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Mechanism of Action
The mechanism of action of RISPERDAL®, in schizophrenia, is unknown. However, it has been proposed that the drug's therapeutic activity in schizophrenia could be mediated through a combination of dopamine Type 2 (D2) and serotonin Type 2 (5HT2) receptor antagonism. The clinical effect from RISPERDAL® results from the combined concentrations of risperidone and its major metabolite, 9-hydroxyrisperidone. Antagonism at receptors other than D2 and 5HT2 may explain some of the other effects of RISPERDAL®.
RISPERDAL® is a selective monoaminergic antagonist with high affinity (Ki of 0.12 to 7.3 nM) for the serotonin Type 2 (5HT2), dopamine Type 2 (D2), α1 and α2 adrenergic, and H1 histaminergic receptors. RISPERDAL® acts as an antagonist at other receptors, but with lower potency. RISPERDAL® has low to moderate affinity (Ki of 47 to 253 nM) for the serotonin 5HT1C, 5HT1D, and 5HT1A receptors, weak affinity (Ki of 620 to 800 nM) for the dopamine D1 and haloperidol-sensitive sigma site, and no affinity (when tested at concentrations > 10-5 M) for cholinergic muscarinic or β1 and β2 adrenergic receptors.
Risperidone is well absorbed. The absolute oral bioavailability of risperidone is 70% (CV=25%). The relative oral bioavailability of risperidone from a tablet is 94% (CV=10%) when compared to a solution.
Pharmacokinetic studies showed that RISPERDAL® M-TAB® Orally Disintegrating Tablets and RISPERDAL® Oral Solution are bioequivalent to RISPERDAL® Tablets.
Plasma concentrations of risperidone, its major metabolite, 9-hydroxyrisperidone, and risperidone plus 9-hydroxyrisperidone are dose proportional over the dosing range of 1 to 16 mg daily (0.5 to 8 mg twice daily). Following oral administration of solution or tablet, mean peak plasma concentrations of risperidone occurred at about 1 hour. Peak concentrations of 9-hydroxyrisperidone occurred at about 3 hours in extensive metabolizers, and 17 hours in poor metabolizers. Steady-state concentrations of risperidone are reached in 1 day in extensive metabolizers and would be expected to reach steady-state in about 5 days in poor metabolizers. Steady-state concentrations of 9-hydroxyrisperidone are reached in 5-6 days (measured in extensive metabolizers).
Food does not affect either the rate or extent of absorption of risperidone. Thus, RISPERDAL® can be given with or without meals.
Risperidone is rapidly distributed. The volume of distribution is 1-2 L/kg. In plasma, risperidone is bound to albumin and α1-acid glycoprotein. The plasma protein binding of risperidone is 90%, and that of its major metabolite, 9-hydroxyrisperidone, is 77%. Neither risperidone nor 9-hydroxyrisperidone displaces each other from plasma binding sites. High therapeutic concentrations of sulfamethazine (100 mcg/mL), warfarin (10 mcg/mL), and carbamazepine (10mcg/mL) caused only a slight increase in the free fraction of risperidone at 10 ng/mL and 9-hydroxyrisperidone at 50 ng/mL, changes of unknown clinical significance.
Risperidone is extensively metabolized in the liver. The main metabolic pathway is through hydroxylation of risperidone to 9-hydroxyrisperidone by the enzyme, CYP 2D6. A minor metabolic pathway is through N-dealkylation. The main metabolite, 9-hydroxyrisperidone, has similar pharmacological activity as risperidone. Consequently, the clinical effect of the drug results from the combined concentrations of risperidone plus 9-hydroxyrisperidone.
CYP 2D6, also called debrisoquin hydroxylase, is the enzyme responsible for metabolism of many neuroleptics, antidepressants, antiarrhythmics, and other drugs. CYP 2D6 is subject to genetic polymorphism (about 6%-8% of Caucasians, and a very low percentage of Asians, have little or no activity and are “poor metabolizers”) and to inhibition by a variety of substrates and some non-substrates, notably quinidine. Extensive CYP 2D6 metabolizers convert risperidone rapidly into 9-hydroxyrisperidone, whereas poor CYP 2D6 metabolizers convert it much more slowly. Although extensive metabolizers have lower risperidone and higher 9-hydroxyrisperidone concentrations than poor metabolizers, the pharmacokinetics of risperidone and 9-hydroxyrisperidone combined, after single and multiple doses, are similar in extensive and poor metabolizers.
