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Risperidone

What is Risperidone

Risperidone is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the effects of chemicals in the brain.

Risperidone is used for the treatment of schizophrenia.

Risperidone may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Risperidone

Call your doctor immediately if you experience uncontrollable movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, jaw, arms, or legs.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Risperidone may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Dizziness may be more likely to occur when rising from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall.

Avoid alcohol or use it with caution. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking Risperidone.

Call your doctor immediately if you experience fever, sweating, severe muscle stiffness (rigidity), confusion, fast or irregular heart beat. These could be symptoms of a potentially fatal side effect called Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS).

Avoid becoming overheated in hot weather and during exercise. Risperidone may increase the risk of heat stroke.

Do not mix the liquid form of Risperidone with cola or tea.

What you should find out before taking Risperidone

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
- had a heart attack, low blood pressure, an irregular heart-beat, or any other type of heart disease;
- epilepsy or another seizure disorder (or a history of this);
- ever been diagnosed with breast cancer;
- liver disease; or
- kidney disease.

You may not be able to take Risperidone, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

The Risperidone (Risperdal) orally-disintegrating tablets contain phenylalanine. The 0.5 mg tablets contain 0.14 mg phenylalanine, the 1 mg tablets contain 0.28 mg phenylalanine, and the 2 mg tablets contain 0.5 mg phenylalanine. Individuals with phenylketonuria may need to monitor their intake of this additive.

Risperidone is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Risperidone will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take Risperidone without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether Risperidone passes into breast milk. Do not take Risperidone without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you are over the age of 65, you may be more likely to experience side effects from Risperidone. An increased risk of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA, "mini-stroke") has been associated with the use of Risperidone in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of the medication or special monitoring during treatment.

How should take Risperidone

Take Risperidone exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each oral tablet with a full glass of water.

The Risperidone orally-disintegrating tablets can be taken without water. Using dry hands, peel back the foil on blister. Do not push tablet through the foil as this may damage the tablet. Immediately upon opening the blister, remove the tablet and place it on the tongue. The tablet must be taken immediately after opening the blister and not saved for later use. The tablet will disintegrate rapidly in the mouth and can be easily swallowed with or without liquid. Do not chew or split the tablets.

Measure the liquid form of Risperidone carefully and mix it with water, coffee, orange juice, or low-fat milk and drink it immediately.

Do not mix the liquid form of Risperidone with cola or tea.

Risperidone can be taken with or without food or milk.

It is important to take Risperidone regularly to get the most benefit.

Do not stop taking Risperidone without first talking to your doctor. It may be several weeks before you begin to feel better, and you may require continuous treatment for quite some time. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking this medication.

Your doctor may want you to have blood tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with Risperidone to monitor progress and side effects.

Store Risperidone at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat. Do not allow the liquid form of Risperidone to freeze.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical treatment.

Symptoms of a Risperidone overdose include dizziness; drowsiness; increased heart rate; fainting; fever; sweating; muscle spasms; and uncontrollable movements of the arms, hands, tongue, face, or other body parts.

Avoid while taking Risperidone

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Risperidone may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Dizziness may be more likely to occur when rising from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall.

Avoid alcohol or use it with caution. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking Risperidone.

Avoid becoming overheated in hot weather and during exercise. Risperidone may increase the risk of heat stroke.

Possible side effects of Risperidone

Call your doctor immediately if you experience fever, sweating, severe muscle stiffness (rigidity), confusion, fast or irregular heart beat. These could be symptoms of a potentially fatal side effect called Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS).

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Risperidone and seek emergency medical treatment or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- uncontrollable movements of the tongue, face, lips, arms, or legs;
- muscle spasms of the face or neck;
- severe restlessness or tremor;
- severe drowsiness or fainting; or
- irregular or very fast heartbeat.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Risperidone and talk to your doctor if you experience
- mild restlessness, drowsiness, or tremor;
- insomnia;
- blurred vision;
- dizziness or headache;
- nausea; or
- weight gain.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Risperidone

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- carbamazepine (Tegretol);
- clozapine (Clozaril);
- medicines used to treat Parkinson's Disease such as levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa, Sinemet, Atamet, others), bromocriptine (Parlodel, others), pergolide (Permax), pramipexole (Mirapex), or ropinirole (Requip), or;
- any medicine used to lower blood pressure.

You may not be able to take Risperidone, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Risperidone may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Risperidone. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

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