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The Guide to Risperdal: Use and Side Effects

A Yellow Pill

About to take Risperdal?

You’re not alone.  This guide will hopefully help you by explaining what it is used for.  Additionally, it provides a list of the rarest side effects that you may not find elsewhere.

First, what is Risperdal?

Risperdal, generic Risperidone, is an atypical antipsychotic.  It’s “atypical” because it is less likely to cause seizures or permanent movement disorders, than meds which used to be considered “typical.”  And it’s an antipsychotic because its primary use was to treat psychosis associated with schizophrenia.

The full list of conditions it is used for?  Risperdal is used for almost every psychiatric ailment.  That includes autism, ADHD, developmental disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, OCD, anxiety-disorders, and more.

A better question than asking what it is used for is to ask what it isn’t.

How good is it for these uses? And what about its side effects?

What does it do?

Risperdal is an antagonist to dopamine, D2, and serotonin, 5-HT, receptors.  What that means is that the drug goes into your brain and binds to receptors on cells that are specific to dopamine and serotonin.

This may be important in schizophrenia because elevated levels of dopamine are associated with psychosis.  And it may play a role in depression, because serotonin levels are somehow associated with depression.

We don’t know much beyond that.

Uses of Risperdal


Risperdal is an effective and important part of treating schizophrenia.  While the medications we have are not as effective as they should be, they are much better than nothing.  1/4 to 1/3 of people with schizophrenia do not respond to treatment.

Risperdal works in roughly 57% of those who take it, as opposed to 52% of those who take Haloperidol, an older, typical antipsychotic.  Importantly, Risperdal has less chance of causing movement disorders, and slightly more people continue to use it than Haldol.  It may, however, cause more weight gain.

Bipolar Disorder

The evidence for Risperdal in bipolar disorder is not as good as that for schizophrenia, but seems to generally be positive, albeit not decisively convincing.  As a rule, it is used as an augmentation therapy – in addition to other medications.

One study showed that augmentation of therapy for bipolar with Risperdal lead to a 3 point difference in one scale of depression.  Another showed quicker and stronger response to treatment with Risperdal:  more than 50% responded to combination therapy with another similar medication, 40% responded to the antidepressant alone, and roughly 25% responded to placebo.


Risperdal is sometimes considered as an addition to treatment of depression when it does not respond to therapy by antidepressant alone.  Whether or not this is a good idea really depends on who you talk to.

One study showed that dual therapy increased time to relapse from 80 to 100 days.  So if you are very depressed then go into remission, adding Risperdal might give you an additional 20 days until you become very depressed again.

Not very inspiring.

That said, another study showed very positive response to antidepressant combined with risperdal in treatment resistant depression – so positive that it won’t be repeated here as it might be unrealistic.

Side Effects

At least 10% of people who take Risperdal may experience the following:  Exhaustion, vomiting, increase in hunger, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary incontinence, and more.

Other common side effects include: Anxiety, akathesia, sedation, insomnia, dry mouth, low blood pressure, muscle pain, excessive salivation.

Rare side effects:

Diabetes and/or elevated blood sugar.  Permanent muscle twitches and uncontrollable movements.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome.  This is rare and potentially fatal, and causes fever, muscle stifness and confusion.

Breast tenderness, and even milk secretion.

Very Rare Risperdal Side Effects

  • Fainting.  Risperdal has been reported to cause fainting in a child.  It can do this because it slows down the heart and can rarely interfere with cardiac conduction.
  • Bed wetting.  Several children have been reported to start wetting their beds after using Risperdal, which went away when they stopped.
  • Cerebrospinal shunt malfunction.  Risperdal can cause symptoms that appear to be caused by a cerbrospinal shunt malfunction, such as intercranial pressure, headaches and nausea.  As such, its use in patients with hydrocephalus may be an issue.
  • Night terrors.  Several cases of night terrors have been associated with Risperdal.  A night terror is much like what it sounds – in the middle of the night, lying in bed, you have a extreme panic attack.
  • Priaprism.  We have 17 reports of Risperdal causing priaprism, or a protracted and unpleasantly long erection.
  • Hair loss.
  • Swelling.  Risperdal can interact with other medications to cause swelling of body parts.
  • Rabbit syndrome.  The name for a specific type of motor twitch that, to the doctors observing it, seems amusingly like that of a rabbit.  Not so funny for the patient.

