1. Risperidone oral tablet is available as both a generic and brand-name drug. Brand name: Risperdal.
  2. Risperidone comes as a regular tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet, and an oral solution. It also comes as an injection that’s given by a healthcare provider.
  3. Risperidone oral tablet is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, and irritability associated with autistic disorder.

Risperidone is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet, and an oral solution. It also comes as an injection that’s only given by a healthcare provider.

Risperidone oral tablet is available as the brand-name drug Risperdal. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, the brand-name drug and the generic version may be available in different forms and strengths.

Why it’s used

Risperidone is used to treat the symptoms of several psychiatric conditions. These include:

  • Schizophrenia. This is a mental illness that causes changes in thinking or perception. People with this condition may hallucinate (see or hear things that aren’t there) or have delusions (false beliefs about reality).
  • Acute manic or mixed episodes caused by bipolar I disorder. This drug may be given alone or with the drugs lithium or divalproex. People with bipolar disorder have intense mood episodes. These may include mania (an overly joyful or excited state), depression, or a mixture of both.
  • Irritability associated with autism. Autism affects how a person acts, interacts with others, learns, and communicates. Symptoms of irritability may include aggression towards others, harming yourself, temper tantrums, and mood swings.

Risperidone may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

How it works

Risperidone belongs to a class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Risperidone works by affecting the amount of certain chemicals called neurotransmitters that occur naturally in your brain. It’s thought that people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism have an imbalance of certain neurotransmitters. This drug may improve this imbalance.

Risperidone oral tablet may cause drowsiness. It may also cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of risperidone can include:

  • parkinsonism (trouble moving)
  • akathisia (restlessness and urge to move)
  • dystonia (muscle contractions that cause twisting and repetitive movements that you can’t control)
  • tremors (uncontrollable rhythmic movement in one part of your body)
  • sleepiness and fatigue
  • dizziness
  • anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • abdominal pain or discomfort
  • drooling
  • dry mouth
  • increased appetite or weight gain
  • rash
  • stuffy nose, upper respiratory tract infections, and inflammation of your nose and throat

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Death from infection and stroke in seniors with dementia
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Symptoms can include:
    • high fever (above 100.4°F, or 38°C)
    • heavy sweating
    • stiff muscles
    • confusion
    • changes in your breathing, heart rhythm, and blood pressure
    • kidney failure, with symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy, or urinating less than normal or not at all
  • Tardive dyskinesia. Symptoms can include:
    • movements in your face, tongue, or other body parts that you can’t control
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Symptoms can include:
    • feeling very thirsty
    • needing to urinate more often than normal
    • feeling very hungry
    • weakness or tiredness
    • nausea
    • confusion
    • fruity-smelling breath
  • High cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • High blood prolactin levels. Symptoms can include:
    • breast enlargement
    • milky discharge from your nipple
    • erectile dysfunction (trouble getting or keeping an erection)
    • loss of your menstrual period
  • Orthostatic hypotension (a decrease in blood pressure when you stand up from a sitting or lying position). Symptoms can include:
    • lightheadedness
    • fainting
    • dizziness
  • Low white blood cell count. Symptoms can include:
    • fever
    • infection
  • Trouble thinking, and impaired judgment and motor skills
  • Seizures
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Priapism (painful erection lasting more than four hours)

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Risperidone oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with risperidone are listed below.

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects

Taking risperidone with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from risperidone. This is because the amount of risperidone in your body is increased, or both medications may cause the same side effects. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Anxiety drugs, such as alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam, chlordiazepoxide, and lorazepam. You may have more sedation and drowsiness.
  • Muscle relaxants, such as baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol, tizanidine, carisoprodol, and metaxalone. You may have more sedation and drowsiness.
  • Pain drugs, such as morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, hydrocodone, tramadol, and codeine. You may have more sedation and drowsiness.
  • Antihistamines, such as hydroxyzine, diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, and brompheniramine. You may have more sedation and drowsiness.
  • Sedative/hypnotics, such as zolpidem, temazepam, zaleplon, and eszopiclone. You may have more sedation and drowsiness.
  • Fluoxetine. You may have increased risk of QT interval prolongation, irregular heart rhythm, and other side effects of risperidone. Your doctor may decrease your risperidone dose.
  • Paroxetine. You may have increased risk of QT interval prolongation, irregular heart rhythm, and other side effects of risperidone. Your doctor may decrease your risperidone dose.
  • Clozapine. You may have parkinsonism (trouble moving), sleepiness, anxiety, blurred vision, and other side effects of risperidone. Your doctor will monitor you closely for side effects and toxicity.
  • Blood pressure drugs, such as amlodipine, lisinopril, losartan, or metoprolol. You may have low blood pressure.
  • Parkinson’s disease drugs, such as levodopa, pramipexole, or ropinirole. You may have more Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

Interactions that can make your drugs less effective

When risperidone is used with certain drugs, it may not work as well to treat your condition. This is because the amount of risperidone in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Phenytoin. Your doctor may increase your risperidone dose.
  • Carbamazepine. Your doctor may increase your risperidone dose.
  • Rifampin. Your doctor may increase your risperidone dose.
  • Phenobarbital. Your doctor may increase your risperidone dose.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

