Risperdal® (risperidone) is a prescription medicine commonly used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can also be used to treat behavior problems associated with autism.
Clinical studies have shown Risperdal to be effective for improving symptoms of schizophrenia (including hallucinations and suspiciousness) and preventing the symptoms from returning. The medication is also effective at treating episodes of mania or mixed episodes (which involve symptoms of both mania and depression). Risperdal is also effective at treating the emotional symptoms of autism.
Despite what some people may think, the medicine is not an antidepressant. Risperdal belongs to a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely known Risperdal works for the treatment of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but 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, or autism.
(Click Risperdal for information on when and how to take Risperdal, to learn about the potential side effects of this drug, and to find out what you should discuss with your healthcare provider before starting treatment.)