Healthcare providers often prescribe Risperdal® (risperidone) for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Risperdal can also be used to treat the emotional symptoms of autism, including irritability, aggression, and temper tantrums. The medication is thought to work by blocking or lessening the effects of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, chemicals that may be elevated in people with these conditions.
Risperdal is sold in the form of a tablet and is usually taken once or twice daily. For people who have difficulty swallowing tablets, the medication is also available as a liquid, an orally disintegrating tablet, and a long-acting injection. Drowsiness, agitation, and anxiety are some of the most commonly reported side effects of this product.