About risperidone long-acting injection
|Type of medicine||Atypical antipsychotic|
|Used for||Easing the symptoms of schizophrenia and other similar mental health problems|
|Also called||Risperdal Consta®|
|Available as||Long-acting depot injection|
Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition that causes disordered ideas, beliefs and experiences. Risperidone is used to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia and other similar mental health problems. Such symptoms include hearing, seeing, or sensing things that are not real, having mistaken beliefs, and feeling unusually suspicious.
Risperidone works on the balance of chemical substances which act on the nervous system in your brain.
Long-acting or 'depot' injections are used once your symptoms have been eased by taking tablets. The injection slowly releases risperidone into your body and is given every two weeks. The main advantage of a depot injection is that you do not have to remember to take tablets every day.
Before using risperidone injection
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start having risperidone injections, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have a heart condition or blood vessel disease.
- If you have liver, kidney, or prostate problems.
- If you have breathing problems.
- If you have any of the following: diabetes, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, depression, glaucoma, or myasthenia gravis (this is a condition causing muscle weakness).
- If you have a condition called phaeochromocytoma (a tumour on your adrenal gland).
- If you have porphyria (this is a rare blood disorder).
- If you have ever had jaundice (yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes), or a blood disorder.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to use risperidone long-acting injection
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about risperidone, and a full list of possible side-effects from it.
- Risperidone injection will be given to you by your doctor or nurse. It is given by injection into the muscle of your buttock or upper arm.
- If you haven't received an injection like risperidone before, a small dose is usually given as a test before you have a normal dose. This is to see how well you tolerate the injection.
- You may be asked to continue taking your tablets for a short while after you have had your first injection. This is because it can take a few weeks before you feel the full effect of the injection.
- If you miss an appointment for an injection, you should contact your doctor's surgery to make another appointment as soon as possible. This is because the injection should be given to you without further delay.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Your treatment will require careful monitoring to make sure that you get the best possible benefit from risperidone. Keep your regular doctor's appointments so your progress can be checked.
- Risperidone may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA light and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, especially in strong sunlight or until you know how your skin reacts. Do not use sunbeds.
- If you are having any dental treatment or an operation, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking. This is important because risperidone may interfere with any anaesthetic you receive. If you are having cataract surgery, it is particularly important that you tell your surgeon you are on risperidone. This is because an eye problem known as 'floppy iris syndrome' has developed in some people and your doctor will want to advise you about the risk of this.
- If you buy or take any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with risperidone.
- If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about drinking while you are on risperidone. Alcohol may increase the chance that you experience side-effects and may not be recommended for you.
- If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as risperidone may affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this.
Can risperidone cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common risperidone injection side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Pain at the site of the injection||This should quickly pass. If the area becomes red, swollen or 'lumpy', let your doctor know|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Feeling dizzy or sleepy, blurred vision, feeling light-headed||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines. Do not drink alcohol, as it will increase these effects|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids. If this continues, let your doctor know|
|Constipation||Drink plenty of water and eat a well-balanced diet containing plenty of fruit and vegetables|
|Feeling or being sick, indigestion, stomach discomfort||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy food|
|Dry mouth, feeling breathless, cough, infections, changes in your heartbeats, anaemia, movement disorders, toothache, rash, urinary problems, muscle aches and pain, blood pressure changes, sexual disorders, difficulties sleeping||Discuss these with your doctor if any become troublesome|
Important: if you experience 'flu-like' symptoms including muscle stiffness, with a high temperature, confusion, a fast heartbeat and sweating, contact your doctor immediately. These may be signs of a rare but serious condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
Important: if you experience abnormal face or body movements, restlessness, or any involuntary muscle movements, discuss these with your doctor as soon as possible.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store risperidone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store risperidone injections in a refrigerator.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Risperdal Consta® 25, 37.5 and 50 mg powder and solvent for prolonged-release suspension for intramuscular injection; Manufacturer's PIL, Risperdal Consta® 25, 37.5 and 50 mg powder and solvent for prolonged-release suspension for intramuscular injection, Janssen-Cilag Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated February 2012.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Helen Huins