Risperidone for Anxiety: Dosage, Reviews, and Alternatives

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders worldwide, and they can significantly impact quality of life. Treatment for these conditions often involves a combination of medication and therapy. One such medication used in the treatment of anxiety is risperidone. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the use of risperidone for anxiety, considering its dosage, reviews, and alternatives.

Understanding Risperidone

Risperidone is an atypical antipsychotic medication primarily used to treat conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autistic disorder. But, it’s also used off-label for the treatment of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It works by modifying the activity of certain natural substances in the brain.

Risperidone for Anxiety

While risperidone is not typically the first-line treatment for anxiety, it can be used when other treatments are ineffective. It’s important to note that the use of risperidone for anxiety should be under the guidance of a healthcare provider. As with any medication, the effectiveness can vary among individuals, and it’s essential to monitor for potential side effects.

Dosage for Anxiety

The dosage of risperidone for anxiety varies depending on individual factors such as the severity of symptoms, the patient’s overall health status, and their response to treatment. Risperidone is often started at a low dose to minimize side effects and then slowly adjusted as needed. For anxiety, a low dose such as 0.5 mg may be prescribed initially.

Risperidone for Anxiety and OCD

Risperidone can also be used as an adjunctive therapy for OCD, particularly when first-line treatments such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have not been sufficiently effective.

Risperidone for Anxiety in the Elderly

In older adults, the use of risperidone for anxiety should be approached with caution. While it can be effective, elderly patients are often more susceptible to side effects, including sedation and falls. As such, if risperidone is used in this population, it’s typically at a lower dose, and the patient’s condition is closely monitored.

Risperidone for Anxiety and Weight Gain

One of the potential side effects of risperidone is weight gain. This can be a concern for many individuals, particularly because weight gain can have both physical health implications and impact a person’s self-esteem and mental health.

Reviews of Risperidone for Anxiety

Reviews of risperidone for anxiety are mixed. Some individuals find that it significantly reduces their anxiety symptoms and improves their quality of life. Others may find that the side effects, such as weight gain or sedation, outweigh the benefits. It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with medication is unique, and what works well for one person may not work as well for another.

Alternatives to Risperidone for Anxiety

For those who do not respond to risperidone or who experience undesirable side effects, there are several alternatives:

  • Other atypical antipsychotics: Other medications in the same class as risperidone, like quetiapine (Seroquel), may be options. Different medications in this class can have different side effect profiles, so if one doesn’t work, another might.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): These are often the first-line treatment for anxiety disorders. They include medications like fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and venlafaxine (Effexor).
  • Benzodiazepines: These medications, which include alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium), are often effective for short-term relief of acute symptoms of anxiety. However, they’re typically not the first choice for long-term management due to the risk of dependency.


Risperidone is one of many tools in the arsenal for treating anxiety. While it’s not typically the first choice for this purpose, it can be effective for some individuals. As with any medication, it’s crucial to discuss the potential benefits and risks with a healthcare provider and to monitor for any side effects during treatment. This post is for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice. If you’re struggling with anxiety, reach out to a healthcare provider to discuss your treatment options.

There are various forms of drugs available, such as tablets or liquids, and each may have a separate patient information leaflet (PIL) for different doses. It is important to refer to the PIL for the specific form and dose of the drug that you have been prescribed.

You can search for further information and PILs on websites such as: