Risperdal, known by its generic name Risperidone, is used for the treatment of certain mental/mood disorders (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, irritability associated with autistic disorder). Risperidone belongs to a class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. Its effectiveness lies on restoring balance on certain natural substances in the brain. It can also be combined with other medication for treating depression.
Risperdal can be taken orally with or without food as prescribed by your doctor once or twice a day. In liquid form, it comes with a special measuring device for carefully measuring dosage. A household spoon is not advisable as you may not get the right amount of dosage. It can be mixed with small amounts of other liquids such as water, coffee, orange, juice, or low-fat milk.
Dosage is based on age, medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications being taken. Make sure to tell the doctor or pharmacist regarding other products you are using. You may be instructed to start at a low dosage and slowly increasing it. The important thing is to follow the instructions of your doctor.
Risperdal is known for various side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, drooling, weight gain, or tiredness. Inform your doctor if any of these effects persist.
According to the website of Williams Kherkher, the manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has advertised it for unapproved uses which could result to serious side effects. The US Food & Drug Administration has issued several warnings related to the drug. Although approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability in people with autism, it was also wrongly advertised for unapproved use which resulted to side effects.
Gynecomastia is one serious side effect, a condition characterized by breast enlargement in boys. For this reason, the victims can suffer from severe psychological trauma. In women, Risperdal reportedly increases prolactin levels. Prolactin stimulates breast development in women and so boys with increased prolactin levels may develop male breasts.
According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, for the failure to inform patients about such side effects, the manufacturer of Risperdal Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen unit is now facing at least 130 lawsuits related to Risperdal use. One of the plaintiffs is a boy who allegedly used the drug between 9 to 14 years old. He required surgery to remove the breast tissues.