What Is Risperidone Used For?
Risperidone and Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a serious brain disease that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. Currently, it is thought that bipolar disorder may be at least partially genetic (see Bipolar Causes). Bipolar disorder is different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through -- the symptoms of bipolar disorder are more severe. Episodes of mania and depression typically recur throughout the affected person's lifespan. Between episodes, most people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms (see Bipolar Disorder Symptoms). Effective bipolar disorder treatment usually involves a combination of psychotherapy (see Bipolar Psychosocial Treatments) and bipolar medications.
Risperidone is approved to treat acute episodes of mania or mixed episodes (which involve symptoms of both mania and depression). Risperidone can be used alone or with other bipolar disorder medications and is not approved for the long-term treatment of bipolar disorder.
Risperidone and Autism
Autism is a brain disorder that often results in a lifetime of impaired thinking, feeling, and social functioning -- our most uniquely human attributes. Autism typically affects a person's ability to communicate, form relationships with others, and respond appropriately to the external world. The disorder becomes apparent in children generally by the age of three. Although scientists are not sure what causes autism, currently there is much research devoted to finding the causes of autism. There are three distinctive signs of autism. These signs of autism include:
- Repetitive behaviors or narrow, obsessive interests
- Difficulties with social interaction
- Problems with verbal and nonverbal communication.
There is no single best treatment for autism. One point that most professionals agree on is that early treatment for autism is important; another is that most individuals with autism respond well to highly structured, specialized programs. In some cases, autism medications can be helpful. Risperidone is approved to treat irritability associated with autism. This includes aggression toward other people, deliberate self-harm, temper tantrums, and abruptly changing moods. Risperidone cannot cure autism, but it can help with some of the behavior problems associated with autism.