People with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or irritability due to autism can often benefit from risperidone. The medication works by blocking or lessening the effects of several chemicals in the brain. Risperidone is available as a tablet, orally disintegrating tablets, a liquid, and as an injection. Possible side effects of this drug include drowsiness, increased appetite, and insomnia.
What Is Risperidone?Risperidone (Risperdal®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat the following conditions:
(Click What Is Risperidone Used For? for more information on what it is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
How Does It Work?Risperidone belongs to a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely known how it works for the treatment of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However, it is known that risperidone blocks or lessens the effects of several chemicals in the brain. These brain chemicals (such as dopamine and serotonin) may be elevated in people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression), or autism.
Risperidone is not a cure for bipolar disorder, autism, or schizophrenia. It only helps to control the symptoms of these conditions (see Symptoms of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder Symptoms, or Autism Symptoms).