Compare Clozaril vs. Risperdal

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Clozaril
(clozapine)

Risperdal
(risperidone)

Helps control your thoughts and actions. Clozaril (Clozapine) treats schizophrenia when other drugs haven't worked, but you'll have to get blood work done regularly and might gain weight.Helps control your thoughts and mood. Risperdal (Risperidone) is good for treating psychosis, mania, and irritability. Among newer antipsychotic medicines, more likely to cause side effects, especially weight gain and hormone problems.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Clozaril (clozapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Risperdal
42%
+15% better vs. Clozaril
47%
+24% better vs. Clozaril
49%
-8% worse vs. Clozaril
Have you used Risperdal (risperidone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ClozarilRisperdal
  • Drowsiness/sedation 39%
  • Salivation 31%
  • Abnormally fast heart beat 25%
  • Dizziness/vertigo 19%
  • Constipation 14%
  • Low blood pressure 9%
  • Headache 7%
  • Dry mouth 6%
  • Sweating 6%
  • Fainting 6%
More Clozaril side effects »
  • Parkinsonism 16%
  • Relaxation or sleepiness 7%
  • Restlessness 6%
  • Tremor 3%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Muscle twitching 4%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Excessive saliva 2%
  • Vision blurred 1%
More Risperdal side effects »
How it works
ClozarilRisperdal
Clozaril (Clozapine) is an atypical antipsychotic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works. It seems to change dopamine and serotonin activity in your brain, which affects thoughts and mood.Risperdal (Risperidone) is an atypical antipsychotic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works. It seems to change dopamine and serotonin activity in your brain, which affects thoughts and mood.
Type of medication
ClozarilRisperdal
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ClozarilRisperdal
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for
ClozarilRisperdal
Risk factors for serious side effects
ClozarilRisperdal
  • Dehydration
  • Taking blood pressure medications
  • Seizure disorder
  • Alcohol abuse
  • History of heart problems
Detailed Clozaril (clozapine) risks & warnings »
  • Elderly patients with dementia
  • History of heart problems
  • Drug interactions
  • People with diabetes
  • People with high cholesterol
Detailed Risperdal (risperidone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
ClozarilRisperdal
  • You need to limit the amount of alcohol you drink while on Clozaril (Clozapine).
No alcohol related info.
Food
ClozarilRisperdal
No food related info.
  • Risperdal (Risperidone) can increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
Sleep
ClozarilRisperdal
  • Can cause dizziness or drowsiness. Avoid alcohol and be careful when changing positions or doing anything that requires your full attention until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
Weight
ClozarilRisperdal
  • People on Clozaril (Clozapine) have reported weight gain. This is common. If this bothers you, talk to your doctor about what you can do to stop this from happening.
  • Can affect your weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar control.
  • Risperdal (Risperidone) can cause you to gain weight. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
  • May cause weight gain and worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • Moderate risk of weight gain and problems with cholesterol or blood sugar compared to other antipsychotics.
Upsides and benefits
ClozarilRisperdal
  • Clinical studies show that Clozaril (Clozapine) is effective in treating schizophrenia when other medications have failed.
  • Has the lowest risk of causing movement problems when compared to other antipsychotic medicines.
  • Clozaril (Clozapine) is available as a normal tablet and as a mint-flavored tablet that dissolves on the tongue without water.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Effective at relieving psychotic symptoms, manic episodes, irritability, and aggressive behavior.
  • Lowers relapse rates in people with schizophrenia and people with irritability associated with autism.
  • Antipsychotic medicines are all about equally effective.
  • Less likely to cause heart problems than some antipsychotics.
Downsides and risks
ClozarilRisperdal
  • You need to get blood work done every time you can get a prescription filled for Clozaril (Clozapine).
  • You can only get Clozaril (Clozapine) at certain pharmacies that are registered to provide it.
  • If you don't get Clozaril (Clozapine) within 7 days of it being ready at the pharmacy, then you have to get blood work done again and get a new prescription from your doctor.
  • You need to limit the amount of alcohol you drink while on Clozaril (Clozapine).
  • Mild to moderate risk of Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS): Movement disorders that include stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive, or involuntary movements.
  • Moderate risk of weight gain and problems with cholesterol or blood sugar compared to other antipsychotics.
  • Compared to other antipsychotics, higher risk of hormone problems that cause nipples to leak and male breasts to grow abnormally large.
  • You might need routine blood tests to check how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • All antipsychotics come with side effects that make them difficult to take. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you and that you can tolerate.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ClozarilRisperdal
  • Take Clozaril (Clozapine) exactly as prescribed and don't stop taking it without talking to your doctor.
  • Can cause dizziness or drowsiness. Avoid alcohol and be careful when changing positions or doing anything that requires your full attention until you know how it affects you.
  • Blood tests are needed before you start this medicine and before every refill. You need to pick up the medicine within 7 days of your blood tests.
  • Can affect your weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar control.
  • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to see full effects on thoughts and mood.
  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • May cause weight gain and worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • Report any unusual thoughts, inability to control muscle movements, or fever and excess sweating to your doctor.
  • Elderly people with dementia shouldn't take it.
Learn more
More about ClozarilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Clozaril (clozapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RisperdalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Risperdal (risperidone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it