Risperidone could be subject to two kinds of drug-drug interactions. First, inhibitors of CYP 2D6 interfere with conversion of risperidone to 9-hydroxyrisperidone [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. This occurs with quinidine, giving essentially all recipients a risperidone pharmacokinetic profile typical of poor metabolizers. The therapeutic benefits and adverse effects of risperidone in patients receiving quinidine have not been evaluated, but observations in a modest number (n≈70) of poor metabolizers given RISPERDAL® do not suggest important differences between poor and extensive metabolizers. Second, co-administration of known enzyme inducers (e.g., carbamazepine, phenytoin, rifampin, and phenobarbital) with RISPERDAL® may cause a decrease in the combined plasma concentrations of risperidone and 9-hydroxyrisperidone [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. It would also be possible for risperidone to interfere with metabolism of other drugs metabolized by CYP 2D6. Relatively weak binding of risperidone to the enzyme suggests this is unlikely [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
In vitro studies indicate that risperidone is a relatively weak inhibitor of CYP 2D6. Therefore, RISPERDAL® is not expected to substantially inhibit the clearance of drugs that are metabolized by this enzymatic pathway. In drug interaction studies, RISPERDAL® did not significantly affect the pharmacokinetics of donepezil and galantamine, which are metabolized by CYP 2D6. In vitro studies demonstrated that drugs metabolized by other CYP isozymes, including 1A1, 1A2, 2C9, 2C19, and 3A4, are only weak inhibitors of risperidone metabolism.
Risperidone and its metabolites are eliminated via the urine and, to a much lesser extent, via the feces. As illustrated by a mass balance study of a single 1 mg oral dose of 14C-risperidone administered as solution to three healthy male volunteers, total recovery of radioactivity at 1 week was 84%, including 70% in the urine and 14% in the feces.
The apparent half-life of risperidone was 3 hours (CV=30%) in extensive metabolizers and 20 hours (CV=40%) in poor metabolizers. The apparent half-life of 9-hydroxyrisperidone was about 21 hours (CV=20%) in extensive metabolizers and 30 hours (CV=25%) in poor metabolizers. The pharmacokinetics of risperidone and 9-hydroxyrisperidone combined, after single and multiple doses, were similar in extensive and poor metabolizers, with an overall mean elimination half-life of about 20 hours.
Drug-Drug Interaction Studies
[See DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Renal and Hepatic Impairment
[See Use In Specific Populations].
In healthy elderly subjects, renal clearance of both risperidone and 9-hydroxyrisperidone was decreased, and elimination half-lives were prolonged compared to young healthy subjects. Dosing should be modified accordingly in the elderly patients [see Use In Specific Populations].
The pharmacokinetics of risperidone and 9-hydroxyrisperidone in children were similar to those in adults after correcting for the difference in body weight.
Race and Gender Effects
No specific pharmacokinetic study was conducted to investigate race and gender effects, but a population pharmacokinetic analysis did not identify important differences in the disposition of risperidone due to gender (whether corrected for body weight or not) or race.
Juvenile dogs were treated for 40 weeks with oral risperidone doses of 0.31, 1.25, or 5 mg/kg/day. Decreased bone length and density were observed with a no-effect dose of 0.31 mg/kg/day. This dose produced plasma AUC levels of risperidone plus its active metabolite paliperidone (9-hydroxy-risperidone) which were similar to those in children and adolescents receiving the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 6 mg/day. In addition, a delay in sexual maturation was seen at all doses in both males and females. The above effects showed little or no reversibility in females after a 12 week drug-free recovery period.
In a study in which juvenile rats were treated with oral risperidone from days 12 to 50 of age, a reversible impairment of performance in a test of learning and memory was observed in females only with a no-effect dose of 0.63 mg/kg/day. This dose produced plasma AUC levels of risperidone plus paliperidone about half those observed in humans at the MRHD. No other consistent effects on neurobehavioral or reproductive development were seen up to the highest testable dose of 1.25 mg/kg/day. This dose produced plasma AUC levels of risperidone plus paliperidone which were about two thirds of those observed in humans at the MRHD.
The efficacy of RISPERDAL® in the treatment of schizophrenia was established in four shortterm (4- to 8-week) controlled trials of psychotic inpatients who met DSM-III-R criteria for schizophrenia.
