Compare Risperdal vs. chlorpromazine

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

Risperdal
(Risperidone)

chlorpromazine

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.Stabilizes your mood. Thorazine (chlorpromazine) has more side effects than other medicines like it. It is most useful during psychotic episodes because it slows you down quickly.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.53Risperdal
Reviews for Risperdal
42%
of people (All ages) say Risperdal is worth it
47%
say it works well
49%
say it's a big hassle
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Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
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Side effects
Risperdalchlorpromazine
  • Vision blurred 1%
  • Stomach discomfort 2%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Lethargy 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Salivary hypersecretion 2%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Dystonia 4%
  • Tremor 3%
  • Dizziness 1%
More Risperdal side effects »

The chlorpromazine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about chlorpromazine side effects »
How it works
Risperdalchlorpromazine
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.Thorazine (chlorpromazine) is a derivative of phenothiazine, which regulates dopamine levels in your brain to improve your mood.
Type of medication
Risperdalchlorpromazine
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
Risperdalchlorpromazine
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
Risperdalchlorpromazine
Risk factors for serious side effects
Risperdalchlorpromazine
  • Elderly patients with dementia
  • History of heart problems
  • Drug interactions
  • People with diabetes
  • People with high cholesterol
Detailed Risperdal (Risperidone) risks & warnings »
  • People over 65 with dementia and psychosis
  • Taking antipsychotic medications
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Acute respiratory infections
Detailed Thorazine (chlorpromazine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Alcohol
Risperdalchlorpromazine
No alcohol related info.
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
Food
Risperdalchlorpromazine
  • Risperdal (Risperidone) can increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
No food related info.
Sleep
Risperdalchlorpromazine
  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
Weight
Risperdalchlorpromazine
  • 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.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
Risperdalchlorpromazine
  • 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.
  • Acts fast to slow you down during a psychotic episode.
  • Can also be used for nausea or migraines.
  • Safe for use in children as young as 6 months.
  • Comes in a sugar-coated pill for easy administration.
Downsides and risks
Risperdalchlorpromazine
  • 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.
  • Has more side effects than other medicines like it.
  • Can affect how your other medicines work.
  • Makes you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can make you dizzy or lightheaded, especially when injected.
  • Cannot be stopped right away.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Risperdalchlorpromazine
  • 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.
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause involuntary muscle movements just like other medicines for your mood.
  • Can dry you out and make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
  • Cannot be stopped suddenly.
Learn more
More about RisperdalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Risperdal (Risperidone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about chlorpromazineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it