New Member
Ok...back from another visit with DS at the psychiatric hospital and have some concerns about the Risperdal he's on.

He's on day 2 1/2 of it and he's exhausted. Visiting hours start at 6 pm and the kid that normally gets to sleep around 9:30-10 pm against his will is ASKING to take a nap. He's like a zombie.

Granted he's really compliant and the oppositional behavior seems to be gone, but he's spacey and exhausted. We played a board game and the kid who's a mathmatical genius was making careless mathmatical mistakes the entire game.

And what really concerns me, but I don't see it on the side effects list I found online (I'm going to keep looking) is he's complaining that he now needs glasses! He says he can't see things far away now. We were sitting on his bed and I asked him if he could read his name tag on his door about 10 feet away (which he could read clear as day when he got there) and he said he could barely tell there was even ink on the white tag! It's a large tag with fairly large print. I don't wear glasses and he has always been able to see father and clearer than me, and now all of a sudden he can't read 10 feet away from him...can't even see that there's print to be read.

What are your thoughts? My understanding is that he's at the lowest dose of .5 mg 2 times a day.


One of the major side effects of Risperdal is fatigue. The lowest dose is .25 mg so there is an option to go lower if your difficult child is finding the current dose too sedating. Sometimes kids adjust to the fatigue after a few days. Maybe Risperdal is causing dizziness or blurriness, which is why he says he's having a hard time seeing. You definitely should run the side effects by the psychiatrist.


trying to survive....
I think .5 2x per day is definately a large dosage to start with...My difficult child started at 1/2 of .25...however I do know of some kids who take as much as 3 mg per day. I'm not surprised he is tired. Sedation is definately a side effect. Most kids adjust to the sedation. I'd allow naps or an early bedtime while he's adjusting. The benefit of hosptalization is that they can monitor dosages. I have heard that since the child is in care 24/7 some doctors tend to be a bit more agressive with the medication to determine if it's effective.

Definately talk to the doctor about your concerns. I've never heard of a side effect of vision. Good luck !!


New Member
It sounds like they went up on dosage very quickly. Mine had started on .25 once each day and after a couple weeks went up to .25 2x/day. A couple weeks later we increased to .25 1x and .50 1x each day. I think I was told that a good therapeutic dose to end with would be 1-2 mg/day. Even a tiny amount made my difficult child exhausted and he slept all the time. It sounds like they went up to a high level in a matter of days? Perhaps that is why he is so sedated and groggy. Perhaps the sedation is what is causing the vision problems. My difficult child never had vision problems. It is nice that the rages have subsided, but he needs to function too! Perhaps he will adjust in time, or the dose might need to be adjusted down some.


Active Member
I've had both boys on risperdal. difficult child 1 was on quarter of a tablet twice a day but quickly had to go down to evening only (and that, right before bedtime) because he would go straight to sleep and couldn't be roused.

difficult child 3, on the other hand, took three times that amount in two doses and was completely unfazed by it.

difficult child 1 doubled his weight in six months. difficult child 3 didn't gain anything more than he should have, although since going off it (because it was making very little difference and costing us too much) he lost weight.

I'd talk to the doctor about cutting the dosage and only giving it to him in the evening, right before bedtime. Then keep an eye on him the following day to make sure the sedation isn't continuing.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Risperdal was & still is a good medication for wm. He also started out at a high dose due to the intensity of his rages & aggression.

After a time the drowsiness lessened.


Well-Known Member
My difficult child took Risperdal for a long time...just weaned off it about a month ago. It certainly helped with his aggression, but he ate and ate and ate. With the doctor's permission, we cut back on it because I figured he was going to have a weight problem and we didn't need anymore issues than what we already had. Overall, I think it's a very, very good medication.


Well-Known Member
Risperdal is the only medication that made any effect on Son. To be honest, it was like a miracle at first because we had been dealing with his extreme irratibility for years. We could do a few things as a family. Like go out to dinner without it becoming a disaster.

Son also experienced no weight gain at all. He's quite thin and a few pounds probably wouldn't hurt him.

