Risperidone: a review

Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Hans-Jürgen Möller


When the risk of agranulocytosis associated with clozapine, the prototype of the second-generation neuroleptics, became apparent, its prescription was restricted to patients refractory to classical neuroleptics such as chlorpromazine and haloperidol. This stimulated the development of several novel second-generation antipsychotics with a clinical profile similar to that of clozapine. These novel antipsychotics, which include risperidone, olanzapine and others, are characterised by different pharmacological structures, and also to a certain degree by different pharmacological mechanisms. Following the increased research on the novel second-generation antipsychotics, it became apparent that they not only have the advantage of better extrapyramidal tolerability than the classical neuroleptics, but also have a broader efficacy spectrum (i.e., advantages in the treatment of negative and depressive symptoms and cognitive disturbances in the context of schizophrenia). Risperidone was specifically designed by Paul Janssen as a combined 5-HT2A and D2 receptor antagonist, thus following the pharmacological mechanism thought to be responsible for the antipsychotic effects of clozapine. After its advent in the 1990s as the first novel seco...Continue Reading


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