Risperidone for Psychological Disorders in Children : Dosage, Uses and Side Effects

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Children can develop all of the same mental conditiond as adults. They experience a range of psychological disorders which include-

  • Schizophrenia
  • Mood disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Bipolar disorder

For treatment of these disorders antipsychotic, antimanic, antidepressants, antianxiety and psychotomimetic drugs are used. Antipsychotic are classified as typical and atypical antipsychotics. Risperidone is included in atypical antipsychotic drug.

Risperidone is oral tablet available as the brand name drug Risperdal. It also comes in oral solution. It is used to treat psychotic disorders. It has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in children and adolescents to treat psychosis. It acts in brain by affecting levels of dopamine and serotonin which calm the child with severe behavior problems.

Risperidone is approved for the treatment of irritability associated with autism spectrum disorders in children and adolescents in the United States. It is helpful in treating disruptive disorders, hyperactivity, aggressive nature and  autism spectrum disorders.

Guide for Risperidone for Psychological Disorders in Children

Psychological Disorders in Children

Dosage

For treatment of psychological disorders, risperidone is administered once or twice each day. It belongs to the group of medicines called antipsychotics. If risperidone has been prescribed for the child the dose can be taken in tablet, orodispersible tablets and liquid medicine. It works by blocking the activity of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin and will affect the child’s mood and psychological behaviour.

The doses used to treat in children are much lower than the doses that are used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder inadults. After taking this thechild become less irritable, less explosive and less angry. Take this medicine regularly to reduce disruptive behaviours. Talk to your doctor if it is not working.

When it should be taken ?

It may be given once or twice each day, the doctor will inform. Once a day is usually in the evening and twice a day is once in the morning and once in the evening between 10-12 hours apart.

How much to be given ?

The doctor will give the amount to be taken which is right for the child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label. The dose may increase as oer the behaviour of the child.

What form it is available ?

  • Tablets- these contain lactose. 500 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3mg, 4 mg and 6 mg.
  • Orodispersible tablets – these contain aspartmate. 500 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg and 4 mg.
  • Liquid medicine – 1 mg in 1 ml

How it should be given ?

Tablets should be swallowed as a whole with a glass of water. It should be taken straight away without chewing.

Orodispersible tablets should be dissolved in the mouth. Place the tablet on the child’s tongue. Keep it there until it is dissolved which takes about a minute or the child can suck the tablet gently. After this it can swallowed.

Liquid medicine should be measurd by medicine spoon or oral syringe not the kitchen teaspoon and then taken. It can be mixed with milk or fruit jiuce to hide the taste of the liquid medicine.

When it starts to work ?

It may take a few days or weeks for the medicine to work properly depending on what the child is being treated for. Continue the medicine as prescribed by the doctor. Never miss the dose.

What if forgot to take a dose ?

Do not miss the dose. Do not give the missed dose. Wait until the next normal dose and then continue to give the medicine as usual.

In schizophrenia the drug is used in children between 13-17 years, should not be used younger than 13 years to treat this condition.

  • Typical starting dose- 0.5 mg per day taken in the morning or evening
  • Dose increases- Your doctor may slowly increase your dose once every 24 hours or longer. They may increase it by 0.5–1 mg per day up to 6 mg per day. Your doctor will change your dose based on your response and how you tolerate the drug.
  • Maximum dose- 6 mg/day

In acute manic disorder the drug is used in children between 10-17 years, should not be used younger than 10 years to treat this condition.

  • Typical starting dose- 0.5 mg per day taken in the morning or evening
  • Dose increases- Your doctor may slowly increase your dose once every 24 hours or longer. They may increase it by 0.5–1 mg per day up to 6 mg per day. Your doctor will change your dose based on your response and how you tolerate the drug.
  • Maximum dose- 6 mg/day

In irritability with autistic disorder the drug is used in children between 5-17 years, should not be used younger than 5 years to treat this condition.

Typical starting dose

  • For children weighing less than 20 kg- Your doctor will start you at 0.25 mg taken once per day. Or your doctor may give you half of the total daily dose taken twice per day.
  • For children weighing 20 kg or more- Your doctor will start you at 0.5 mg taken once per day. Or your doctor may give you half of the total daily dose taken twice per day.

Dose increases

  • For children weighing less than 20 kg- After a minimum of 4 days, your doctor may increase your dose to 0.5 mg per day. If you don’t respond to this drug after 14 days, your doctor may increase your dose every 2 weeks or more. They may increase it by 0.25 mg per day.
  • For children weighing 20 kg or more- After a minimum of 4 days, your doctor may increase your dose to 1 mg per day. If you don’t respond to this drug after 14 days, your doctor may increase your dose every 2 weeks or more. They may increase it by 0.5 mg per day.

Maximum dose-3 mg per day

Side Effects

Uses

Risperidone is a drug used to treat psychiatric conditions which include-

  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Acute manic attacks
  • Irritability associated with autism
  • Reduce aggression
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity diorder (ADHD)
  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD)

It allows children with autism to benefit from social services, educational programs and behavioral interventions.

Risperidone either alone or in combination with the mood stabilizers lithium, valproic acid carbamazepine, serve as first line treatment options for the treatment of pediatric bipolar disorder based on severity and acuteness of the illness

In 2002, a randomized clinical trial of children with autism between 5 and 17 years of age showed a 57 percent reduction in tantrums, aggression and self-injury after taking risperidone.Among the children who responded positively to the drug, nearly 70 percent still showed improvements after six months of taking it.

In October 2006, the FDA approved risperidone to treat irritability in children with autism between 5 and 16 years of age.

Conclusion 

Risperidone is a commonly used atypical or second generation antipsychotic agent (SGA) recently approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in children with age 13–17years and for acute manic disorder in children and adolescents ages 10–17 years. It has irritability associated with autism in children 5–16 years of age. It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!

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