.
You should not breast-feed while you are taking risperidone.
Risperidone may cause a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). NMS is rare but very deadly in some cases.
Risperidone has been linked to a heart rhythm problem (QT prolongation) that can cause fainting or seizures.
Take risperidone exactly as prescribed by your doctor and follow all instructions on the label for safe use of this medication. This includes knowing how much to take, when it should be taken, what other medications may interact with it, etc.
Low potassium or magnesium levels in the blood may also contribute to QT prolongation and possibly lead to serious heart problems.
Do not take more than the amount of this medicine prescribed by your doctor and do not stop taking it without first talking with your physician or pharmacist. Taking too much risperidone may increase the chance that you’ll experience a seizure (fit/seizure) especially if you are also taking other medications such as those used to treat bipolar disorder.
People with kidney problems may need a lower dose of risperidone and they should monitor their blood levels very carefully, since the drug can build up in the body causing more side effects. Risperidone is not recommended for use by people who have serious liver disease or severe liver problems caused by alcohol abuse.
Risperidone may cause a condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD). TD can range in severity from mild to severe and is most common in older men with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Risperidone is not recommended for use in children under the age of 13.
Interactions between different medicines may have an impact on how your medicine works, or they might significantly raise the danger of serious adverse effects.
If you’re taking any of the following medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting risperidone: “antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil) and doxepin; bupropion (Wellbutrin); citalopram (Celexa); clomipramine (Anafranil); diazepam (Valium) and other benzodiazepines; fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft) or paroxetine (Paxil). If you’re taking any of these drugs, talk with your doctor before starting risperidone: “antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine); haloperidol (Haldol) and thioridazine; lithium carbonate (Lithobid); metoclopramide (Reglan); mirtazapine, nefazodone or trazodone (Oleptro); narcotic pain relievers; sedatives or tranquilizers such as alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline; and antiarrhythmics such as encainide (Enkaid) or quinidine.”
A person who takes an overdose of risperidone may experience: vomiting, agitation, hyperactivity and severe restlessness, severe restlessness and manic behavior, slowed breathing and seizures. Call 911 right away.
You may experience drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how risperidone affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy and fainting spells, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Conclusion: Risperidone is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autism. The drug has been linked to a number of side effects including serious heart rhythm problems (QT prolongation). These risks are compounded by the potential for interactions between other medications that may be prescribed in conjunction with risperidone. To reduce the risk of experiencing these adverse events, talk to your doctor about any additional medicines or supplements you’re taking before starting this medication.