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  1. What kind of corrupt world to we live in where this Risperdal/toxic poison is even allowed to be on the market. This toxic poison should be outlawed in addition to most every other psychiatric drug on the market. There is absolutely zero scientific/medical findings whatsoever to prove its validity, but yet the drug companies are allowed to push this propaganda and dope as if it was actually useful. Studies show that patients with psychiatric disorders in third world countries do not have access to these harmful psychopharmaceutical drugs but have done far better and without treatment and without all the hideous side effects created by the drugs, (which coincidentally creates the need for more drugs – which is what the drug companies have figured out long ago in order to create this self perpetual money/profit machine.

    On your website you talk about rare side effects, such as movement disorders as if they were actually rare. The amount of time spent on pre-market drug studies for side effects by these cockeyed/corrupt drug companies is only a few weeks to a couple months at best in most cases, but yet doctors are keeping their patients on these toxic poisons for far longer, without a clue what they are doing, often for year or more, while side effects become far more pronounced and apparent than first reported by the drug companies in their short pre-market test studies/trials, especially in regard to disfiguring/disabling and in some cases fatal movement and involuntary movement disorders such as tardive Dyskinesia or any other extrapyramidial disorders to name just a couple..

    Let me also assure you these so-called “atypical” are no different than the “typical” antipsychotic drugs, and in fact they have been shown to be almost the identical same drugs, but just renamed with a different wrapper by the drug companies so they could market and push more of this crap to the unsuspecting public, under the guise of being “new and improved”. But even worse than this, their largest target market is children – via screwed up, lazy and even divorced parents that are killing their own kids with these drugs but think their actions are justified when they have an even more screwed up doctor prescribe these drugs to start with – whom is educated by none other than the pharmaceutical company/drug rep itself – especially in regard to the possible off-label uses of the drug. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house, especially when the doctors get paid for the appointment itself with the patient, as well as being paid by the pharmaceutical drug companies with research grants and many other perks in helping them market their drugs. Perhaps this explains why there are billions of dollars in fines and charges due to illegal marketing campaigns for off-label uses solicited by drug companies. The only problem is that these drug companies just consider this the cost of doing business and they go out and print more money. Your website is also helping to market these off-label uses by seemingly approving of or supporting the idea that Risperdal is or can be used for nearly everything imaginable. In Canada it hasn’t been approved for safety or efficacy in children for any use whatsoever in children under 18 years old – yet it is still being used for off-label/unapproved uses by doctors. In the U.S. the drug companies have many of their CEOs and upper management sitting on the FDA decision board/panel and so it is a little easier to get things approved under such a system, as Risperdal has been approved for some uses in children in the U.S. under the age of 18. Perhaps this is where the problem starts.

    In Australia the government has been forced to pull the ADHD guidelines which previously recommend the use of drug treatment, because of the payment scandal to Dr. Beederman – who was also bought off and hired to say/report what the drug companies wanted him to for at least 1.6 million in undisclosed commissions – that we now know of.

    Perhaps you guys are misinformed yourselves. There has not been one finding of any psychiatric disorder in the entire DSM IV TR manual published by the American Psychiatric Association, (APA) that has been validated to organically, physically/medically exist by objective or approved diagnostic testing on any level in the body or brain, including from a Chemical, cellular/microscopic, or gross, (lump mass), or neurological level. Hence any marketing material (by any psychiatric drug company, doctor, or anyone else for that matter in an authoritative or influential position) that speaks of any psychiatric disorder as being a chemical imbalance or any hogwash of the sort is absolute and total FRAUD, .

    Without such an organic/objective finding, there is no disease/abnormality/disorder that exists and the patient is physically/medically normal. Where disease = abnormality = disorder = organic/physical illness. The use of the word “disorder” by the APA in the DSM IV TR manual is also misleading and should not be allowed because it also indicates an abnormality or illness, (which has not once been proven in any medical journal). The psychiatrist and drug industry speak of etiologies of these disorders as being unknown, as if they were actual diseases/illnesses. The psychiatric “so-called disorders” only exist by the identification of a very subjective cluster of symptoms, observed by parents, teachers or doctors, sometimes over an extended time frame. This has been confessed to by the FDA and by Health Canada top end officials, in writing to me and a doctor/child neurologist friend of mine. These psychiatric disorders are not based on real science/medicine but rather they are voted into existence by experts appointed by the APA – virtually every one of them paid by the drug companies. These so called disorders are then passed off as real illnesses to the public, (such as chemical imbalances), but are nothing more than pseudoscience and scams. These symptoms are so subjective that depending on the motive of the person identifying them, there is almost certain to be a prescription written for it, (especially for children), which is music to the drug companies’ ears. Even professional baseball players are getting around banned drugs by using a doctor’s prescription for amphetamines and methylphenidate, both of which are almost identical to cocaine in chemical structure and in reactive properties/effects when ingested in humans and animals as well. They are obtaining or being prescribed these drugs under the guise of ADHD symptoms, which is what these drugs have been typically prescribed for in children as well.

