Background: Drug dosages utilized during controlled clinical trials are not always optimal for patients encountered in day-to-day practice. The original trials of risperidone, a novel antipsychotic, suggested that an initial target dose of 6 mg/day was appropriate, but these trials were necessarily conducted among patients who were chronically impaired, hospitalized, and often partly drug resistant.
Data sources: Relevant data relating to the dosage of risperidone identified through an online (MEDLINE) search using the keywords risperidone, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder dementia, bipolar disorder, and dose were supplemented by a review of international and U.S. Congress abstracts in which the dose of risperidone was specifically described.
Conclusion: On the basis of naturalistic studies, clinical audit, phase 4 trials, positron emission tomography data, and 5 years of clinical experience, the currently recommended target dose of risperidone is 4 mg/day for most patients, with less-rapid titration than previously recommended. Moreover, a lower dose than this and slower titration may be appropriate for elderly patients, young patients, and first-episode patients.