Little is known about risperidone metabolism in a clinical sample, where polypharmacy is common. Such knowledge is important since several of its side effects are dose dependent.
Medically healthy patients aged 7 to 17 years old treated with risperidone for at least 6 months were enrolled. Trough serum risperidone and 9-hydroxyrisperidone concentrations were measured.
One hundred seven participants (92% males) were recruited, representing a heterogenous clinical group with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, pervasive developmental disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, tic disorders, or psychotic disorders. Risperidone had been used at a mean dose of 0.03 mg/kg, for a mean 2.5 years, predominantly to treat irritability and aggression. Cytochrome CYP2D6 inhibitors were divided into prominent (fluoxetine, bupropion, and lamotrigine), intermediate (sertraline), and weak inhibition groups (citalopram or escitalopram). The concentrations of risperidone and its metabolite were strongly associated with the dose of risperidone and time since the last dose and, to a lesser extent, with male sex. In addition, risperidone concentration increased with pubertal stage (p < 0.05), while body mass index z-score (p = 0.001) predicted a higher 9-hydroxyrisperidone concentration. The use of CYP2D6 inhibitors was much more strongly associated with risperidone concentration (p < 0.0001) than with its metabolite's (p = 0.06).
In chronically treated youths, the metabolism of risperidone depends on the stage of sexual development, whereas that of 9-hydroxyrisperidone varies with body fat. Moreover, CYP2D6 inhibitors more strongly affect risperidone metabolism than that of its metabolite. The clinical implications of these findings, in relation to efficacy and tolerability, deserve further investigation.