Risperidone (Page 3 of 11)

5.6 Hyperprolactinemia

As with other drugs that antagonize dopamine D2 receptors, risperidone elevates prolactin levels and the elevation persists during chronic administration. Risperidone is associated with higher levels of prolactin elevation than other antipsychotic agents.

Hyperprolactinemia may suppress hypothalamic GnRH, resulting in reduced pituitary gonadotropin secretion. This, in turn, may inhibit reproductive function by impairing gonadal steroidogenesis in both female and male patients. Galactorrhea, amenorrhea, gynecomastia, and impotence have been reported in patients receiving prolactin-elevating compounds. Long-standing hyperprolactinemia when associated with hypogonadism may lead to decreased bone density in both female and male subjects.

Tissue culture experiments indicate that approximately one-third of human breast cancers are prolactin dependent in vitro , a factor of potential importance if the prescription of these drugs is contemplated in a patient with previously detected breast cancer. An increase in pituitary gland, mammary gland, and pancreatic islet cell neoplasia (mammary adenocarcinomas, pituitary and pancreatic adenomas) was observed in the risperidone carcinogenicity studies conducted in mice and rats [see Non-Clinical Toxicology (13.1)]. Neither clinical studies nor epidemiologic studies conducted to date have shown an association between chronic administration of this class of drugs and tumorigenesis in humans; the available evidence is considered too limited to be conclusive at this time.

5.7 Orthostatic Hypotension

Risperidone may induce orthostatic hypotension associated with dizziness, tachycardia, and in some patients, syncope, especially during the initial dose-titration period, probably reflecting its alpha-adrenergic antagonistic properties. Syncope was reported in 0.2% (6/2607) of risperidone-treated patients in Phase 2 and 3 studies in adults with schizophrenia. The risk of orthostatic hypotension and syncope may be minimized by limiting the initial dose to 2 mg total (either once daily or 1 mg twice daily) in normal adults and 0.5 mg twice daily in the elderly and patients with renal or hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.1, 2.4)]. Monitoring of orthostatic vital signs should be considered in patients for whom this is of concern. A dose reduction should be considered if hypotension occurs. Risperidone should be used with particular caution in patients with known cardiovascular disease (history of myocardial infarction or ischemia, heart failure, or conduction abnormalities), cerebrovascular disease, and conditions which would predispose patients to hypotension, e.g., dehydration and hypovolemia. Clinically significant hypotension has been observed with concomitant use of risperidone and antihypertensive medication.

5.8 Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis

Class Effect: In clinical trial and/or postmarketing experience, events of leukopenia/neutropenia have been reported temporally related to antipsychotic agents, including risperidone. Agranulocytosis has also been reported.

Possible risk factors for leukopenia/neutropenia include pre-existing low white blood cell count (WBC) and history of drug-induced leukopenia/neutropenia. Patients with a history of a clinically significant low WBC or a drug-induced leukopenia/neutropenia should have their complete blood count (CBC) monitored frequently during the first few months of therapy and discontinuation of risperidone should be considered at the first sign of a clinically significant decline in WBC in the absence of other causative factors.

Patients with clinically significant neutropenia should be carefully monitored for fever or other symptoms or signs of infection and treated promptly if such symptoms or signs occur. Patients with severe neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count <1000/mm3) should discontinue risperidone and have their WBC followed until recovery.

5.9 Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment

Somnolence was a commonly reported adverse event associated with risperidone treatment, especially when ascertained by direct questioning of patients. This adverse event is dose-related, and in a study utilizing a checklist to detect adverse events, 41% of the high-dose patients (risperidone 16 mg/day) reported somnolence compared to 16% of placebo patients. Direct questioning is more sensitive for detecting adverse events than spontaneous reporting, by which 8% of risperidone 16 mg/day patients and 1% of placebo patients reported somnolence as an adverse event. Since risperidone has the potential to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that risperidone therapy does not affect them adversely.

5.10 Seizures

During premarketing testing in adult patients with schizophrenia, seizures occurred in 0.3% (9/2607) of risperidone-treated patients, two in association with hyponatremia. Risperidone should be used cautiously in patients with a history of seizures.

5.11 Dysphagia

Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotic drug use. Aspiration pneumonia is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with advanced Alzheimer’s dementia. Risperidone and other antipsychotic drugs should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration pneumonia. [See also Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]

5.12 Priapism

Priapism has been reported during postmarketing surveillance [see Adverse Reactions (6.9)]. Severe priapism may require surgical intervention.

5.13 Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)

A single case of TTP was reported in a 28 year-old female patient receiving oral risperidone in a large, open premarketing experience (approximately 1300 patients). She experienced jaundice, fever, and bruising, but eventually recovered after receiving plasmapheresis. The relationship to risperidone therapy is unknown.

