Risperdal and/or Equivalent Risperidone Prescription Information
Risperdal contains the active ingredient Risperidone, which is a second generation Atypical Antipsychotic class drug. Acting on chemical imbalances in the brain, Risperdal is generally prescribed for the treatment of Schizophrenia.
Risperdal, chemically called risperidone, is a member of a family of drugs known as second generation atypical antipsychotics. Its main uses are for the treatment of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autism.
Risperidone is available in the tablet form, an oral solution and an injection form called Risperdal Consta that is administered every two weeks, each in a variety of dosages. The drug acts on the neurotransmitter called dopamine, and works by blocking the receptors that dopamine acts upon, thus controlling hostility and aggression.
Risperdal is an atypical Antipsychotic drug which is indicated for the treatment of various conditions as follows:
Schizophrenia patients ages 13 and over.
Autism associated irritability in children and adolescents ages 5-16 years.
For acute manic or mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder, Risperdal may be used as a short term monotherapy or combination therapy with lithium or valproic acid in adults. Risperdal should only be used as monotherapy in children and adolescents 10-17 years old.
Risperdal is used for off-label indications like Anxiety Disorders, Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Drug Resistant Depression with or without psychotic characteristics, Disruptive Behavior in children, and Eating Disorders.
Small clinical studies have shown that Risperdal is effective in the treatment of Phencyclidine (PCP) psychosis symptoms due to acute intoxication and chronic use.
Dose, Administration and Dosage forms:
Risperdal is available in orally administrable tablets in 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1mg, 2mg, 3mg, and 4 mg strengths, while orally disintegrating tablets (sold under the trade name Risperdal M-TAB) are available in 0.5mg, 1mg, 2mg, 3mg, and 4 mg strengths. An oral solution is available in 1 mg/ml strength. Risperdal is also available in a powder form for injection, whose starting dose is 2 mg daily for adults, titratable to 4-8mg daily based on results of initial doses. For children, starting dosage is 0.5 mg once daily, titratable to 2.5 mg daily. Risperdal can be administered with or without food and should be stored at 15-25 C.
Mechanism of action:
Risperidone, an active ingredient of Risperdal, contains the functional groups of benzisoxazole and piperidine in its molecular structure. As with other anti-schizophrenic drugs, the mechanism of action for Risperdal is unknown; however, it has been projected that it acts via a combined antagonism of dopaminergic type 2 (D2) and serotonergic type 2 (5HT2) receptors. Reports also indicate that risperidone acts on ?1 and ?2 adrenergic, and H1 histaminergic receptors. Compared to other atypical anti-psychotic drugs, Risperdal has a higher affinity towards D2 receptors. By blocking these receptors, Risperdal controls the communication between abnormal neurotransmitters and brain nerves, thus providing relief from psychotic symptoms.
Side-effects and safety profile:
Risperdal produces a lesser degree of extrapyramidal (movement) side-effects and constipation as compared with typical antipsychotic drugs.
There are some non-serious side-effects reported with Risperdal which include headaches, nausea, vomiting, constipation, tiredness, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, altered appetite, abdominal pain, anxiety, sore throat, cough, nasal stuffiness, etc.
Moderately-severe to severe side-effects reported with Risperdal usage include: weight gain, akathisia, sleep problems like sedation and insomnia, tremors, dysphoria, sexual dysfunction like painful and prolonged penis erection, gynaecomastia, and irregular menstruation, low and high BP, muscle stiffness, myalgia, increased salivation, hypogonadism-induced osteoporosis, galactorrhoea, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), tardive dyskinesia (TD), fever and flu-like symptoms, confused mental states, irregular heartbeat, uncontrolled shaking, seizure, nosebleeds, trouble swallowing, etc.
Various skin related side-effects include: photosensitivity, rashes, acne vulgaris, skin dryness, hair loss, and hyper pigmentation.
It has been reported that Risperdal increases the risk of fetal stroke and heart attack in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Patients must discuss their history and present health condition concerning issues related to diabetes, hepatic disease, renal disease, cardiac disease, high cholesterol/triglycerides, heart attack, stroke, suicidal ideation, breast cancer, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease.
Risperdal may cause hyperglycemia, so patients taking Risperdal must test blood sugar levels regularly.
Risperdal should not be prescribed for pregnant women.
Risperidone excretes via breast milk and can harm nursing baby; therefore, it must not be prescribed to nursing women.
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