Risperidone is used to treat schizophrenia (an illness that causes changes in perception, thoughts and behaviour). It helps to relieve symptoms common in schizophrenia, such as distorted thinking and emotional instability.
Risperidone is also used on its own or together with other medicines for the short-term treatment of a dysfunctional mood condition called bipolar disorder.
Take Risperidone exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take Risperidone before or after food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Risperidone is available as a tablet, orodispersible tablet or oral liquid.
If you have been given the orodispersible tablet (usually marked as "Quicklet" or "Orodispersible" or "Orally Disintegrating"), remove it from the foil only just before you take it. Do not leave the orodispersible tablet exposed to air. Do not push the orodispersible tablet through the foil as it is fragile and easily broken. Remove the orodispersible tablet with dry hands by peeling the backing off the foil and tipping the tablet onto your dry hands. Place the orodispersible tablet directly on your tongue as soon as it taken out of the foil. The orodispersible tablet will start to melt on the tongue very quickly. Swallow it with or without water. Do not cut, break or crush the orodispersible tablets.
If you have been given the oral liquid, use the pipette (dropper) supplied with each bottle to measure out your dose. Refer to the package insert for directions on how the dropper should be used. The oral liquid can be mixed with a glass of non-alcoholic drink such as water, orange juice, low fat milk or black coffee. Once it is mixed, drink it immediately. Do not mix Risperidone oral liquid with tea or cola (soda).
Risperidone must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise, as stopping it suddenly could worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor or pharmacist know.
Risperidone is not suitable for patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Inform your doctor if you have:
- fits or a history of fits (epilepsy)
- Parkinson's disease
- liver or kidney disease
- heart disease, including heart rhythm problems
- high blood pressure
- blood disorders
- glaucoma (high pressure in the eyes)
- breast cancer or tumours dependent on a hormone called prolactin
- risk factors for stroke
- suicidal thoughts
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Risperidone may affect how your body adjusts to temperature changes. Avoid exposure to very cold or very hot environments.
Inform your doctor if you have an inherited metabolic condition called phenylketonuria. The orodispersible tablet contains aspartame -- it may not be suitable for you if you have phenylketonuria because your body cannot process aspartame.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. He may need to do routine blood tests such as fasting blood glucose and complete blood count while you are being treated with Risperidone.
Risperidone may cause dizziness, drowsiness, and blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
You may feel dizzy when getting up from a sitting or lying down position, especially if you are taking Risperidone for the first time, or if your doctor is still adjusting your dose. This is normal and should improve gradually as you get used to the medicine. It will help if you get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position.
Some common side effects with Risperidone include difficulty sleeping, headache, tiredness, weakness, agitation, anxiety, mood changes, constipation, increased appetite, weight gain, loss of bladder control, common cold, blocked nose, rash, nausea, vomiting and stomach discomfort.
Other side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- chest pain
- muscle stiffness, unexplained high fever
- uncontrolled muscle movements of your body or face, such as sticking out of the tongue, smacking of the lips
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicine for cold or allergy e.g. antihistamines
- medicines for depression e.g. fluoxetine, paroxetine
- medicines for mood disorder e.g. clozapine
- fits (epilepsy) medicines e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine
- medicines for Parkinson's disease e.g. levodopa
- medicines that lower blood pressure
- diuretics (water pills) e.g. furosemide
- medicines for irregular heart rhythm e.g. quinine, disopyramide, procainamide, amiodarone
- certain antibiotics e.g. rifampicin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Risperidone.
Always notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol will worsen the dizziness and drowsiness caused by Risperidone.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
The orodispersible tablet must be kept in its original foil wrapper and original container. Do not store the orodispersible tablets in any other container except its original.
The oral liquid should not be refrigerated. It should be kept in a cool, dry and dark place.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.