How Effective Is Risperidone for Anxiety?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2018
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Doctors may prescribe risperidone for anxiety when traditional anxiety treatments have been ineffective. Though this drug is usually used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in some patients, it can be an effective treatment for generalized anxiety disorder. Medical studies have shown that most patients who take risperidone for treating anxiety show a decrease in their symptoms. The drug is usually taken as needed and at low doses because the long term effects can cause adverse health effects.

Risperidone is a type of antipsychotic drug that works by interfering with a patient's ability to use both serotonin and dopamine. In psychotic disorders, a surplus of these chemical messengers can cause the person to disconnect with reality. Patients with generalized anxiety disorder may also suffer from an imbalance in one or both of these chemicals and risperidone can be used to help correct these imbalances. In most cases, doctors will prescribe risperidone for anxiety only after other treatments have been unsuccessful.

Patients with generalized anxiety disorder can take a test that is designed to rate how severe the symptoms of the disorder are. This test, called the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, quantifies a patient's anxiety by asking the patient to rate the severity of 14 different symptoms of anxiety. By examining the results of this test before and after giving patients risperidone, doctors have determined that the use of this drug can reduce the symptoms of anxiety in most patients, often significantly.


Many patients who are given risperidone for anxiety will be given a low dose of between 0.5 milligrams and 1.5 milligrams. This drug is generally not considered safe to take continuously for long periods of time, so patients taking it for anxiety will usually only use the medication on an as-needed basis. Daily use of risperidone can lead to serious health complications, including diabetes and nervous system disorders. When taken intermittently, the risks of developing these conditions are greatly diminished.

The use of risperidone for anxiety is a relatively new practice in 2011, and the long-term effects of this medication are not all known. A doctor will carefully weigh the benefits of this drug against its potential side effects before prescribing it to a patient with anxiety. Most patients tolerate the medication well, despite side effects such as drowsiness and nausea, and find that the decrease in anxiety is sufficient to warrant its continued use.


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Post 1

I've been taking 0.5 mg of Risperidone at night for one week. I wonder if at this low dose, if it can lead to the problems mentioned in this page: serious health complications, including diabetes and nervous system disorders. My doctor prescribed it to me because I am anxious but especially because of my alimentary mania (being vegetarian without gluten, without milk, etc. and after that, being a frugivore, which is eating just fruits, legumes and some nuts and thinking about food all the time).

I felt a bit oppressed by my father (too much for reality) because of the pressure to be like others, to work, to be fast, but I'm a bit TDA without hyperactivity and not very

confident. My doctor gave me Risperdal and it made me feel a bit down, and somnolent. I went to the hospital some days after because I was more worried about summer jobs and pressure from my father about it and about the fact that I was about to move on to live in a other town in few weeks and I was worried about telling him because I was scared to see his reaction (because I would be obligated to take my money from school to pay a bigger apartment, etc.). Then, the pressure was too strong. I felt hopeless about not to be able to tell him and not to be able to find work because I felt a bit sick and I wanted to have a summer break to get better. I knew that in the psychiatric hospital, I could go and not think about it.

I went there and the doctor didn't really understand why I came to the hospital, but decided that I could stay one night and see the psychiatrist. It was my psychiatrist who was at the hospital that morning, and I was surprised. That night they gave me 25mg of seroquel. The morning after, I was a bit tired, but my head was relaxed for one time in my life and a bit clearer. When I went out after seeing my doctor, I went back to my house.

I stopped taking the Risperdal because I found that it made me too depressed. About a week after, I told my father that I was about to move on to an other town and he took it well. About working, my psychiatrist told me about help for people with physical or psychological handicaps; it's a place that help us to find adapted work. Then, I told my father that and all was good for him. My move went OK and working was OK. I felt better after that.

About my alimentation mania. I was a little scared to talk to my father during this year because of my father's pressure. I got sick because of it a year ago. Before that, I was a bit anxious and a little paranoid about my father. Sometimes I was scared to call him or answer to the phone because I felt pressure.

In all my life (I am 25 years old), I always had a hyperactive thoughts or hypervigilance. My head does not slow down. I'm always on. Even when I'm on summer vacation, I feel stressed. I feel like I've always got something important to do in my head, but I don't have any responsibilities. Anyway, I took the Risperdal again because my psychiatrist told me again that the little feeling of somnolence is just in the beginning. Then, I took it again because I didn't feel better.

Now I talk more with my dad. I made peace with him because he showed he understood, and also, I eat more normally now. It is not because of the medoc, but because of my reconciliation with my dad, because, when all of that was good, I wasn't taking Risperdal. I take it again now for other reasons, like because of my spinning thoughts. My head is always on. I can't think about practical things in my life; I am just in my head. I think a lot about getting better. Since I was a child, my head was like that. I'm not hyperactive; I just have spinning thoughts.

I just can't slow down inside my head. Maybe because there are too many things in my head so I can't concentrate and it slows me down. When I was kid, everyone laughed at me and told me I was slow. I have always being a kind, calm person, but I find it difficult to live in my head. I wonder if Risperdal will work for me. And I wonder if it will cause long-term health disorders.

Some days ago, I thought about taking the 25 mg of seroquel because of the good effect it had on me when I was in in the hospital for a day. Everything was so much clearer. Yes, it is a sedative, and I felt slowed down, but better than the effect of Risperdal. Risperdal doesn't work with my thoughts and makes my head feel heavy and slowed down.

With the Seroquel, I think it was just my body that was sedated and it calmed down my spinning thoughts. I felt great. It was just 25 mg. These days, I've been thinking about taking seroquel on a regular basis. I read that it was good for anxiety with 25 mg. But in high doses (like 200 or 400 mg), there are a lot of bad side effects, but in low doses, there are a lot of good effects on anxiety for people like me. But today, I'm not sure if it helps a bit more than my Risperdal. I see my psychiatrist in about three weeks, so I will see if Risperdal works well or not.

Anyway, if you read a bit of my profile, then you can suggest things. But especially tell me about the health dangers with 0.5 mg of Risperdal or, if I take Seroquel, if 25mg can have bad effects on my health or if it's just in high doses.

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