    In getting a psychiatric drug approved for market by the FDA or by Health Canada, they do not even require the drug companies to show that their drug combats any sort of organic illness/abnormality/disease in a prospective patient, (by objective and validated physical/medical diagnostic testing) – because everyone knows that there is no such illness/abnormality/disease that can be found in the first place involving subjective psychological/behavioural issues. Hence, the first objective of the drug company is to just get their drug on the market and approved for some ambiguous market and obscure subjective use/disorder. By the way, this obscure disorder which the drug companies are seeking approval for is the same subjective disorder that the drug companies had voted into existence in the DSM IV TR by the experts whom were appointed by the APA, which are also the same experts whom have received funding by the pharmaceutical companies in the past to identify such obscure cluster of subjective symptoms/disorders. So now that the disorder has been published in the DSM IV TR and voted into existence, in order to get their drug approved for use to combat this disorder the drug companies send in their bogus and embellished subjective testing results that accompany most every psychiatric drug presentation to the FDA or Health Canada, such as those for ADHD symptoms (which has recently come unglued in Australia). However, once the drug is approved for one use, then the drug companies go wild with their off-label use marketing – which your website is entirely proof of – where you state that Risperdal is used for anything and everything these days, as prescribed by the puppet doctors. Some statistics show that off-label/unapproved use of psychiatric/psychoactive drugs support upwards of 80% of the pharmaceutical market, which is quite astounding, and it also speaks to why the drug companies’ number one objective is to just get their drug to market for any reason whatsoever, and then educate the doctors on other uses. This also proves that our drug industry is anything but regulated by the supposed governing bodies, (contrary to public knowledge), especially when drug companies and doctors are allowed to prescribe these drugs to patients for off label/unapproved uses, which have no supporting positive data to support their use, otherwise they would have sought the ability to market the psychoactive drug as an “approved” or labelled use from the start.

    With such low standards by the FDA, Health Canada and other so-called regulatory bodies around the world, how could they have made it any easier for the drug companies to print money and corrupt this world than by this manner? Could it be that the governments and drug companies are also in partnership!!! We would be far better off without regulatory bodies such as these, because then at least that way the general public is not deceived to believe that they are being protected, and people would rightfully come to look upon the doctors in the same light as they do the cocaine dealer on the corner. In reality the doctors are even worse because they are lying to their patients in what the drugs will or will not do to them, while also telling the patients that they have an organic illness such as a chemical imbalance that the drug needs to fix/repair. What a CROCK!! At least the drug dealer on the corner does not hide what his intentions/motives are, or the purpose of the drug.

    In returning to the earlier principle that there is no actual organic disease/abnormality/illness/disorder prior to drug treatment in the otherwise normal psychiatric patient, then by extension, the psychoactive drug (Risperdal in this example), can serve absolutely no “objective benefit” whatsoever to the patient, meaning there is no disease/abnormality/disorder for which the drug can combat or cure or make normal or more nearly normal – since there is no objective/organic disease/abnormality/disorder that exists in the first place, (prior to drug treatment). However, it is the drugs themselves that pose plenty of “objective risk”, meaning that it is the ingestion of the drugs that then create the actual organic illnesses/diseases/disorders through the toxic poisoning of the chemical substances being digested/absorbed in the patient’s body – such as diabetes, tardive dyskinesia, dystonia, tardive akathisia, Parkinson’s disease, other extrapyramidal disorders, stroke, heart attacks, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, NMS,DEATH, aggression, mood changes, anxiety, depression, headaches, paranoia, fear, massive weight gain, gynecomasia, (breast tissue that can even be lactating in boys/men), kidney/liver/heart and other major organ failure; stunting of body and brain growth, brain damage, interference with the brain’s pruning process in children and adolescents, dopamine and serotonin imbalances/blockages/antagonists, etc, etc, etc..
    Thus with all these problems created as side effects – what is the first thing these new breed of Dope Pushing Doctors do? They reach for another drug to combat all the newly created problems. This explains why there are so many people on a cocktail of psychotropic drugs which are making them worse-off every day, while lining the pockets of the drug companies.

