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Risperdal is the first in its class, a new kind of medicine prescribed to treat psychotic disorders.

Clinical studies show that it is effective against the symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations, suspiciousness and disorganized thought.

It also appears to be helpful against other schizophrenic symptoms, including apathy and social withdrawal, that don't respond well to other medications.

Risperdal may be effective for certain patients who haven't responded well to other antipsychotic drugs.

Some experts believe that Risperdal is better than the older and more conventional schizophrenia drug Haldol, and it has a different side-effect profile.

Side Effects and Interactions

Some people starting on Risperdal may find that they feel dizzy or faint if they stand up suddenly. They should take care to avoid falling when they first get up.

Risperdal may cause anxiety, drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, nausea, indigestion, runny nose, rash, rapid heart beat and uncontrollable muscle movements,

Other adverse reactions to be alert for include sleeping longer and dreaming more, visual problems, sensitivity to sunlight leading to sunburn, fatigue, weight gain, diarrhea, constipation, sexual difficulties, difficult urination, heavy menstrual periods, dry vagina and reduced salivation.

Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

Risperdal may interact with other medications, but most of the potential interactions have not yet been carefully studied.

Alcohol should be avoided by patients taking this drug.

Blood pressure medicines may increase the trouble with feeling faint upon standing up (orthostatic hypotension).

Risperdal may counteract the benefits of the Parkinson's disease drug levodopa.

The antiseizure drug Tegretol may speed removal of Risperdal from the body, possibly reducing its concentration below the desired level.

The antischizophrenic medicine Clozaril can reduce the body's ability to eliminate Risperdal and may lead to increased blood levels.

Many medications processed by the same liver enzyme as Risperdal have a potential for interaction, but the medicine is still so new that there are few if any reports as of this writing.

Check with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure Risperdal is safe in combination with any other drugs you take.

Special Precautions

Because Risperdal is metabolized through the liver and kidneys, people with kidney disease or liver problems need to have their dose of Risperdal adjusted carefully.

Older people, who often have reduced kidney or liver function, may also require lower doses.

Since Risperdal, like other drugs that affect the nervous system, might slow reflexes or impair judgment, people taking it should be advised not to drive or operate dangerous equipment unless they can determine that they are unimpaired.

Antipsychotic drugs may in some cases trigger a life-threatening reaction in which body temperature rises, muscles become rigid, heart rhythm and blood pressure changes and the person loses consciousness. This is a medical emergency, and a person on any schizophrenia medicine who develops some of these symptoms should be treated immediately.

Long-term use of conventional antipsychotic drugs can lead to the development of involuntary repetitive movements such as jerks, tics, twitches, chewing or tongue-thrusting. Called tardive dyskinesia, this side effect is among the most unpleasant drawbacks of chronic treatment for schizophrenia.

It is hoped that holding Risperdal doses to 6 mg daily or less will reduce the risk of tardive dyskinesia. Because the drug is so new, however, long-term experience with it is limited.

Taking the Medicine

Risperdal should be taken twice a day and may be taken with or without meals.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I have been taking risperidone for many years and the amount of side effects I have suffered has been overwhelming. I am in my50’s.

My newest problem started when I started a cardio program. My right leg tendons and or muscles are causing me problems to the point of having to limp when I walk. It seems impossible to work out on this medication. It’s frustrating having to live with the weight gain and at the same time not being able to work out. I’ve gained an excessive amount of weight.

The amount of problems one suffers on this type of medication is disturbing.

My wife was prescribed Risperdal about 15 years ago. Her hands started curling up, and eventually have become unusable for feeding or toileting.
It was explained as hyperextension of tendons. This started within a few weeks of Risperdal. I have not found a report linking Risperdal with the hyperextension of tendons. The closest explanation we have had is from a Rheumatologist who said that Risperdal might have been the last straw for someone predisposed to hyperextension. Has anyone out there had similar experiences? Thanks.

Years ago, a doctor told me that Risperadol can greatly lower calcium. My young son had to take over 1500 mg. of calcium to keep from having calcium deficiency symptoms.