This dosage information is for risperidone oral tablet. All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Forms and strengths

Generic: Risperidone

  • Form: orally disintegrating tablet
  • Strengths: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg
    • Form: oral tablet
    • Strengths: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg

Brand: Risperdal M-TAB

  • Form: orally disintegrating tablet
  • Strengths: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg

Brand: Risperdal

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg

Dosage for schizophrenia

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 2 mg per day taken once or in two divided doses.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may slowly increase your dosage once every 24 hours or longer. They may increase it by 1–2 mg per day to a dosage of 4–16 mg per day. Your doctor will change your dosage based on your body’s response to the drug.
  • Maximum dosage: 16 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 13–17 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 0.5 mg per day taken in the morning or evening.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may slowly increase your dosage once every 24 hours or longer. They may increase it by 0.5–1 mg per day, up to 6 mg per day. Your doctor will change your dosage based on your body’s response to the drug.
  • Maximum dosage: 6 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–12 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children younger than 13 years. It shouldn’t be used in this age group.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your doctor may give you a lower starting dosage of 0.5 mg taken twice per day. They may increase your dosage more slowly to reduce your risk of side effects.

Dosage for acute manic or mixed bipolar I disorder episodes

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 2–3 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may slowly increase your dosage once every 24 hours or longer. They may increase it by 1 mg per day to a dosage of 1–6 mg per day. Your doctor will change your dosage based on your body’s response to the drug.
  • Maximum dosage: 6 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 10–17 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 0.5 mg per day taken in the morning or evening.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may slowly increase your dosage once every 24 hours or longer. They may increase it by 0.5–1 mg per day, up to 6 mg per day. Your doctor will change your dosage based on your body’s response to the drug.
  • Maximum dosage: 6 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–9 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children younger than 10 years. It shouldn’t be used in this age group.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your doctor may give you a lower starting dosage of 0.5 mg taken twice per day. They may increase your dosage more slowly to reduce your risk of side effects.

Dosage for irritability with autistic disorder

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in adults. It shouldn’t be used in this age group.

Child dosage (ages 5–17 years)

  • Typical starting dosage:
    • For children weighing less than 44 lbs. (20 kg): Your doctor will start your child at 0.25 mg taken once per day. Or your doctor may have your child take half of the total daily dosage twice per day.
    • For children weighing 44 lbs. (20 kg) or more: Your doctor will start your child at 0.5 mg taken once per day. Or your doctor may have your child take half of the total daily dosage twice per day.
  • Dosage increases:
    • For children weighing less than 44 lbs. (20 kg): After a minimum of 4 days, your doctor may increase your child’s dosage to 0.5 mg per day. If your child doesn’t respond to this drug after 14 days, your doctor may increase the dosage every 2 weeks or more. They may increase it by 0.25 mg per day.
    • For children weighing 44 lbs. (20 kg) or more: After a minimum of 4 days, your doctor may increase your child’s dosage to 1 mg per day. If your child’s body doesn’t respond to this drug after 14 days, your doctor may increase the dosage every 2 weeks or more. They may increase it by 0.5 mg per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 3 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–4 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children younger than 5 years. It shouldn’t be used in this age group.

Special dosage considerations

For people with kidney disease: If you have severe kidney disease, your starting dosage should be 0.5 mg taken twice per day. Your doctor may increase your dosage by 0.5 mg or less, taken twice per day. If you’re taking a dosage greater than 1.5 mg twice per day, your doctor may increase your dosage once every week or longer.

For people with liver disease: If you have severe liver disease, your starting dosage should be 0.5 mg taken twice per day. Your doctor may increase your dosage by 0.5 mg or less, taken twice per day. If you’re taking a dosage greater than 1.5 mg twice per day, your doctor may increase your dosage once every week or longer.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

FDA warning: Increased risk of death in seniors with dementia

  • This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
  • This drug may increase the risk of death in seniors who have dementia (a brain disorder that causes memory loss). This drug isn’t approved to treat psychosis in seniors with dementia. Psychosis is a condition where a person loses contact with reality and may hallucinate (see or hear things that aren’t there) or have delusions (false beliefs about reality).

Other warnings

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) warning

NMS is a rare but serious condition that can happen in people who take antipsychotic drugs, including risperidone. This condition can be fatal and must be treated in a hospital. Symptoms can include:

  • high fever
  • heavy sweating
  • stiff muscles
  • confusion
  • kidney failure
  • changes in your breathing, heart rhythm, and blood pressure

Increased risk of stroke or heart attack

Risperidone can cause metabolic changes that might increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. You and your doctor should watch your blood sugar, symptoms of diabetes (weakness or increased urination, thirst, or hunger), weight, and cholesterol levels.

Tardive dyskinesia warning

This drug may cause tardive dyskinesia. This is a serious condition that causes you to have movements in your face, tongue, or other body parts that you can’t control. This condition may not go away even if you stop taking this drug.

