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J Clin Psychiatry. 1995 Nov;56(11):514-8.

Efficacy of risperidone treatment for psychoses associated with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or senile dementia in 11 geriatric patients: a case series.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, St. John's Episcopal Hospital South Shore, Far Rockaway, NY 11691, USA.



Clinical trials of risperidone, a recently approved novel antipsychotic, included elderly healthy patients, but more data are needed on the effects of risperidone in this population, especially those with comorbid medical illnesses.


Risperidone was used to treat 11 elderly hospitalized patients between 61 and 79 years of age who manifested signs of psychoses related to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or senile dementia. All patients had been treated previously with classic antipsychotics. Response was assessed by clinical observation of the patients' behavior.


Eight patients responded to treatment, 1 did not respond, and 2 had treatment discontinued because of hypotension or dizziness. Positive and negative symptoms decreased markedly in 7 of the responding patients. Four patients had preexisting extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) and symptoms of tardive dyskinesia that also decreased in response to risperidone treatment. In addition, 4 patients were able to discontinue anti-parkinsonian medications, and 2 were able to discontinue antihypertensive medications. Side effects related to blockade of dopamine, histamine, and serotonin were negligible. No adverse consequences occurred when electroconvulsive therapy, carbamazepine, or lithium was given concurrently.


The reduction of both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia and the lack of significant EPS, tardive dyskinesia, sedation, and anticholinergic side effects indicate that risperidone is a safe and effective medication for the elderly.

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