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Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, and irritability associated with autism spectrum disorder.

Risperidone is an atypical antipsychotic that blocks postsynaptic receptors from absorbing dopamine and serotonin. This allows the medication to help reduce symptoms related to schizophrenia as well as those associated with manic episodes of bipolar disorder.

This antipsychotic medication has been found to be safe, tolerable, and effective for children as well as adults. Risperdal also doesn’t cause as many adverse reactions as often as some other antipsychotic medications used for acute and chronic schizophrenia.

Uses and Dosage

The dose of Risperdal prescribed will vary depending on the individual and condition being treated. Follow your doctor’s instructions and read medication packaging carefully.

  • Take with or without food
  • Swallow tablet whole
  • Most progress from a lower dose to a higher, more effective one
  • Adults should take 4 to 16mg per day for schizophrenia
  • Adolescents should progress from 0.5mg to 3mg daily
  • For bipolar disorder, adults should take 1 to 6mg per day
  • Children should take between 1 and 2.5mg daily for mania
  • Irritability from autism spectrum disorder will depend on tolerability
  • Do not double dose
  • Symptoms may take several weeks to improve
  • Store at room temperature away from moisture and light

Side Effects

Risperdal may cause some side effects to occur while it affects your dopamine and serotonin levels. Speak with your doctor for more information regarding any symptoms you may encounter when taking risperidone.

Common Risperdal side effects:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness
  • Tremors, twitching, uncontrollable muscle movements
  • Agitation, anxiety, feeling restless
  • Depressed mood
  • Dry mouth
  • Upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat)

Serious Side Effects

Some more serious side effects may occur when taking Risperdal. Stop using this medication and call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Uncontrolled face muscle movements
  • Swollen or tender breasts (both men and women)
  • Nipple discharge, impotence, lack of interest in sex, missed periods
  • Severe nervous system reaction (stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeat, tremors, feeling like you might pass out)
  • Low white blood cell counts (sudden weakness, ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, difficulty swallowing, skin sores, flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing)
  • Low platelet levels in blood (easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red pinpoints under skin)
  • High blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odour)
  • Penile erection that is painful or lasts for 4 hours or more

Allergic Reactions

Do not take Risperdal if you are allergic to risperidone. If you develop an allergic reaction, stop taking this antipsychotic medication and call your doctor right away.

Risperdal allergy symptoms may include:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat


Risperdal is not an approved treatment for older adults who also have dementia-related psychosis.

Do not give Risperdal to children without a doctor’s approval.

You may become more sensitive to extreme temperatures while taking Risperdal. Ensure you don’t get too cold or hot because it is easier to become dangerously overheated and dehydrated while using risperidone.

Risperidone may impair your thoughts and actions. Be cautious when driving or performing any tasks requiring alertness until you know how this medication affects you.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Risperdal because it can lead to an increase in unwanted side effects.

To ensure the safety of taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have ever had any of the following:

  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems.
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Diabetes or risk factors for diabetes
  • Low white blood cell counts
  • Seizures
  • Breast cancer
  • Low bone mineral density
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • If you are dehydrated

Consult with your doctor before using any drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing such as opioid medication, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, or medicine for anxiety and seizures. These types of medications can interact with Risperdal to cause dangerous side effects.

Tell your doctor about all the medications you use, including over the counter medicine, vitamins, and herbal products, but especially the following:

  • Blood pressure medication
  • Carbamazepine
  • Clozapine
  • Fluoxetine or paroxetine
  • levodopa

Avoid taking any antipsychotic medication in the third trimester of pregnancy because it could cause health complications in you and your baby. Consult with your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Risperdal.

If you breastfeed while taking Risperdal, tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of drowsiness, tremors, or spasms in your nursing baby.

Risperidone may temporarily affect women’s fertility rates.

Form and Strength

This medication is available in tablet form.

Risperdal tablet strengths:

  • 0.25mg
  • 0.5mg
  • 1mg
  • 2mg
  • 3mg
  • 4mg

The 0.25 and 0.5mg tablets are both available in quantities of 100 while the 3 and 4mg ones are available in groups of 60; the 1mg tablets are available in quantities of 60, 90, and 120; and the 2mg tablets are available in quantities of 60 and 100.


What will happen if I stop taking Risperdal?

Speak with your doctor about stopping Risperdal and they will most likely reduce your dose so you can stop gradually. This helps prevent and avoid withdrawal and causing your symptoms to return.

Does Risperdal cause weight gain?

A side effect of risperidone is an increase in appetite which can lead to some weight gain. Fluctuations in your weight will vary depending on your side effects. If you have concerns about weight gain, try to maintain a balanced diet and avoid snacking on foods containing a lot of calories.

Will Risperdal affect my fertility?

Risperidone can affect your hormones and lead to sexual problems for both men and women. This can also affect menstruation. Hormonal effects including an impact on fertility are not common, occurring in less than 1 in 100 people. Speak with your doctor if you experience any difficulties or are worried.



Additional information

Brand Name:


Scientific Name:


Other Names:

Respidon, Respidone, Risperdal, Risperidone


0.5mg, 0.25mg, 1mg, 2mg, 3mg, 4mg

Quantities Available:

60, 90, 100, 120