Paliperidone is used to treat schizophrenia (an illness that causes changes in perception, thoughts, and behaviour).
This medicine is also used on its own or together with other medicines to treat schizoaffective disorder (a mental illness that is marked by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression and feeling very high).
Paliperidone helps relieve symptoms common in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, such as agitation, distorted thinking, and emotional instability.
Paliperidone injection is to be given intramuscularly (into the muscles, usually in the arm or buttocks).
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment regimen depending on the type of your condition and your response and tolerability to this medicine.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Paliperidone.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Do not use Paliperidone if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or a similar medicine called risperidone.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease e.g. heart failure, history of heart attack, heart rhythm disorder
- disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain
- condition that may make you prone to low blood pressure
- diabetes or prone to diabetes e.g. obesity, family history of diabetes
- at risk for aspiration pneumonia (a lung infection that may occur when oral or stomach contents are breathed into the lungs or airways leading to the lungs instead of being swallowed)
- history of fits or seizures
- history of low white blood cell counts which may or may not have been caused by medicines
- possible prolactin (hormone)-dependent tumour
- Parkinson's disease (a disorder that affects the movement of a person, causing symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slowed movement, and impaired balance or walking)
- kidney disease
- severe liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Paliperidone to a child or the elderly. Children and elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
If you are going to have an eye operation for cataract (cloudiness of the lens), inform your doctor that you are using this medicine.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
What lifestyle changes should I make?
- Routine tests (e.g. complete blood count, kidney and liver function, electrolyte, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, eye examination) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
- Your blood pressure may fall or rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure before and during treatment.
- Regular monitoring of weight, mental status, and abnormal movements of the tongue or face may also be needed.
Paliperidone may affect the ability of your body to adjust to temperature changes in the environment. Avoid exposure to very cold or very hot environments. Avoid strenuous exercise and activities like going to the sauna. Drink more water to prevent dehydration.
Paliperidone may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
This medicine may cause your blood pressure to fall suddenly when you get up from a sitting or lying down position and you may feel giddy. To minimise this problem, stand up slowly.
Other side effects include any of the following: weight gain, headache, tremors, stomach pain or discomfort, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, toothache, increased or decreased appetite, fever, fatigue, weakness, cough, nasal congestion, muscle and joint pain, difficulty sleeping, loss of menstrual period, and injection site reactions.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes, or mouth
- fast or abnormal heartbeat
- abnormally high temperature, muscle tension, excessive sweating, altered consciousness
- uncontrollable twitching movements of the mouth, tongue, and limbs
- frequent or persistent sore throat with fever
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for irregular heartbeat e.g. quinidine, amiodarone, sotalol
- other medicines for mood disorders e.g. risperidone, chlorpromazine, thioridazine
- medicines for Parkinson's disease e.g. levodopa
- carbamazepine (medicine to treat fits or seizures)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Paliperidone.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements, and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol intake may worsen the dizziness and drowsiness caused by Paliperidone.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.