A healthcare provider may prescribe Risperdal® (risperidone) to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and irritability associated with autism. Risperdal is an oral medication, and is part of a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It works by blocking or lessening the effects of several chemicals in the brain. These brain chemicals (such as dopamine and serotonin) may be elevated in people with schizophrenia, autism, or bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression).
The drug comes in several forms and is typically taken once or twice a day. Oral Risperdal products are available in the form of tablets, a liquid, and orally disintegrating tablets that dissolve rapidly in the mouth (Risperdal M-Tabs®). There is also a long-acting injectable form (Risperdal Consta®) available.
Although most people tolerate this medication well, Risperdal is not suitable for everyone. Possible side effects include drowsiness, insomnia, and anxiety.
(Click Risperdal for more information on how oral Risperdal medications and injections can be beneficial in treating schizophrenia, autism, or bipolar disorder. This article also discusses general dosing guidelines, safety precautions, and tips on effectively using this medication.)