Several instruments were used for assessing psychiatric signs and symptoms in these studies, among them the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), a multi-item inventory of general psychopathology traditionally used to evaluate the effects of drug treatment in schizophrenia. The BPRS psychosis cluster (conceptual disorganization, hallucinatory behavior, suspiciousness, and unusual thought content) is considered a particularly useful subset for assessing actively psychotic schizophrenic patients. A second traditional assessment, the Clinical Global Impression (CGI), reflects the impression of a skilled observer, fully familiar with the manifestations of schizophrenia, about the overall clinical state of the patient. In addition, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Scale for Assessing Negative Symptoms (SANS) were employed.
The results of the trials follow:
- In a 6-week, placebo-controlled trial (n=160) involving titration of RISPERDAL® in doses up to 10 mg/day (twice-daily schedule), RISPERDAL® was generally superior to placebo on the BPRS total score, on the BPRS psychosis cluster, and marginally superior to placebo on the SANS.
- In an 8-week, placebo-controlled trial (n=513) involving 4 fixed doses of RISPERDAL® (2 mg/day, 6 mg/day, 10 mg/day, and 16 mg/day, on a twice-daily schedule), all 4 RISPERDAL® groups were generally superior to placebo on the BPRS total score, BPRS psychosis cluster, and CGI severity score; the 3 highest RISPERDAL® dose groups were generally superior to placebo on the PANSS negative subscale. The most consistently positive responses on all measures were seen for the 6 mg dose group, and there was no suggestion of increased benefit from larger doses.
- In an 8-week, dose comparison trial (n=1356) involving 5 fixed doses of RISPERDAL® (1 mg/day, 4 mg/day, 8 mg/day, 12 mg/day, and 16 mg/day, on a twice-daily schedule), the four highest RISPERDAL® dose groups were generally superior to the 1 mg RISPERDAL® dose group on BPRS total score, BPRS psychosis cluster, and CGI severity score. None of the dose groups were superior to the 1 mg group on the PANSS negative subscale. The most consistently positive responses were seen for the 4 mg dose group.
- In a 4-week, placebo-controlled dose comparison trial (n=246) involving 2 fixed doses of RISPERDAL® (4 and 8 mg/day on a once-daily schedule), both RISPERDAL® dose groups were generally superior to placebo on several PANSS measures, including a response measure (>20% reduction in PANSS total score), PANSS total score, and the BPRS psychosis cluster (derived from PANSS). The results were generally stronger for the 8 mg than for the 4 mg dose group.
In a longer-term trial, 365 adult outpatients predominantly meeting DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia and who had been clinically stable for at least 4 weeks on an antipsychotic medication were randomized to RISPERDAL® (2-8 mg/day) or to an active comparator, for 1 to 2 years of observation for relapse. Patients receiving RISPERDAL® experienced a significantly longer time to relapse over this time period compared to those receiving the active comparator.
The efficacy of RISPERDAL® in the treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents aged 13–17 years was demonstrated in two short-term (6 and 8 weeks), double-blind controlled trials. All patients met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia and were experiencing an acute episode at time of enrollment. In the first trial (study #1), patients were randomized into one of three treatment groups: RISPERDAL® 1-3 mg/day (n = 55, mean modal dose = 2.6 mg), RISPERDAL® 4-6 mg/day (n = 51, mean modal dose = 5.3 mg), or placebo (n = 54). In the second trial (study #2), patients were randomized to either RISPERDAL® 0.15-0.6 mg/day (n = 132, mean modal dose = 0.5 mg) or RISPERDAL® 1.5–6 mg/day (n = 125, mean modal dose = 4 mg). In all cases, study medication was initiated at 0.5 mg/day (with the exception of the 0.15-0.6 mg/day group in study #2, where the initial dose was 0.05 mg/day) and titrated to the target dosage range by approximately Day 7. Subsequently, dosage was increased to the maximum tolerated dose within the target dose range by Day 14. The primary efficacy variable in all studies was the mean change from baseline in total PANSS score.
Results of the studies demonstrated efficacy of RISPERDAL® in all dose groups from 1-6 mg/day compared to placebo, as measured by significant reduction of total PANSS score. The efficacy on the primary parameter in the 1-3 mg/day group was comparable to the 4-6 mg/day group in study #1, and similar to the efficacy demonstrated in the 1.5–6 mg/day group in study #2. In study #2, the efficacy in the 1.5-6 mg/day group was statistically significantly greater than that in the 0.15-0.6 mg/day group. Doses higher than 3 mg/day did not reveal any trend towards greater efficacy.
