Active Ingredients

Risperidone – Effect, Application & Risks


An atypical neuroleptic is called risperidone . It is used to treat bipolar disorders and schizophrenia .

What is risperidone?

Risperidone is also called Risperidonum in medicine . It is an atypical neuroleptic with a strong neuroleptic potency. As an atypical neuroleptic, risperidone is associated with fewer undesirable side effects on the extrapyramidal motor system . However, previous studies have yielded different results.

The development of risperidone took place between 1988 and 1992 by the German pharmaceutical company Janssen-Cilag, which belongs to the American concern Johnson & Johnson. The neuroleptic was approved in the United States in 1994. After patent protection expired in 2004, risperidone was used as a generic drug .

Pharmacological action

Physicians attribute psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions to an increase in the concentration of the neurotransmitter dopamine within the brain . However, the dopamine docking sites can be blocked by antipsychotic drugs, which inhibits the effect of the messenger substance.

However, the first neuroleptics of this type, such as haloperidol or chlorpromazine , had the disadvantage of typical side effects, the symptoms of which were similar to those of Parkinson’s disease . The reason for this was the death of nerve cells that released dopamine, which in turn caused a lack of dopamine in the midbrain . The consequences of this were complaints such as slower movements, muscle tremors , muscle rigidity and even immobility.

The advantage of risperidone is that these side effects do not occur when it is used, or they only show up to a small extent.

The beneficial effects of risperidone come from blocking the dopamine receptors in the brain. In this way, hallucinations and delusions can be reduced. Furthermore, risperidone also occupies the binding sites of the neurotransmitters adrenaline , noradrenaline and serotonin . This has a positive effect on the patient’s self-control. This way they behave less aggressively and can concentrate better. Even severe depression can be counteracted with risperidone.

The effectiveness of risperidone is considered to be fifty times greater than that of chlorpromazine. After taking it, the neuroleptic gets completely into the blood via the intestine . The maximum concentration is reached there after two hours. Metabolism to hydroxyrisperidone takes place in the liver , the effectiveness of which is equally strong. About 50 percent of both risperidone and its antipsychotic breakdown products are eliminated from the body via the urine after 24 hours .

Medical Application & Use

Risperidone is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Psychoses are primarily treated in which the patient suffers from a pronounced misjudgment of reality, hallucinations or delusions. This can be the case with pathological mania or chronic schizophrenia. Another indication for risperidone is psychoses associated with dementia .

Risperidone has the property of reducing the patient’s aggressive behavior towards himself or towards other people. In addition, the neuroleptic is used to support social-psychiatric treatment of neglected people with pronounced behavioral problems. In the case of mentally underdeveloped children and adolescents, short-term therapy can take place, which lasts a maximum of six weeks. In aggressive dementia patients, long-term treatment is considered counterproductive. Studies have shown that those affected have a higher mortality rate.

Risperidone is taken in pill form once or twice a day. Food intake has no influence on the administration of the drug. The therapy always starts with a low dose and then gradually increases until the desired effect occurs.

Other dosage forms of risperidone are orodispersible tablets and injections for patients with swallowing difficulties . A nasogastric tube is also available for taking the neuroleptic. Because aggressive patients sometimes resist taking the preparation, they often use a specially developed risperidone depot syringe. This remedy is injected once every two weeks. Thereafter, risperidone is released continuously.

Risks & side effects

The most common unwanted side effects of risperidone include Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms. This is the case in about every tenth patient. Other common side effects include headaches , insomnia , and drowsiness . In addition, there is tachycardia , weight gain , dizziness , listlessness , twilight sleep, tremors , breathing problems , coughing , nosebleeds , pain in the throat and larynx , constipation ,Diarrhea , abdominal pain , nausea , vomiting , back pain , body aches , fever , respiratory infections , skin rashes , edema or anxiety are possible side effects.

Parkinson’s patients and young people are often at risk of neuroleptic malignant syndrome , which is associated with high fever, muscle rigidity , circulatory collapse and impaired consciousness . In such cases, risperidone therapy should be stopped immediately.

If the patient is hypersensitive to risperidone, the drug must not be administered. The same applies to an increased concentration of the hormone prolactin without the influence of medication. Thorough consideration by the doctor before administering risperidone is necessary in the case of kidney function disorders , Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy , cardiac arrhythmias , liver function impairments , low blood pressure , tumors and dementia.

The use of risperidone during pregnancy and lactation is not recommended. The safety of the active ingredient could not be proven for either the mother or the child.

Interactions due to the simultaneous administration of risperidone and other drugs are also conceivable. For example, the effect of tetracyclic or tricyclic antidepressants or beta blockers is increased . If risperidone and dopamine receptor agonists are taken at the same time to treat Parkinson’s disease, this leads to a weakening of the agonist effect.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.