5.14 Body Temperature Regulation

Disruption of body temperature regulation has been attributed to antipsychotic agents. Both hyperthermia and hypothermia have been reported in association with oral risperidone use. Caution is advised when prescribing for patients who will be exposed to temperature extremes.

5.15 Antiemetic Effect

Risperidone has an antiemetic effect in animals; this effect may also occur in humans, and may mask signs and symptoms of overdosage with certain drugs or of conditions such as intestinal obstruction, Reye’s syndrome, and brain tumor.

5.16 Suicide

The possibility of a suicide attempt is inherent in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar mania, including children and adolescent patients, and close supervision of high-risk patients should accompany drug therapy. Prescriptions for risperidone should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets, consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

5.17 Use in Patients with Concomitant Illness

Clinical experience with risperidone in patients with certain concomitant systemic illnesses is limited. Patients with Parkinson’s Disease or Dementia with Lewy Bodies, who receive antipsychotics, including risperidone, are reported to have an increased sensitivity to antipsychotic medications. Manifestations of this increased sensitivity have been reported to include confusion, obtundation, postural instability with frequent falls, extrapyramidal symptoms, and clinical features consistent with the neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

Caution is advisable in using risperidone in patients with diseases or conditions that could affect metabolism or hemodynamic responses. Risperidone has not been evaluated or used to any appreciable extent in patients with a recent history of myocardial infarction or unstable heart disease. Patients with these diagnoses were excluded from clinical studies during the product’s premarket testing.

Increased plasma concentrations of risperidone and 9-hydroxyrisperidone occur in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance <30 mL/min/1.73 m2), and an increase in the free fraction of risperidone is seen in patients with severe hepatic impairment. A lower starting dose should be used in such patients [see Dosage and Administration (2.4)].

5.18 Monitoring: Laboratory Tests

No specific laboratory tests are recommended.


The following are discussed in more detail in other sections of the labeling:

  • Increased mortality in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
  • Cerebrovascular adverse events, including stroke, in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
  • Tardive dyskinesia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
  • Hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
  • Hyperprolactinemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
  • Orthostatic hypotension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]
  • Leukopenia, neutropenia, and agranulocytosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]
  • Potential for cognitive and motor impairment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]
  • Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)]
  • Dysphagia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)]
  • Priapism [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]
  • Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)]
  • Disruption of body temperature regulation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)]
  • Antiemetic effect [see Warnings and Precautions (5.15)]
  • Suicide [see Warnings and Precautions (5.16)]
  • Increased sensitivity in patients with Parkinson’s disease or those with dementia with Lewy bodies [see Warnings and Precautions (5.17)]
  • Diseases or conditions that could affect metabolism or hemodynamic responses [see Warnings and Precautions (5.17)].

The most common adverse reactions in clinical trials (≥ 10%) were somnolence, increased appetite, fatigue, insomnia, sedation, parkinsonism, akathisia, vomiting, cough, constipation, nasopharyngitis, drooling, rhinorrhea, dry mouth, abdominal pain upper, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, headache, nasal congestion, rhinitis, tremor, and rash.

The most common adverse reactions that were associated with discontinuation from clinical trials (causing discontinuation in >1% of adults and/or >2% of pediatrics) were nausea, somnolence, sedation, vomiting, dizziness, and akathisia [see Adverse Reactions (6.5)].

The data described in this section are derived from a clinical trial database consisting of 9712 adult and pediatric patients exposed to one or more doses of risperidone for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar mania, autistic disorder, and other psychiatric disorders in pediatrics and elderly patients with dementia. Of these 9712 patients, 2626 were patients who received risperidone while participating in double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. The conditions and duration of treatment with risperidone varied greatly and included (in overlapping categories) double-blind, fixed- and flexible-dose, placebo- or active-controlled studies and open-label phases of studies, inpatients and outpatients, and short-term (up to 12 weeks) and longer-term (up to 3 years) exposures. Safety was assessed by collecting adverse events and performing physical examinations, vital signs, body weights, laboratory analyses, and ECGs.

Adverse events during exposure to study treatment were obtained by general inquiry and recorded by clinical investigators using their own terminology. Consequently, to provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing adverse events, events were grouped in standardized categories using MedDRA terminology.

Throughout this section, adverse reactions are reported. Adverse reactions are adverse events that were considered to be reasonably associated with the use of risperidone (adverse drug reactions) based on the comprehensive assessment of the available adverse event information. A causal association for risperidone often cannot be reliably established in individual cases. Further, because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

The majority of all adverse reactions were mild to moderate in severity.

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