Bipolar Mania - Monotherapy
The efficacy of RISPERDAL® in the treatment of acute manic or mixed episodes was established in two short-term (3-week) placebo-controlled trials in patients who met the DSM-IV criteria for Bipolar I Disorder with manic or mixed episodes. These trials included patients with or without psychotic features.
The primary rating instrument used for assessing manic symptoms in these trials was the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), an 11-item clinician-rated scale traditionally used to assess the degree of manic symptomatology (irritability, disruptive/aggressive behavior, sleep, elevated mood, speech, increased activity, sexual interest, language/thought disorder, thought content, appearance, and insight) in a range from 0 (no manic features) to 60 (maximum score). The primary outcome in these trials was change from baseline in the YMRS total score. The results of the trials follow:
- In one 3-week placebo-controlled trial (n=246), limited to patients with manic episodes, which involved a dose range of RISPERDAL® 1-6 mg/day, once daily, starting at 3 mg/day (mean modal dose was 4.1 mg/day), RISPERDAL® was superior to placebo in the reduction of YMRS total score.
- In another 3-week placebo-controlled trial (n=286), which involved a dose range of 1-6 mg/day, once daily, starting at 3 mg/day (mean modal dose was 5.6 mg/day), RISPERDAL® was superior to placebo in the reduction of YMRS total score.
The efficacy of RISPERDAL® in the treatment of mania in children or adolescents with Bipolar I disorder was demonstrated in a 3-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial including patients ranging in ages from 10 to 17 years who were experiencing a manic or mixed episode of bipolar I disorder. Patients were randomized into one of three treatment groups: RISPERDAL® 0.5-2.5 mg/day (n = 50, mean modal dose = 1.9 mg), RISPERDAL® 3-6 mg/day (n = 61, mean modal dose = 4.7 mg), or placebo (n = 58). In all cases, study medication was initiated at 0.5 mg/day and titrated to the target dosage range by Day 7, with further increases in dosage to the maximum tolerated dose within the targeted dose range by Day 10. The primary rating instrument used for assessing efficacy in this study was the mean change from baseline in the total YMRS score.
Results of this study demonstrated efficacy of RISPERDAL® in both dose groups compared with placebo, as measured by significant reduction of total YMRS score. The efficacy on the primary parameter in the 3-6 mg/day dose group was comparable to the 0.5-2.5 mg/day dose group. Doses higher than 2.5 mg/day did not reveal any trend towards greater efficacy.
Bipolar Mania – Adjunctive Therapy with Lithium or Valproate
The efficacy of RISPERDAL® with concomitant lithium or valproate in the treatment of acute manic or mixed episodes was established in one controlled trial in adult patients who met the DSM-IV criteria for Bipolar I Disorder. This trial included patients with or without psychotic features and with or without a rapid-cycling course.
- In this 3-week placebo-controlled combination trial, 148 in- or outpatients on lithium or valproate therapy with inadequately controlled manic or mixed symptoms were randomized to receive RISPERDAL®, placebo, or an active comparator, in combination with their original therapy. RISPERDAL®, in a dose range of 1-6 mg/day, once daily, starting at 2 mg/day (mean modal dose of 3.8 mg/day), combined with lithium or valproate (in a therapeutic range of 0.6 mEq/L to 1.4 mEq/L or 50 mcg/mL to 120 mcg/mL, respectively) was superior to lithium or valproate alone in the reduction of YMRS total score.
- In a second 3-week placebo-controlled combination trial, 142 in- or outpatients on lithium, valproate, or carbamazepine therapy with inadequately controlled manic or mixed symptoms were randomized to receive RISPERDAL® or placebo, in combination with their original therapy. RISPERDAL®, in a dose range of 1-6 mg/day, once daily, starting at 2 mg/day (mean modal dose of 3.7 mg/day), combined with lithium, valproate, or carbamazepine (in therapeutic ranges of 0.6 mEq/L to 1.4 mEq/L for lithium, 50 mcg/mL to 125 mcg/mL for valproate, or 4-12 mcg/mL for carbamazepine, respectively) was not superior to lithium, valproate, or carbamazepine alone in the reduction of YMRS total score. A possible explanation for the failure of this trial was induction of risperidone and 9-hydroxyrisperidone clearance by carbamazepine, leading to subtherapeutic levels of risperidone and 9-hydroxyrisperidone.
Irritability Associated with Autistic Disorder
The efficacy of RISPERDAL® in the treatment of irritability associated with autistic disorder was established in two 8-week, placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents (aged 5 to 16 years) who met the DSM-IV criteria for autistic disorder. Over 90% of these subjects were under 12 years of age and most weighed over 20 kg (16-104.3 kg).