He was drowsy the first few days and when he went a few days because of his script running out, he was drowsy again when he started taking it again. Plus, without it, his irratibility and anger returned along with my PTSD.

Been a good medication for us. Though, I know it hasn't been for many.


New Member
Thanks for all of your feedback!!!!

We have a 4 pm meeting with the Social Worker today (can't seem to get the psychiatrist to talk to me :frown: ), so I'll bring up the vision concern...I'm hoping it's just because he was sooooo tired that he wasn't able to focus his eyes. I'm encouraged to hear that the exhaustion could fade with time and maybe the psychiatrist will adjust his dose a bit.

I know husband is VERY disheartened by how zombified difficult child seemed last night. And then when difficult child asked us, in the sadest voice ever, why we were making him take medicine because he didn't want to, it just hurt husband very much. So, I know some reassuring words that difficult child will "wake up" a bit over the next week or so will make him feel better.

I'm hoping the fact that we'll be there a bit earlier in the day today will help too. The SW said we could get a pass to take difficult child down to the cafe for dinner if he was having a good day. :smile: And after that, tonight will be our first Family Night Group.

Thanks again for all of your feedback.


New Member
I am glad that he is having a good day today!! I hope that you meeting goes well with the social worker. I have not had that experience where a Dr would refuse to talk to can't even request them to give you a call, or get their number and leave a message?


New Member
psychiatrist FINALLY returned my call. I feel MUCH better now. I got to tell her about his "manic" episodes that NOBODY would seem to listen about and I was relieved to hear that SHE said she didn't see any depression, after the SW had said their thoughts were the Oppositionality with Depression.

She said that during the day difficult child is VERY awake and does not seem sedated at all, but she was a little confused as to why he was so tired at 6 pm when we visit, since he doesn't get his evening dose of Risperdal until 8 pm. I also mentioned the vision and she said that it could be blurred vision and that since he's never been on medications before, he could be having a hard time adjusting to it. She wants to watch it for another day and then maybe adjust the dose. She was glad I told her.

So, what she told me was Disruptive Behavior Disorder- not otherwise specified...which is kind of funny, because she ruled out ADHD and said probably not CD (which I never suspected CD), so that only leaves his existing diagnosis of ODD! LOL Doesn't sound not otherwise specified to me! LOL But, with me bringing up the manic episodes, she said he definately needs to be watched as he grows up for mood disorders and possible bi-polar, but without a strong family history...

And, she shot me down on the neuropsychologist test too. Said to wait for the school testing. :::sigh:::


New Member
That is what I find...if they do not see the mania with their own eyes then they refuse to call it bipolar disorder. The say to keep waiting. The problem arises when they refuse to treat it as if it might be bipolar, but the other medications don't work...
Risperdal worked well for difficult child#2 for two years. However one of the side effects of Risperdal is elevated prolactin level, and he did develop this (we kept an eye on his serum prolactin level). He had no symptoms, but both boys and girls can develop enlarged bre@$t$, (sorry, the other word was censored) and girls can lactate. We had to switch him over to Abilify, which is also very beneficial for him (although difficult child#1 has a raging appetite on Abilify - - everyone is so different, as you know).

Just something to be aware of -- I'm not sorry we used Risperdal, it was good for us.

Good luck.


New Member
They lowered his dose down to .25 mg twice a day from the .5 mg twice a day.

He started with a vocal tic (clearing his throat every second) and was still having VERY blurred vision and he was complaining that he was very tired this morning.

So, we'll see how he does on the lower dose. I'm glad they haven't discharged him yet so they can keep an eye on him while they trial the medication.

So far they're looking at a Wednesday discharge.


Because Risperdal is sometimes prescribed to treat tics, any repetitive movement or sound may actually be a dystonic reaction and MAY mean that he can't take Risperdal (or need Cogentin or Benadryl to counteract the side effect). If the sounds worsen or other movements develop, make sure the psychiatrist is aware that this is a side effect of taking Risperdal. It happened to my difficult child 1, and the movements became uncontrollable to the point that we discontinued Risperdal.