Risperidone is a hell of a drug.

It’s an antipsychotic medication with powerful effects on conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, both of which have been historically difficult to treat.

But risperidone, or Risperdal as it’s known in its non-generic form, treats more than just these conditions.

You can find a rundown of the most common risperidone uses and even some of the less common uses in the guide we’ve provided below. Check it out to see the full spectrum of risperidone’s applications.

Obvious Risperidone Uses

If the only conditions risperidone treated were schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, that would certainly be enough to qualify the drug as incredibly useful. But risperidone does much more.

Risperidone belongs in a classification of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. Risperdal may work as an antagonist to both serotonin and dopamine. By regulating these essential brain chemicals, it has a powerful effect on mood disorders.

Another of the most common applications of risperidone is the treatment of irritability in patients with autism.

Other Risperidone Uses

But what are some of the uses of risperidone that don’t come advertised on the metaphorical label?

One use branches out from the drug’s treatment of bipolar disorder. Doctors prescribe risperidone not only to patients currently suffering from bipolar depression, but they prescribe the drug to those whose bipolar disorder is in remission. That is to say Risperdal can stop psychotic episodes in their tracks and also keep them from returning.

Another of the bipolar-related risperidone uses is the treatment of bipolar I disorder where the most recent episode is mixed. This means instead of the cycling of a “pure” manic or depressive episode, a patient has exhibited traits of both in their most recent bipolar flare-up.

Getting surgical with the symptoms it targets, risperidone can treat the mania a patient with bipolar disorder experiences.

Moving on from bipolar disorder, the population of patients who use Risperdal also includes those with general depression. While risperidone is not as popular nor the first line of defense against depression–those would typically be SSRIs or SNRIs–it can have positive effects on this disease.

Some of the rarer uses and conditions for which risperidone is used include the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder and Prader-Willi syndrome. Prader-Willi syndrome is a developmental disorder than can occur in infants and lead to weak muscle tone, insatiable appetite, mild to moderate intellectual impairment, and diabetes later in life.

When Not to Use Risperidone

As helpful as risperidone can be for the conditions above, there are some health concerns that may make the drug a bad fit for you. Always talk to a medical professional before starting a new medication. Here a few you’ll want to mention when considering Risperdal:

  • high cholesterol,
  • high blood pressure,
  • heart disease or heart rhythm problems,
  • a history of heart attack or stroke,
  • kidney disease,
  • liver disease,
  • a history of breast cancer,
  • seizures or epilepsy,
  • diabetes,
  • Parkinson’s disease,
  • phenylketonuria (PKU),
  • a history of low white blood cell (WBC) counts,
  • a history of suicidal thoughts,
  • pregnancy.

Deciding to Use Risperidone

Risperidone comes in several forms, including pills and liquid in various doses. So there are many options you have when starting on the medication.

The drug also has several side effects, including insomnia, weight gain, lactation, erectile dysfunction, and digestive problems. It’s important to be aware of the risks before starting Risperdal.

But if your doctor clears you to take risperidone, it can be an incredibly useful and powerful course of treatment for your mood or mental disorder. Even if a mood disorder is not your problem, you may find the other risperidone uses applicable.

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