Category two experiments could be allowed but “would require strong scientific justification”. The report suggested this would include adding genes to non-human primates and significant changes to an animal to make it “more human-like”.

I’m current user of this, I’m on it for anxiety. It been hell with no escape, nothing but one problem after another. Yet it reduces my anxiety tiny bit I have to take 0.25 mg 3x a day.
this what I experienced:
brain/Mental symptoms :
– anxiety
-suicidal thoughts
-increase fear
-night mares
– violent visions
-feeling lost
-trouble speaking
-lost of thought
-lost of memory
-increase heart rate
-increase appetite
-stomach pains
-few times I got noose bleeds
-body aches
-flu like symptoms

The symptoms you listed were they from the dispersions, or did you have those before taking it

When I took Risperidone, I had swelling in the eyelids initially. After being on it for some time, I had numbness in my hands and arms. I was always in a daze. My liver enzymes were up, but not a lot I am told. I has swelling in my right leg and doctor put me on all kinds of tests before telling me I was just fat.
First he said I had low Iron (maybe ferritin?) and gave me an iron shot I did not have shortness of breath or feel any difference after the iron shots. I knew he would give me another blood test in a month so I discontinued the risperidone. Next blood test my liver enzymes were in the normal range. All this drug did was keep my family happy and I was emotionless. I hated it.

I know exactly what you mean.


I have time looking for somebody that had numbness in arms and hands. But when you mentioned “ferritin”, I immediately thought that you might have something like I do.
Please tell me how old are you and why was this risperidone prescribed to you? Are you a woman or a man?
In my case it was prescribed 0,5mg daily (10 drops oral solution) but WHILE lactation.

Lactation does some particular changes in the body of a woman. There is NO WARNING for a woman in lactation, instead it’s been promoted in the web to be risk zero for the baby. Lactation it’s a process of two persons: MOTHER and baby.

The warning says about not to be taken while lactation because the risks over the BABY have not been established yet. We have found that my damages have stayed on time. And we have the presumption that my damages were done by risperidone’s effects over calcium metabolism.

Do you still have numbness in your hands and arms? Please answer it to me, ASAP.

I’m waiting for you answer

I have been taking risperidone for about 7 years now but the muscle stiffness is beyond anything that I have experienced before. When I get out of the chair I look like an 80 year old. First thing in the morning is worse. I don’t want to come off it though because it is the first anti-psychotic I’ve taken that doesn’t send me to sleep. What can I do? As a person with bi-polar I wish there were more options for me.

Please note as to previous comment just made. I also like to drink 1 cup of coffee a day to pick me up. I’ve also heard its a diuretic from your website.

I got off of Olanzapine after maybe 8 years because at first it helped but then I seemed to want to argue at the things I saw on tv every day (also was causing higher blood pressure than my normal range which can cause bad kidneys I read later). So doctor said to try Risperidone which we worked up to 2 mg per day (note blood pressure dropped) I got muscle cramps after taking Gatorade one day (which it never did before, possible also that kidneys are not clearing potassium or something) and it stayed for a while then I had some blood tests done that showed that Kidneys were not working well.
I stopped medication and muscle cramps seemed to go away gradually. Recently I felt I read some bad news and decided I wasn’t feeling calm so I took my risperidone 2 mg and it gave me my relaxed breathing (good) and I woke up with dry mouth, stood up and felting like fainting a bit but was okay. I am going back for tests to see if my lab tests are better but I’m being carefully about taking anymore of this medicine due to developing problems. I probably will have to try some other medicine though I thought I liked this one until muscle cramps and bad kidney results. It may have helped some things by taking a short period of time but have no idea what to try next because I could get a little anxiety and would like something to relax with.
I may try dose at 1 mg or less but feel I might be in danger of my kidneys getting worse and have to definitely switch to something else. Will be checking with the VA what to do.

