Risperdal - generic risperidone - is an antipsychotic medication. It's approved as a treatment for schizophrenia (adults and adolescents aged 13-17), bipolar disorder (adults and children and adolescents aged 10-17), and treatment of irritability associated with autistic disorder (children and adolescents aged 5-16). It may also be prescribed for other psychotic illnesses such as schizoaffective disorder.
Like other antipsychotics, risperidone should be used only with extreme caution in elderly patients whose psychosis is related to dementia, as there's an increased risk of death.
There is also a risk with Risperdal and all psychotics of neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a life-threatening side effect.
The manufacturer's recommended starting dose for children and adolescents is from .25 to .5 mg per day, and for adults 2-3 mg per day. The effective daily dosage range for autistic disorder is 0.5-3 mg, for child and adolescent bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, 0.5-6 mg, for adults with bipolar, 1-6mg, and for adults with schizophrenia, 4-16 mg.
Risperidone may be taken with or without food.
Risperdal should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the unborn child. Mothers taking risperidone should not breast-feed their children.
Some of the most common side effects are sleepiness, increased appetite, fatigue, insomnia, sedation, vomiting, cough, constipation, drooling, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, headache, nasal congestion, tremor, and rash (discontinue immediately if there is no other reason for the rash).
Disclaimer: This is not intended to be all-inclusive or to replace information provided by your doctor or with the prescription from the manufacturer.