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.
This medicine may also be used on its own or together with other medicines to treat other mood disturbances such as bipolar disorder (mood changes between feeling very high and very low).
It may also be used for short-term treatment to help improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (a progressive disease which destroys memory and other important mental functions).
Risperidone may also be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
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 this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Risperidone is available as a conventional tablet, orodispersible tablet or as an oral solution.
If you are taking the orodispersible tablet:
- 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 is taken out of the foil. The orodispersible tablet will immediately start to melt on the tongue. It can then be swallowed with or without water.
Do not cut, break or crush the orodispersible tablets.
If you are taking the oral solution, use the dropper or syringe supplied to measure out your dose. Refer to the package insert for directions on how the dropper or syringe should be used. The oral solution may be mixed with a glass of water, coffee, orange juice, or low-fat milk. Once it is mixed, drink it immediately. Do not mix Risperidone oral solution with tea or cola (soda).
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition.
Risperidone must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it suddenly as this may 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.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease e.g. conduction abnormalities, prior heart attack
- diseases affecting the blood vessels and blood supply to the brain
- low white blood cell count or history of drug-induced blood disorders
- other types of dementia (group of symptoms affecting thinking and social abilities)
- Parkinson's disease (a disorder that affects movement of a person, causing symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slowed movement and impaired balance or walking)
- history of fits or seizures including those at risks of seizures (e.g. head trauma, brain damage, alcoholism)
- diabetes or other disorders of glucose regulation
- at risk of orthostatic hypotension (fall in blood pressure when standing up from a sitting or lying down position), suicidal ideation, or aspiration pneumonia (a type of lung infection)
- previous high prolactin levels in the blood or possible tumours dependent on prolactin
- liver disease
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Risperidone to a child or the elderly. Children and elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Risperidone may affect the ability of your body to adjust to temperature changes in the environment. Avoid exposure to very cold or very hot environments. Avoid strenuous exercise and activities like going to the sauna. Drink more water to prevent dehydration.
Individual's genetic traits are unique from each other. Researchers say that certain genetic traits can affect the response to this drug. Though not routinely done, in some exceptional cases, your doctor may advise you to take genetic testing to check if this drug is best suited for you.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. blood count, electrolytes, renal and liver function, fasting blood glucose level, fasting lipid panel, eye examination) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Regular monitoring of blood pressure, weight, height, body mass, and waist circumference may be needed.
- Monitoring of any changes in menstruation, libido, erectile problems, or abnormal involuntary movements may also be necessary.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
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.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or discomfort, diarrhoea, indigestion, dry mouth, toothache, muscle pain or spasm, joint pain, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, and changes in appetite.
This medicine may cause your blood pressure to fall suddenly when you get up from a sitting or lying down position and you may feel giddy. To minimise this problem, stand up slowly.
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
- fever, confusion, change in thinking, excessive sweating
- muscle stiffness, uncontrolled muscle movements of your body or face such as sticking out of the tongue, smacking of the lips
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
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:
- medicines for irregular heartbeat e.g. quinidine, disopyramide, procainamide, propafenone, amiodarone, sotalol
- medicines to treat depression e.g. fluoxetine, paroxetine, maprotiline, amitriptyline
- certain medicines for cold or allergy
- certain medicines for malaria e.g. quinine, mefloquine
- rifampicin (medicine to treat TB [infection known as tuberculosis])
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, phenobarbital
- medicines to treat fungal infections e.g. itraconazole
- medicines used to reduce stomach acid e.g. cimetidine, ranitidine
- medicines for Parkinson’s disease e.g. levodopa
- furosemide (water pill or medicine for water retention)
- medicines for high blood pressure
- other medicines for mood disorders
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.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light.
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.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.