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Risperidone (Risperdal)

How does this medicine work?

Risperidone (ris-peer-ih-done) is used to treat symptoms of psychosis and schizophrenia (being out of touch with reality, or seeing or hearing things that do not exist). This medicine may also be used for other conditions such as severe aggression or tics (repeated muscle twitching).

How should I give it?

Risperidone comes in a liquid or pill form. Give it at regular times to keep a steady level in the bloodstream. Give this medicine exactly as prescribed.

Your child should be awake and alert when taking any medicine. Follow the checked instructions below:

___ If using the liquid form, draw up the correct amount in the medicine dropper or oral syringe. Give a small squirt of the medicine inside the cheek. To avoid choking, let your child swallow each squirt before giving more.

___ For children who cannot swallow pills:

  • Crush it between 2 spoons, inside a plastic bag, or in folded paper.
  • Mix the powder with a very small amount (about 1 teaspoon) of soft food, such as applesauce, chocolate syrup, ice cream, jelly, or yogurt. Make sure your child takes all of the mixture.

___ If using disintegrating tablet form, use dry hands to take it from the foil. Place on your child's tongue and let it melt. Water is not needed.

Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?

You can give it with or without food.

Avoid alcohol-containing foods, beverages, or non-prescription medicines (such as cough syrup) while taking this medicine.

Be sure to tell your doctor or nurse practitioner if your child takes carbamazepine (Tegretol®), levodopa, clozapine, medicine to lower blood pressure, or other medicines that might cause drowsiness such as narcotic painkillers, muscle relaxants, or medicine for

What should I do if a dose is missed?

Give the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it is less than 6 hours before the next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular schedule. Never give a double dose. If your child misses two doses, call the clinic.

If your child vomits within 30 minutes after a dose, please call the clinic for instructions.

What are the side effects?


  • weight gain
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • increased dreaming
  • trouble sleeping
  • dry mouth
  • stuffy nose
  • constipation
  • less interest in sexual activity


  • muscle stiffness
  • muscle spasms
  • fast heartbeat
  • twitching
  • dizziness if standing too quickly
  • increased thirst


  • seizures

The person taking this medicine should not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until it is clear that no risky side effects are present.

When should I call the clinic?

  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • severe muscle weakness
  • feeling as if you need to be moving all the time
  • muscle spasms
  • uncontrolled tongue or jaw movement
  • signs of allergic reaction
    - itching
    - hives
    - trouble breathing - call 911

What else do I need to know?

Blood samples might be needed to check your liver and kidneys while taking this medicine.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child's care. Please bring the medicine container when your child comes to the clinic or emergency department.

Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand. Each time you refill your prescription, check to see how many refills are left. If no refills are left, the pharmacy will need 2 or 3 days to contact the clinic to renew the prescription.

Check the label and expiration date before giving each dose. Ask your pharmacist what to do with outdated or unused medicines. If there is no "take-back" program, you can throw them in the garbage after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

Store all medicines in their original container and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep them out of children's reach, locked up if possible.

If too much or the wrong kind of medicine is taken, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If your child is unconscious or has a seizure, call 911.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the clinic or pharmacy.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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