Risperidone - subcutaneous injection
Risperidone - subcutaneous injection
There may be a slightly increased risk of serious, possibly fatal side effects (such as stroke, heart failure, fast/irregular heartbeat, pneumonia) when this medication is used by older adults with dementia. This medication is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related behavior problems. Discuss the risks and benefits of this medication, as well as other effective and possibly safer treatments for dementia-related behavior problems, with the doctor.
Risperidone is used to treat a certain mental/mood disorder called schizophrenia. This medication can decrease hallucinations, help you to think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less agitated, and take a more active part in everyday life.
Risperidone is an antipsychotic drug (atypical type). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.
This medication is given by injection under the skin of the abdomen by a health care professional. It is given as directed by your doctor, usually once monthly. It is used to switch from taking risperidone by mouth. You should not be taking the medication by mouth while receiving the injection under the skin.
Before each dose is injected, the injection site will be cleaned with rubbing alcohol. The injection should not be given into an area of skin that is irritated, reddened, bruised, infected, or scarred in any way. The site should be changed each time to lessen injury under the skin. You may have a lump at the injection site for several weeks. This lump will get smaller over time. Do not rub or massage the injection site. Try not to place belts or clothing waistbands on the lump.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
You should receive this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark your calendar to keep track of when to receive the next dose. It is important to continue receiving this medication as prescribed even if you feel well.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.
Drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, constipation, tiredness, drooling, weight gain, or redness/pain at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Dizziness and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling. Get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
This drug may also cause significant weight gain and a rise in your blood cholesterol (or triglyceride) levels. These effects, along with diabetes, may increase your risk for developing heart disease. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor. (See also Notes section.)
Risperidone may rarely cause a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any unusual/uncontrolled movements (especially of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, arms or legs).
This medication may increase a certain natural substance (prolactin) made by your body. For females, this increase in prolactin may result in unwanted breast milk, missed/stopped periods, or difficulty becoming pregnant. For males, it may result in decreased sexual ability, inability to produce sperm, or enlarged breasts. If you develop any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:
This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
In the US -
Before using risperidone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to paliperidone; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Risperidone may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using risperidone, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using risperidone safely.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery (including cataract/glaucoma eye surgery), tell your doctor or dentist if you are using or have ever used this medication, and about all the other products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication may make you sweat less, making you more likely to get heat stroke. Avoid doing things that may cause you to overheat, such as hard work or exercise in hot weather, or using hot tubs. When the weather is hot, drink a lot of fluids and dress lightly. If you overheat, quickly look for a place to cool down and rest. Get medical help right away if you have a fever that does not go away, mental/mood changes, headache, or dizziness.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and QT prolongation (see above). Drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may rarely develop symptoms including muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn especially during their first month, tell the doctor right away.
Since untreated mental/mood problems (such as schizophrenia) can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor right away the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Tell the doctor right away if your baby develops symptoms such as muscle stiffness or shakiness, unusual sleepiness, or difficulty feeding. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
A product that may interact with this drug is:
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness/dizziness, fast/irregular heartbeat, unusual/uncontrolled movements, seizures.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as blood sugar, weight, blood pressure, blood cholesterol/triglyceride levels) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
Information last revised October 2018.
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