Efficacy was evaluated using two assessment scales: the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and the Clinical Global Impression - Change (CGI-C) scale. The primary outcome measure in both trials was the change from baseline to endpoint in the Irritability subscale of the ABC (ABC-I). The ABC-I subscale measured the emotional and behavioral symptoms of autism, including aggression towards others, deliberate self-injuriousness, temper tantrums, and quickly changing moods. The CGI-C rating at endpoint was a co-primary outcome measure in one of the studies.
The results of these trials are as follows:
- In one of the 8-week, placebo-controlled trials, children and adolescents with autistic disorder (n=101), aged 5 to 16 years, received twice daily doses of placebo or RISPERDAL® 0.5-3.5 mg/day on a weight-adjusted basis. RISPERDAL®, starting at 0.25 mg/day or 0.5 mg/day depending on baseline weight ( < 20 kg and ≥ 20 kg, respectively) and titrated to clinical response (mean modal dose of 1.9 mg/day, equivalent to 0.06 mg/kg/day), significantly improved scores on the ABC-I subscale and on the CGI-C scale compared with placebo.
- In the other 8-week, placebo-controlled trial in children with autistic disorder (n=55), aged 5 to 12 years, RISPERDAL® 0.02 to 0.06 mg/kg/day given once or twice daily, starting at 0.01 mg/kg/day and titrated to clinical response (mean modal dose of 0.05 mg/kg/day, equivalent to 1.4 mg/day), significantly improved scores on the ABC-I subscale compared with placebo.
A third trial was a 6-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, fixeddose study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a lower than recommended dose of risperidone in subjects (N=96) 5 to 17 years of age with autistic disorder (defined by DSM-IV criteria) and associated irritability and related behavioral symptoms. Approximately 77% of patients were younger than 12 years of age (mean age = 9), and 88% were male. Most patients (73%) weighed less than 45 kg (mean weight = 40 kg). Approximately 90% of patients were antipsychotic-naïve before entering the study.
There were two weight-based, fixed doses of risperidone (high-dose and low-dose). The high dose was 1.25 mg per day for patients weighing 20 to < 45 kg, and it was 1.75 mg per day for patients weighing ≥ 45 kg. The low dose was 0.125 mg per day for patients weighing 20 to < 45 kg, and it was 0.175 mg per day for patients weighing ≥ 45 kg. The dose was administered once daily in the morning, or in the evening if sedation occurred.
The primary efficacy endpoint was the mean change in the Aberrant Behavior Checklist –Irritability subscale (ABC-I) score from baseline to the end of Week 6. The study demonstrated the efficacy of high-dose risperidone, as measured by the mean change in ABC-I score. It did not demonstrate efficacy for low-dose risperidone. The mean baseline ABC-I scores were 29 in the placebo group (n = 35), 27 in the risperidone low-dose group (n = 30), and 28 in the risperidone high-dose group (n = 31). The mean changes in ABC-I scores were -3.5, -7.4, and -12.4 in the placebo, low-dose, and high-dose group respectively. The results in the high-dose group were statistically significant (p < 0.001) but not in the low-dose group (p=0.164).
Following completion of the first 8-week double-blind study, 63 patients entered an open-label study extension where they were treated with RISPERDAL® for 4 or 6 months (depending on whether they received RISPERDAL® or placebo in the double-blind study). During this openlabel treatment period, patients were maintained on a mean modal dose of RISPERDAL® of 1.8-2.1 mg/day (equivalent to 0.05 - 0.07 mg/kg/day).
Patients who maintained their positive response to RISPERDAL® (response was defined as ≥ 25% improvement on the ABC-I subscale and a CGI-C rating of 'much improved' or 'very much improved') during the 4-6 month open-label treatment phase for about 140 days, on average, were randomized to receive RISPERDAL® or placebo during an 8-week, double-blind withdrawal study (n=39 of the 63 patients). A pre-planned interim analysis of data from patients who completed the withdrawal study (n=32), undertaken by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board, demonstrated a significantly lower relapse rate in the RISPERDAL® group compared with the placebo group. Based on the interim analysis results, the study was terminated due to demonstration of a statistically significant effect on relapse prevention. Relapse was defined as ≥ 25% worsening on the most recent assessment of the ABC-I subscale (in relation to baseline of the randomized withdrawal phase).
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/17/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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