Facts about Risperdal side effects

Risperdal side effects :
a look at Purpose, Use and Impact

Risperdal (Risperidone) is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). Risperidone is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.

Risperdal side effects and interactions

Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few months of treatment with this medicine. This will allow the dosage to be changed if necessary to meet your needs.

Do not stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are taking before stopping completely. This is to prevent side effects and to keep your condition from becoming worse.

Risperdal side effects may add to those of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicine that makes you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine.

Before having any kind of surgery, dental treatment, or emergency treatment, tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are using this medicine. Taking risperidone together with medicines that are used during surgery, dental, or emergency treatments may increase the CNS depressant effects.

Risperdal side effects may cause blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or able to see clearly.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. If the problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

Risperidone may cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight than it is normally. Exposure to sunlight, even for brief periods of time, may cause a skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration of the skin, or a severe sunburn. When you begin taking this medicinen stay out of direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., if possible. Wear protective clothing, including a hat. Also, wear sunglasses. Apply a sun block product that has a skin protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. You may require a product with a higher SPF number, especially if you have a fair complexion. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.

This medicine may make it more difficult for your body to keep a constant temperature. Use extra care not to become overheated during exercise or hot weather while you are taking this medicine, since overheating may result in heatstroke. Hot baths or saunas may make you feel dizzy or faint while you are taking this medicine. Also, use extra care not to become too cold while you are taking risperidone. If you become too cold, you may feel drowsy, confused, or clumsy.

Observed Risperdal side effects

Along with its needed effects, there may be unwanted Risperdal side effects. Tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder) may occur and may not go away after you stop using the medicine. Signs of tardive dyskinesia include fine, worm-like movements of the tongue, or other uncontrolled movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, jaw, or arms and legs. Other serious but rare side effects may also occur. These include neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), which may cause severe muscle stiffness, fever, severe tiredness or weakness, fast heartbeat, difficult breathing, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, or seizures. You and your doctor should discuss the good this medicine will do as well as the risks of taking it.

Stop taking risperidone and get emergency help immediately if any of the following Risperdal side effects occur:

Rarely Observed

Convulsions (seizures); difficult or fast breathing; fast heartbeat or irregular pulse ; fever (high); high or low blood pressure; increased sweating; loss of bladder control; muscle stiffness (severe); unusually pale skin; unusual tiredness or weakness (severe).

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following Risperdal side effects occur:

More Commonly Observed

Difficulty in speaking or swallowing; inability to move eyes; muscle spasms of face, neck, and back; twisting movements of body. Anxiety or nervousness; changes in vision, including blurred vision; decreased sexual desire or performance; loss of balance control; mask-like face; menstrual changes; mood or mental changes, including aggressive behavior, agitation, difficulty in concentration, and memory problems; problems in urination or increase in amount of urine; restlessness or need to keep moving (severe); shuffling walk; skin rash or itching; stiffness or weakness of arms or legs; tic-like or twitching movements; trembling and shaking of fingers and hands; trouble in sleeping.

Less Commonly Observed

Back pain; chest pain; unusual secretion of milk; speech or vision problems; sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arms or legs.

Rarely Observed

High body temperature (dizziness; fast, shallow breathing; fast, weak heartbeat; headache; muscle cramps; pale, clammy skin; increased thirst) ; lip smacking or puckering; low body temperature (confusion, drowsiness, poor coordination, shivering) ; prolonged, painful, inappropriate erection of the penis; puffing of cheeks; rapid or worm-like movements of tongue; uncontrolled chewing movements; uncontrolled movements of arms and legs. Extreme thirst; increased blinking or spasms of eyelid; loss of appetite; talking, feeling, and acting with excitement and activity that cannot be controlled; uncontrolled twisting movements of neck, trunk, arms, or legs; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual facial expressions or body positions.

Other Risperdal side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following Risperdal side effects continue or are bothersome:

More Commonly Observed

Constipation; coughing; diarrhea; drowsiness; dryness of mouth; headache; heartburn; increased dream activity; increased length of sleep; nausea; sleepiness or unusual drowsiness; sore throat; stuffy or runny nose; unusual tiredness or weakness; weight gain.

Less Commonly Observed

Back pain; body aches or pain; chills; dandruff; darkening of skin color; dry skin; ear congestion; fever; increase in body movements; increased sensitivity of the skin to sun; increased watering of mouth; joint pain; loss of voice; nasal congestion; oily skin; pain or tenderness around eyes and cheekbones; shortness of breath or troubled breathing; sneezing ; stomach pain; toothache ; tightness of chest or wheezing; vomiting; weight loss.

Some Risperdal side effects, such as uncontrolled movements of the mouth, tongue, and jaw, or uncontrolled movements of arms and legs, may occur after you have stopped taking this medicine. If you notice any of these effects, check with your doctor as soon as possible.

Other Risperdal side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Sources : The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP)

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