Side effect What is it? What should I do if it happens to me?
HEADACHE When your head is painful and pounding. You can take aspirin or paracetamol for this.
HYPOTENSION A low blood pressure. You may feel faint
when you stand up.
Try not to stand up too quickly. If you feel dizzy, don’t drive. This
dizziness is not dangerous
Prolactin is a natural chemical we all
have. High levels can affect periods in
women or cause impotence in men. It
may also cause breast tenderness and
milk secretion, in men as well as women.
This sometimes wears off in a few weeks, but discuss this with your
doctor anyway. It may be that a change in dose or different drug will
Being more on edge. Discuss relaxation methods you’re your doctor.
AKATHISIA You feel restless, unable to feel
comfortable unless you are moving.
Tell your doctor about this. It may be possible to change your drug
or dose, or give you something to reduce these feelings.
CONSTIPATION Feeling "bunged up" inside. You can't
pass a motion or stool.
Eat more fibre e.g. bran, fruit and vegetables. Do more walking.
Make sure you drink plenty of fluid. A mild laxative from a pharmacy
DROWSINESS Feeling sleepy or sluggish. It can last for
a few hours after taking your dose.
Don't drive or use machinery. Ask your doctor if you can take your
risperidone at a different time.
INSOMNIA Not being able to get to sleep at night. Discuss this with your doctor. He or she may change the time of
Feeling shaky or having a tremor. Your
neck may twist back. Your eyes and
tongue may move on their own.
Your doctor may be able to give you something for it. Alternatively,
your doctor can change your medication to one that doesn’t have
this side effect. This is more common at doses above 6mg a day.
WEIGHT GAIN Eating more and putting on weight,
especially just after you start taking
Avoid fatty foods like chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks. A diet full of
vegetables and fibre will usually help, as will physical activities such
as walking. If it becomes a problem or you are worried, ask to see a
BLURRED VISION Things look fuzzy and you can't focus
Don't drive. See your doctor if you are worried. You won't need
NMS Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome includes
a high body temperature, muscle stiffness
and being unable to move.
It usually occurs within a few weeks of a dose change. Contact your
doctor immediately. Keep cool, with fans or cool water.
SKIN RASHES Blotches seen anywhere. Stop taking the risperidone and see your doctor now.
What about alcohol?
It is officially recommended that people taking risperidone should not drink alcohol. This is because both risperidone and alcohol can
cause drowsiness. If the two are taken at the same time, severe drowsiness can result. This can lead to falls or accidents. As well as this,
drinking alcohol often makes psychosis worse. Excessive drinking is especially likely to do this. Once people are used to taking
medication, they can sometimes drink alcohol in small amounts without any harm. Avoid alcohol altogether for the first one
or two months. After this, if you want a drink, try a glass of your normal drink and see how you feel. If this doesn’t make you
feel drowsy, then it is probably OK to drink small amounts. It pays to be very cautious because alcohol affects people in
different ways, especially when they are taking medication.
Don't stop taking your medication because you fancy a drink. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor,
pharmacist or nurse. If you do drink alcohol, drink only small amounts. Never drink any alcohol and drive.
Remember, leaflets like this can only describe some of the effects of medication. You may find other
books or leaflets also useful. If you have access to the internet you may find a lot of information
there as well, but be careful, as internet based information is not always accurate.
2001 United Kingdom Psychiatric Pharmacy Group www.ukppg.org.uk
This leaflet is to help you understand about your medicine. It is not an official manufacturer's Patient Information Leaflet.
For more information call the UKPPG National Telephone Helpline, 11am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 020 7919 2999 or
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