    - In a best case scenario, the most a psychoactive/psychiatric drug can do for a patient is to mask the underlying alleged subjective psychological symptoms for a very short period of time, while at the same time creating many more problems and more risks to the patient’s life and wellbeing due to the plethora of side effects that are absolutely inevitable. In numerous independent third party studies, it is almost always shown that the placebo (or sugar pill), outperforms the drug in alleviating the subjective psychological symptoms, and without the horrific side effects. Nutrition and exercise also play a huge role in alleviating these subjective psychiatric/psychological symptoms, which are environmentally induced/provoked as opposed to being inborn or genetically predisposed or acquired as a chemical imbalance of some sort, which the public has been lied to for such a long time in this regard by the doctors and drug companies. Clearly it should not be allowed to prescribe a drug for a subjective symptom that does not objectively/organically exist. Subjective symptoms should be treated with psychological therapy that deals with subjective environmental issues that affect these symptoms. Using toxic drugs such as Risperdal to treat any sort of children behaviours or psychological issues should be considered a criminal act as this is equivalent to taking a sledge hammer to a pimple. Some industry specialists consider this equivalent to a Chemical Lobotomy in a bottle, as this is no different than taking an ice-pick to this child’s brain, based on the brain damage these drugs cause, which is often irreversible. Such treatments are nothing other than guess work and serve to only mask the root cause of the underlying subjective symptoms.

    The drug companies are constantly attempting to educate and train the general public as well with their propaganda, while understating the side effects as well. This is also why you see so many commercials whereby the drug companies are telling the public what to ask their doctor for in the way of a prescription, due to having any number of subjective symptoms. (For example – “ If you suffer from not wanting to get your lazy butt out of bed in the morning and are finding it difficult go to work at your demeaning job then perhaps you suffer from “anxiety” , “stress” or “bipolar disorder” for which you should ask your doctor to prescribe Risperdal for you or some other psychotropic drug!!!”)
    This then speaks to the ethics of the whole psychiatric drug industry and the legalities of prescribing drugs.
    Every doctor, whether in the U.S. or Canada, or anywhere else in the world, must live by certain laws, policies and regulations for which they are licensed and governed, as they have a fiduciary responsibility to their patients which they must uphold. The patient also has the right to proper health care according to a Health Care Consent Act or its equivalent in the jurisdiction of the patient and doctor. This means that the patient is entitled to “informed consent”, or a substitute-decision-maker (in the case of young children) that can make decisions that are in the patient’s “best interests” as defined by that Act in their country.
    Part of the fiduciary responsibility of doctors and a fundamental tenet that must be adhered to prior to recommending a treatment is to ensure that any of their recommendations to patients are based on a proper benefits versus risk analysis, where the “objective benefits” of a proposed drug treatment surpass both: (i) the “objective risks” posed by the perceived underlying illness/disease/abnormality itself as well as (ii) the “objective risks” posed by the psychoactive drug treatments by the way of side effects.
    Clearly based on the admissions of the FDA and by Health Canada, it is virtually impossible for any doctor to give a patient a positive benefit versus risk analysis for a psychoactive drug treatment when prior to such drug treatment, there is no objective risk of disease/abnormality/disorder in this otherwise physically/medically normal patient and so there can be absolutely no benefit for the drug to serve. Hence the only thing the drug can provide in this whole equation is absolute and total RISK, based on horrific side effects certain to be produced by the toxicity and poisons of the chemical substances/drugs absorbed by the patient’s body and brain.

    This being the case, then how do we explain so many trillions of dollars of psychoactive drugs being prescribed, when the fundamental tenet that every doctor must adhere to prior to prescribing medication is to have a positive benefit vs. risk ratio for each patient and each prescription. This becomes even more mind boggling when we then factor in that the doctors and psychiatrists prescribe these drugs for off-label, (unapproved uses), for which there is absolutely no positive subjective data at all produced, (not even fabricated and erroneous data usually accompanied by drug company studies for which they originally brought the drug to market for an approved use by a governing body such as the FDA or Health Canada).

    Furthermore, when you consider the doctors’ lack of knowledge in prescribing just one of these psychoactive drugs, which they have absolutely no idea of the interworking of the drug (as admitted to and stated on each product monograph published by the drug company), then how can this doctor even begin to provide a positive benefit versus risk analysis for the patient when a cocktail of these drugs is prescribed, which is often the case, as the doctor prescribes one drug to mask the symptoms/side effects of the previous drug. The doctors issue these drugs like they were different flavours of ice-cream, while being totally naive to the underlying consequences. The drug companies educated these doctors by overstating the benefits of the drug and understating its risks/side effects. Hence the doctors have absolutely no idea of how they are going to react and interact with each other, which makes the proposal of this treatment by the doctors even more bizarre and the risks astronomical, whether labelled or off-label uses of the drugs are implemented. No wonder there are so many ill people walking around with so many problems!! Most of our problems are being created by the drug companies themselves, who in turn are nice enough to offer us the solutions to these problems through more of their drugs.

