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Risperdal and ADHD

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Emma Lloyd • updated: 9/10/2010

Risperdal is commonly used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, it can have benefits for those with ADHD. Read on to learn more about Risperdal and ADHD.

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    What is Risperdal?

    Risperdal, also known as Risperidone, is commonly used to treat people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Risperdal and ADHD is becoming more common place. According to, it is an antipsychotic medication that works by changing chemicals in the brain. Since it is known to change brain chemicals, it can also be used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, also known as ADHD.

    Risperdal is not commonly prescribed to those with ADHD as a first option. It is often used in combination with other drugs such as Adderal or Vyvanese. It needs to be prescribed by a doctor and needs to be taken as the doctor has prescribed.

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    What is It Used For?

    According to, Risperdal is indicated in the treatment for people with autism, ages 5-16. It treats symptoms of aggression and quick changing moods; this is something that is commonly seen in those who have attention deficit disorder. Many people who with ADHD have moodiness and a very hard time paying attention for extended amounts of time.

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    How Does It Work?

    So, how does Risperdal actually work? There are chemicals in the brain known as serotonin and dopamine ( Although it is unclear how it exactly works, it is believed to balance the chemicals of serotonin and dopamine and reduces the symptoms commonly from bipolar disorder. Dopamine in the brain affects behavior, thinking, perception, and emotions. Those with ADHD are often affected in one or more of these areas.

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    Side Effects

    Risperdal has been known to have some very harsh side effects, it is known as a tranquilizer, so it is a very strong medication. According to the National Institute of Health, some of the side effects are: dizziness, suicidal thoughts, drowsiness, difficulty sleeping, stomach pain, restlessness, and anxiety are just a few. As you can tell from the side effects, restlessness and anxiety are also symptoms of ADHD as well. Although many may not have any of the side effects, you need to consider your options before starting this type of medication.

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    Other Information

    Risperdal can be taken with or without and can be stored at room temperature. Some people notice changes rather quickly when taking the medication, while for others it may take a little longer, so you need to patient when using this because it may not have immediate effects.

    As with any medication, you need to talk to a doctor first in order to see if the treatment is right. Remember, Risperdal is not prescribed for those with ADHD by itself and should not be the first medication to try. However, this drug therapy may work for those with ADHD who also have symptoms of moodiness. If you are interested in learning more about this medication therapy, contact your doctor. Risperdal is not a cure, but can be used to help alleviate some symptoms of ADHD. Now you know a little more about Risperdal and ADHD, hopefully you can make the right decision for you.

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    Rxlist (

    Helium (

    Risperdal (

    National Institute of Health (

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