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How Safe Is Risperidone for Children?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 13 July 2014
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It is usually safe to administer risperidone to children who are older than five years. When a child is starting treatment with this medication, it is important to start at a low dosage that gradually increases until the child is taking the proper amount of the medication. A number of adverse effects can occur along with the use of risperidone for children, so doctors will monitor their pediatric patients carefully to ensure that the medication is not causing them harm. For children and adolescents with bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia, risperidone is only recommended for short-term treatment. Younger children with autism can benefit from long term use of this drug at a lower dose.

In the treatment of schizophrenia, is it considered safe to administer risperidone for children over the age of 13. This disease often becomes symptomatic at adolescence, so children younger than 13 years old are unlikely to show signs of schizophrenia. Medical trials have established that it is safe for children with this disorder to take a dose of up to 6 milligrams, though 3 milligrams is the standard dosage. This treatment is only known to be safe for up to 8 weeks, so doctors who wish to extend treatment with risperidone for children with schizophrenia will periodically examine these patients to make sure there are no adverse effects.

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Children as young as 10 can be safely given risperidone in the treatment of bi-polar disorder. The proper dose for this treatment is usually 2.5 milligrams, though 6 milligrams is still a safe dose. Risperidone for children with bipolar disorder is usually only administered for three weeks because this medication has not been evaluated for safety for longer periods.

Autistic children as young as 5 years old may be given risperidone safely. In the treatment of this disorder, the drug is given at a low dosage that is dictated by the child's weight and tolerance to the drug. In general, the lowest effective dose should be given, because risperidone for children with autism may be administered as a longterm treatment.

There are a number of potentially serious side effects that can occur with the use of risperidone for children. Parents should watch for signs of dizziness, poor coordination, or drowsiness, which can make it possible for children to accidentally injure themselves. This drug can also increase the risk of developing hyperglycemia and diabetes, conditions that should be monitored closely so that they do not cause irreversible harm.

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