Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Risperidone, known by the brand name of Risperdal, is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability in autistic adolescents and children. Since Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug it is often prescribed to adolescents residing in psychiatric hospitals. One of the side effects associated with Risperdal is an increase in weight gain. As a former residential adolescent care provider at Pine Rest Christian Mental hospital I’ve seen first-hand how this medication effects adolescent boys’ weight and behavior. At Pine Rest, Risperdal is often given to adolescents with aggression due to bipolar disorder and oppositional defiant disorder (a type of disruptive behavioral disorder). The combination of a medication with a common side effect of weight gain, in addition to a sedentary lifestyle due to being in a locked facility, lead to serious health concerns associated with obesity including Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. This study was done in order to discover if there’s a better alternative to Risperdal consistent with the medication’s positive outcomes but without the negative side effect of induced weight gain.
Vink, Chelsea M., "The Pharmacokinetics of Risperdal and its Weight Gaining Side Effects in Adolescents with Irritability Due to Autism and Disruptive Behavior Disorders" (2015). Honors Projects. 457.