Allergy warning

Risperidone can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or to paliperidone. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Alcohol interaction warning

Consuming alcoholic drinks while taking risperidone can increase your risk of drowsiness from risperidone. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor about whether risperidone is safe for you.

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with diabetes: This drug may increase your blood sugar levels. This may make your diabetes worse. Very high blood sugar may lead to coma or death. If you have diabetes or risk factors of diabetes (such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes), your doctor should check your blood sugar levels before and during treatment with this drug.

For people with high cholesterol: This drug may increase your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This may raise your risk for heart attack and stroke. High cholesterol may not cause any symptoms. Your doctor may check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels during treatment with this drug.

For people with low blood pressure: This drug may further lower your blood pressure. This may make your condition worse. Your doctor should monitor your blood pressure while you take this drug.

For people with a low white blood cell count: This drug may further decrease your white blood cell count. Your doctor should monitor your white blood cell count often during the first few months of treatment with this drug.

For people with seizures: This drug may cause seizures. It may also affect seizure control in people with epilepsy. Your doctor should monitor you for seizures while you’re taking this drug.

For people with hyperprolactinemia (high prolactin levels): This drug may increase your prolactin levels. This can make your condition worse. Your doctor should monitor your blood prolactin levels before starting and during treatment with this drug.

For people with heart problems: This drug may decrease your blood pressure. If you have heart problems, ask your doctor whether this drug is safe for you. These include a history of heart attack, angina (chest pain), coronary artery disease, heart failure, or heart rhythm problems. Risperidone may make these conditions worse.

For people with kidney problems: If you have moderate to severe kidney disease, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body well. This may cause risperidone to build up in your body. This can lead to more side effects. Your doctor may reduce your dose if you have kidney disease.

For people with liver problems: If you have liver problems, you may not be able to process this drug well. This may cause risperidone to build up in your body. This can lead to more side effects. Your doctor may reduce your dose if you have liver disease.

For people with Parkinson’s disease or Lewy body dementia: You may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug. This means you may experience more side effects. These can include confusion, lethargy, frequent falls, trouble moving, restlessness and urge to move, and uncontrollable muscle contractions. They can also include high fever, heavy sweating, stiff muscles, and changes in your breathing, heart rhythm, and blood pressure.

For people with phenylketonuria (PKU): Risperidone orally disintegrating tablet contains phenylalanine. If you have PKU, you shouldn’t take this form of the drug.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: Research in animals has shown negative effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug. However, there haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect a fetus.

Newborn babies born to mothers taking this drug may have withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • restlessness
  • limpness
  • stiffness
  • tremors (uncontrollable rhythmic movement in one part of your body)
  • sleepiness
  • breathing problems
  • feeding problems

Some newborns recover within hours or days without treatment, but others may need to be hospitalized.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. And if you become pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

For women who are breastfeeding: Risperidone may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: The kidneys, heart, and liver of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk for side effects.

Seniors may be more likely to have orthostatic hypotension (a decrease in blood pressure when your stand up from a sitting or lying position) caused by this drug.

For children:

  • For treatment of schizophrenia. This drug hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 13 years for the treatment of this condition.
  • For treatment of acute manic or mixed bipolar I disorder episodes. This drug hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 10 years for treatment of this condition.
  • For treatment of irritability with autistic disorder. This drug hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 5 years for treatment of this condition.

Risperidone oral tablet is used for long-term treatment. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: Your condition may get worse.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • drowsiness
  • sleepiness
  • palpitations (fast heartbeat)
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • muscle spasms and contractions
  • stiff muscles
  • tremors (uncontrollable rhythmic movement in one part of your body)
  • moving more slowly than normal
  • irregular, jerky body movements
  • seizures

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or seek guidance from the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or through their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working: Your behavior or mood should improve.

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes risperidone oral tablet for you.

General

  • You can take risperidone with or without food.
  • You can cut or crush the regular tablet. But don’t cut or crush the disintegrating tablet.

Storage

  • Store risperidone at room temperature. Keep it between 59°F and 77°F (15°C and 25°C).
  • Protect it from light and freezing.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

For the orally disintegrating tablets, you shouldn’t remove them from their package until you’re ready to take them:

  • With dry hands, peel back the foil to get the tablet out. Don’t push the tablet through the foil. This could damage it.
  • Place the tablet on your tongue right away. It will dissolve in your mouth within seconds.
  • Swallow the tablet with or without liquid.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Kidney function. Your doctor may do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your doctor may lower your dose of this drug.
  • Mental health and behavioral problems. You and your doctor should watch for any unusual changes in your behavior and mood. This drug can cause new mental health and behavior problems, or worsen problems you already have.
  • Liver function. Your doctor may do blood tests to check how well your liver is working. If your liver isn’t working well, your doctor may lower your dosage of this drug.
  • Blood sugar. This drug may increase your blood sugar level. Your doctor may monitor your blood sugar while you’re taking this drug, especially if you have diabetes or are at risk of diabetes.
  • Cholesterol. This drug may increase your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Your doctor may check these levels before starting and during your treatment with this drug.
  • Weight. This drug may cause you to gain weight. You and your doctor should check your weight during treatment.

Prior authorization

Some insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.