What Is Risperidone And Which Are The Risperidone Side Effects

risperidone side effectsWhat Is Risperidone

Risperidone is an atypical antipsychotic drug, used especially to manage schizophrenia, manic-depressive disorder, and autism. It’s also prescribed off-label to patients with various other behavioral or psychotic disorders like Tourette syndrome, eating disorders, depression, anxiety.

Risperidone is approved for young patients between 10-17 years of age, for treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, but it’s also used for children with disruptive behavior.

Although risperidone is a drug recommended for patients with autism, it does not diminish their obsessive behavior, and it does not improve their social skills or their conversational ability. Risperidone was approved for autistic people with severe aggressive outbursts and explosive behavior, however it’s not recommended for autistic patients that feature only a mild aggressive behavior, without an enduring pattern.

Risperidone Side Effects

Like the majority of antipsychotic drugs, risperidone comes with quite a range of side effects. Some of the risperidone side effects of mild nature are: insomnia, restlessness (akathisia), muscle cramps and stiffness, tremors, stuffy nose or sinusitis. Patients under medication with this antipsychotic can also experience the following gastrointestinal problems: hypersalivation, stomach pain, constipation, or various eating disorders (in case of higher dosage).

Some of the risperidone side effects influence the skin. Dry skin, seborrhea and implicitly acne, or even alopecia are adverse effects that have been reported on patients under medication with this antipsychotic drug. In cases of high dosage, skin hyperpigmentation can be one of the side effects that may occur. Risperidone also causes photosensitivity, therefore prolonged exposure to sun light is not recommended.

Due to the fact that risperidone elevates the prolactin level, galactorrhea (spontaneous flow of milk from the breast) and gynaecomastia (development of male breasts) may occur.

Among the most severe risperidon side effects are: heart palpitations, arrythmia and bradycardia, which may lead to heart attack. Also, risperidone may influence the blood pressure, inducing high blood pressure or low blood pressure, which may have serious consequences in patients with heart problems.

Since this drug can cause an increased level of prolactin, this can lead to hypogonadism-induced osteoporosis. Bone tissue loss, especially in elderly patients makes them susceptible to fractures.

Lastly, one of the most dangerous conditions that patients of chronic use of risperidone are exposed to, is neuroleptic malignant syndrome. This is a neurological disorder of life-threatening nature, usually triggered by an adverse reaction to antipsychotig drugs, consisting in delirium, fever, muscle rigidity and autonomic instability.

Risperidone Withdrawal Effects

One of the main and irreversible withdrawal effects of risperidone is tardive dyskinesia, an involuntary movement disorder.

Some of the other withdrawal effects are: headaches, postural hypotension (head rush), restlessness, excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, dizziness, anxiety and excessive or non-stop crying. If the patient has experienced insomnia before the treatment with risperidone, condition that was diminished by the drug, one of the withdrawal effects of the drug can be rebound (long-lasting, persistent) insomnia.

One of the dangerous conditions induced by the withdrawal of this drug is tachycardia (accelerated heart rate) which can have dangerous repercussions on patients with heart problems.

Lastly, the withdrawal effects of risperidone may induce schizomimetic symptoms and acute psychosis.

Leave a Comment