Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Risperidone Use

Risperdal Tablets

Risperdal Tablets

Risperidone is a drug that is used primarily in the treatment of schizophrenia. It is classified as an antipsychotic. It can also be used to treat bipolar disorder and behavioral problems (i.e. meltdowns, aggression, and self-injury) in autistic patients. The brand name is Risperdal.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by an inability to distinguish reality from unreality, the inability to think clearly, and inability to experience normal emotions or to interact normally in social situations. It is common for schizophrenics to experience hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thoughts and speech.

Schizophrenia therapy includes many different ways to approach the disease.  The main treatment for schizophrenia is medication. Usually, however, medication is combined with schizophrenia therapy and social support. Medication like risperidone is effective in controlling the psychosis of the disease.

Risperidone can often cause serious side effects, including Parkinson’s like symptoms including  fine, worm-like movements of the tongue, or other uncontrolled movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, jaw, or arms and legs. Risperidone use also often ends up causing weight gain and metabolic problems.

One of the serious side effects of risperidone use is known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome. This is a life threating neurological disorder which can cause muscle stiffness, fever, severe tiredness or weakness, fast heartbeat, difficult breathing, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, or seizures.

Though risperidone use has a low abuse potential, and it is not a narcotic, the body can become dependent on it. Experts recommend gradually decreasing the dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Risperidone use affects dopamine, serotonin, adrenergic and histamine receptor sites in the central nervous system. The main effect of risperidone is to decrease the action of dopamine epinephrine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. Over time, these receptor sites adapt to risperidone use, and they stop producing the same levels of hormones. Therefore, when someone discontinues the drug abruptly, they have withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include sleeplessness for several days, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, diaphoresis, dyskinesia, orthostatic hypotension (light headedness), tachycardia, nervousness, dizziness, headache, excessive non-stop crying, and anxiety. There are online support groups available for people who are suffering from withdrawal from antipsychotics like risperidone. People stopping risperidone should always do so under the care of a physician.

Risperidone use is in the testing phase to possibly be used in the treatment of crystal methamphetamine addiction. Early studies show that it has some effectiveness in reducing the cravings of crystal meth addicts. It has also been shown to be effective in treating drug-induced psychosis caused by methamphetamines or cocaine.

In April 2012, the manufacturers of risperidone were sued for downplaying the risks associated with risperidone use and for marketing use of the drug for off-label uses like anger management and anxiety. The manufacturer agreed to pay $181 million to settle the lawsuits.