Hello, I am a psychiatrist.
To answer your question, Risperdal, like every medication, does have potential side effects. That doesn't mean that everyone who takes it will experience side effects, but they can and do happen.
The following is form the Risperdal manufacturer's website (www.risperdal.com):
The most common adverse reactions observed in all clinical trials with RISPERDAL ® occurring at a rate of at least 10% were drowsiness, increased appetite, fatigue, insomnia, sedation, tremor, muscle stiffness , vomiting, coughing, constipation, stuffy nose, runny nose, drooling, dry mouth, abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, headache , nasal congestion , common cold, rash, and restlessness.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) is a rare and potentially fatal side effect reported with RISPERDAL ® and similar medicines. Call your doctor immediately if the person being treated develops symptoms such as high fever; stiff muscles; shaking; confusion; sweating; changes in pulse, heart rate, or blood pressure; or muscle pain and weakness. Treatment should be stopped if the person being treated has NMS.
Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) is a serious, sometimes permanent side effect reported with RISPERDAL ® and similar medications. TD includes uncontrollable movements of the face, tongue, and other parts of the body. The risk of developing TD and the chance that it will become permanent is thought to increase with the length of therapy and the overall dose taken by the patient. This condition can develop after a brief period of therapy at low doses, although this is much less common. There is no known treatment for TD, but it may go away partially or completely if therapy is stopped.
RISPERDAL ® and similar medications can raise the blood levels of a hormone known as prolactin, causing a condition known as hyperprolactinemia. Blood levels of prolactin remain elevated with continued use. Some side effects seen with these medications include the absence of a menstrual period; breasts producing milk; the development of breasts by males; and the inability to achieve an erection. The connection between prolactin levels and side effects is unknown.
High blood sugar and diabetes have been reported with RISPERDAL ® and similar medications. If the person being treated has diabetes or risk factors such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes, blood sugar testing should be performed at the beginning and throughout treatment. Complications of diabetes can be serious and even life threatening. If signs of high blood sugar or diabetes develop, such as being thirsty all the time, going to the bathroom a lot, or feeling weak or hungry, contact your doctor.
RISPERDAL ® should be used cautiously in people with a seizure disorder, who have had seizures in the past, or who have conditions that increase their risk for seizures.
Some people taking RISPERDAL ® may feel faint or lightheaded when they stand up or sit up too quickly. By standing up or sitting up slowly and following your healthcare professional's dosing instructions, this side effect may be reduced or it may go away over time.
Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS) are usually persistent movement disorders or muscle disturbances, such as restlessness, tremors, and muscle stiffness. If you observe any of these symptoms, talk to your healthcare professional.
Some medications interact with RISPERDAL ® . Please inform your healthcare professional of any medications or supplements that you are taking. Avoid alcohol while taking RISPERDAL ®
Inform your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or if you are planning to get pregnant while taking RISPERDAL ® . Do not breast-feed if you are taking RISPERDAL.
RISPERDAL ® may affect your driving ability; therefore, do not drive or operate machinery before talking to your healthcare professional.
RISPERDAL ® may affect alertness and motor skills; use caution until the effect of RISPERDAL is known.