I have been on different anti-psychotics, antidepressants and even benzo’s for almost 14 years of my life. My last anti psychotic was seroquel which I took for more than 5 years.
I have successfully weaned off all of them through tremendous effort for 1 year. Now I suffer from some kind of muscle cramping disorder I cannot understand. Most of the times my stomach muscles would contract and my pyloric sphincter would not relax so that food does not go down my intestines. It was a bad experience for me…. There are even times that my back or even my head or back of my head would have this crampy sensation.
Research, research research, that’s the only key for me now because I don’t think I can get help from doctor’s at this place and time for that’s their system. They would prescribe me domperidone or a dopamine antagonist or ganaton with anticholinergic effects. I just can’t take another mind or mood altering drug anymore for it is rejected by my system.
I have done acupuncture and it helped me soften it from time to time and also I take a b-complex vitamin, vitamin C, b12, some magnesium and zinc. I also drink ginger for this. These all helped me to become okay with these strange symptoms.


Have you checked up your calcium metabolism. It was prescribed to me 0,5mg risperidone oral solution while lactation, and this drug damaged me badly.We found lately, that it damages calcium metabolism.Do all the blood and urine tests that are related with Calcium Metabolism disorders.
In my case, the normal blood calcium test result has a normal value. The problem seems to be in urine and in the -IONIZED-calcium (Ca++).
I also have had this pain that you describe.
I have a pituitary gland tumor, induced by risperidone, do you also?

Years ago, I tried risperdol and after that seroquel and now have a permanent movement disorder. I have been successfully taking 10 mg. of abilify daily for about 10 years and it works for my mood swings and depression (I am Bi-Polar II with psychotic features and have PTSD and ADD). Now I have read that muscle cramping does sometimes accompany diabetes II. But if you are taking a medication for hypertension and along with it a diuretic medication, you may be suffering from a potassium deficiency and that would account for the muscle cramping!?
That is also a life threatening situation that needs to be addressed by your doctor immediately! Muscle spasms are caused usually by a deficiency of calcium, potassium, or magnesium. Good luck!

I was on fluphenazine for less than a year, then risperdal and seroquel off and on for ten years for anxiety and pms problems. I was also on up to 6400mg a day of Neurontin (more than the FDA maximum recommendations). The doctors did not recognize my symptoms as drug-induced and kept prescribing me more medications to treat the adverse reactions, along with labeling me as a psychiatric case and neuro-lyme disease.
I now know those diagnoses were a bunch of baloney, but I’m left with horrible physical problems. I have major problems with excessive facial hair (I’m female), weight control, and terrible muscle cramping with dystonia-like pain. All the muscles on my right side, especially the paraspinal muscle are extremely tight causing terrible continual pain. I have stopped all the drugs for almost a year now, but am not improving anymore. However, my cognitive functions have improved tremendously. What can I do to help alleviate the extreme muscle cramping and spasticity?
It is so painful it interferes with everything I do. My nervous system seems extremely compromised and I’m experiencing allergies to most foods, medications, chemicals, etc. BTW, the risperdal also made me lactate, and slump over to my right side and shift my weight back and forth between my feet. All of those drugs made me feel paranoid and very agitated and enraged. I now know I was on too many medications, but I believe that any one of them alone is dangerous, too. It scares me to know that so many people are taking these medications. I now have diabetes, too, and recently had a nerve biopsy show significantly low small nerve fiber density.
What can I do to help with the muscle cramping or other problems?

There are plenty of articles on the side effects. Weight gain and increased appetite are significant problems for ladies, that have never been over-weight. Has there been any studies or testimonies of how others have beat the weight gain and fatigue symptoms? Ones’ ego is affected here. Combined with the other visible side effect of acne, some young people find themselves with two or three conditions that they have never had.
Any input from the drug companies? What is the exit strategy from being weened off this drug too?

I took 400mg of risperdal to treat anxiety and PTSD. I rapidly gained 60 lbs and began lactating. I did find that it did help me to focus and did reduce my anxiety but due to the side effects, I had to discontinue it.

My father, 86, is on 0,25mg daily to treat anxiety induced outbursts resulting from mild Alzheimer’s. As a result of this drug, his ability to talk has been greatly impaired. Also, his sense of smell has all but disappeared. Alternative medication is now being evaluated.

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