Getting Off Risperdal/Risperidone

Coming off Risperdal was probably one of the hardest things I’ve done. Risperdal was one of the most difficult psychiatric drugs I ever withdrew from. Even though it was over a decade ago, I can still remember a lot of the withdrawal effects. I told a friend I felt like I was “slipping off the edge of reality”. I had never felt that psychotic before, and I had done hallucinogens and had many spiritual experiences/meltdowns.

Coming off Risperdal can be so scary that some people don’t want to try again after having a hard time with it once.

coming off risperdal

While I was on Risperdal, the drug caused major blood sugar issues and I had to severely limit my diet, even though I was a thin 21 year old. After I got off I was eventually able to eat a diet that was normal to me again. While I was coming off Risperdal, I needed to make sure I kept eating regularly even though sometimes I didn’t feel like it. Sometimes I didn’t even feel connected to physical reality, but I stuck with a basic meal schedule and that helped get me through it.

The main withdrawal symptoms I experienced when I was coming off Risperdal were extreme psychosis, panic and anxiety. I couldn’t sit still and sometimes needed to walk around all day, even if I was pacing or walking around the block. Akathisia is when you literally can’t sit still and that’s what I experienced on Risperdal and in withdrawal.

I also started to feel my emotions coming back when I was coming off Risperdal. As a friend said about getting off Risperdal, “I could feel music again”.

Coming off Risperdal was hard and I needed to go slower and taper by smaller amounts than I expected. After each taper I would wait a couple of weeks, but some people may need to wait much longer and reduce by miniscule amounts at a time.

Here are some tips for slow tapering of Risperdal from Alto Strata. This post discusses cutting the pills and using liquid formulas as well as tapering plans.

Another strange withdrawal symptom I experienced was a type of twitch where I would involuntarily bring my arm up to my chest and extend it out. It was so weird and I couldn’t control it, but I only experienced that during acute withdrawal and thankfully it went away.

Sleep was also an issue when coming off Risperdal, as it can be during most psychiatric drug withdrawal.

My best advice for Risperdal withdrawal is to go slowly, get plenty of rest, eat a high protein, low sugar diet with ample fat, and go for walks when possible.

If you have advice for coming off Risperdal safely, please share it in the comments here.

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7 thoughts on “Getting Off Risperdal/Risperidone

  1. Alameen Rahman says:

    ive been off risperdal 3mg for about 2 weeks now and am still experiencing anhedonia. i was on it for about 2 and a half months but now i switched to lithium. how long did it take for u feel music again?

    • Chaya says:

      I can’t remember how long it took. I think there was more feeling pretty quickly, but it depends what other drugs you are on too. I was on some others when I withdrew from Risperdal. It’s hard to know if Lithium might have that effect also. Good luck!

    • Chaya says:

      Wow Barbara, that’s interesting. Sometimes when I’m fatigued, music annoys me. I think it has to do with adrenal exhaustion and possibly weak kidneys, both of which can be caused by Risperdal/other meds, and of course other factors like stress, sleep deprivation etc.

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