What Is Risperidone Used For?
What is risperidone used for? The prescription medication has been licensed to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability due to autism. Risperidone can also help prevent relapses of schizophrenia. Although risperidone has not been approved for use in children with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, it has been approved to treat irritability associated with autism in children age 5 to 16 years old.
Risperidone (Risperdal®) is a prescription medicine known as an "atypical antipsychotic" that has been licensed to treat the following conditions:
Risperidone and Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is one of the most confusing and disabling mental illnesses. Schizophrenia is a group of mental disorders that involve abnormal thinking. Although the causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood, it is currently thought that genetics and environmental factors play an important role in developing the illness. Depending on the type of schizophrenia (see Types of Schizophrenia), symptoms may include the following:
- Thought disorders
- Disorders of movement
- Flat affect (immobile facial expression, monotonous voice)
- Lack of pleasure in everyday life
- A diminished ability to initiate and sustain planned activity
- Speaking infrequently, even when forced to interact
- Poor executive functioning (the ability to absorb and interpret information and make decisions based on that information)
- An inability to stay focused
- Problems with working memory (the ability to keep recently-learned information in mind and use it right away).
Although psychotherapy may be helpful for schizophrenia (see Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics), medication is often essential to schizophrenia treatment. Risperidone can help improve the symptoms of schizophrenia. It also helps to prevent schizophrenia relapses (worsening of schizophrenia). However, risperidone is not a cure for schizophrenia.