    Clearly every one of these doctors (and the drug companies as well) who prescribe psychoactive drugs in such an irresponsible manner is guilty of malpractice and negligence at a minimum as well as child abuse and even assault and murder (in the cases where these drugs have caused death, or have caused psychotic behaviour in the patient which causes them to murder or harm others).
    As far as informed consent is concerned, every one of these doctors who prescribes these psychoactive medications under the guise of the patient having a chemical imbalance or some other organic illness prior to drug treatment is guilty of FRAUD and lying to their patient. Furthermore, informed consent also means disclosing the possible side effects to people, including “DEATH”, which the majority of these doctors are absolutely not doing, which is also malpractice and negligence at a minimum, and “INFORMED CONSENT” has not been given, which also makes this doctor liable for harm caused by such psychoactive drug treatment. Informed consent also means disclosing to the patient if the drug is being prescribed based on an off-label use or if it is for an approved use. The doctor should also identify to the patient what positive independent third party studies have been carried out which condone the use of the drug for the off-label use that they prescribed it for. Simply saying that other doctors do it is not enough. Furthermore, for informed consent to take place the doctors must carry out and show the patient a positive benefit versus risk analysis, which as identified previously is virtually impossible when no physical/medical organic illness/abnormality/disease has been identified or validated to exist by proper objective diagnostic testing to begin with, for which the drug prescribed can combat and have any objective benefit whatsoever. The treatment offered should always be the least invasive with the most chance of being successful. Psychoactive drug treatment does not fit this criteria – especially as a first form of treatment option.

    This concept of psychiatric drug treatment is completely contrary to real medicine/science. In real medicine/science there is a diagnosis of an actual organic underlying disease/abnormality/illness which presents an “objective risk” to the patient, then provided it is considered the least invasive and successful form of treatment, the doctor can now recommend any approved drug for such use for which the drug serves an “objective benefit” by combating or offsetting the disease/illness, which hopefully will produce less side effects/abnormalities/diseases/illnesses/disorders than what the patient already has so that the drug treatment has a positive benefit versus risk analysis.
    For example: Patients need to weigh the benefits versus the risks in objective diseases or illnesses when taking the following: penicillin for infections, insulin for diabetes, chemotherapy for cancer, etc..
    In each one of these cases there is an actual disease/illness/abnormality whether it is considered gross, (lump mass), chemical, or cellular/microscopic in nature, which is causing the patient “objective risk”, which could even be life threatening in some circumstances, and that would cause the need for drug therapy or intervention, which could hopefully provide an “objective benefit” that surpasses the objective risks of the disease as well as the objective risks posed by the drug treatment itself and its side effects. If after going through this analysis of treatment, whereby it is concluded that the benefits outweigh the risks, then such treatment can be proposed to the patient.
    There is no psychiatric drug treatment that poses this possibility especially on a longer term basis, (one year or more), which would warrant the recommendation of such toxic psychoactive drug treatments for any purpose. Often we hear psychiatrists talking in terms of having to juggle prescription medications until the patient claims to be obtaining any perceived subjective benefit, or what causes them fewer side effects. This is nothing but a scam and pseudoscience as I have stated previously!!!

  2. Can someone please give Brain some drugs so he will be quiet!

  3. yeah thanks for that- the insensitivity of bleating on about “toxic poisons” in response to an article sub headed “About to Take Risperdal?” is beyond belief! this is clearly an article written for people who are about to start on this medication and not as some kind of debate between medical experts as to the validity of risperidone as a treatment. The whole ridiculous rant is compeletely inappropriate in this context. I have been prescribed risperidone today and begin taking it on Thursday- only now i feel REALLY good about it!

  4. PS, what happens when someone suffering from a major mental illness such as schizophrenia (or some other vulnerable person who is suffering from “not wanting to get their lazy butt out of bed”) comes along, in their deluded state is persuaded by Brian not to take their medication and becomes a serious danger to themselves or others. Choosing to express these opinions in a forum such as this displays not only a devastating lack of tact but is also completely irresponsible.

  5. I take Rispeidone and it has helped me loads. Brian just sounds angry.

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