Schizophrenia Home > How Does Risperdal Work?

Risperdal® (risperidone) is a prescription medication approved for treating schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and behavior problems associated with autism. Many people may wonder, "How does it work?"
Risperdal belongs to a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely known how the drug works for the treatment of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However, it is known to block or lessen the effects of several chemicals in the brain. These chemicals (such as dopamine and serotonin) may be elevated in people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression), or autism.
However, Risperdal is not a cure for these conditions -- it only helps to control the symptoms (see Symptoms of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder Symptoms, or Autism Symptoms).
(Click Risperdal for more information on how the drug works, to learn about the specific effects of Risperdal, and to find out when and how to take this drug.)
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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