What is Haldol® (haloperidol) used for?
Haldol® is commonly used for treating schizophrenia. It is also used to control symptoms associated with Tourette disorder. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Haldol® is an antipsychotic agent. Exactly how it works is not known, but it may work by blocking certain chemicals in the brain.
How should I take Haldol® (haloperidol)?
Use Haldol® as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
Haldol® is usually given as an injection at your doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Haldol® at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Haldol®. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
Do not use Haldol® if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
How do I store Haldol® (haloperidol)?
Haldol® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Haldol® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Haldol® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Haldol® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Haldol® (haloperidol)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Haldol® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You have the blood disease porphyria, low white blood cell levels, electrolyte problems (e.g., low blood magnesium, low blood potassium), or high or low blood pressure.
- You have a history of dementia, Alzheimer disease, seizures, an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG), thyroid problems, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), or low white blood cell levels caused by a medicine.
- You have heart problems or irregular heartbeat (e.g., QT prolongation, long QT syndrome), or if a member of your family has a history of these conditions.
- You have had high blood prolactin levels or a history of certain types of cancer (e.g., breast, pancreas, pituitary), or if you are at risk of breast cancer.
- You are dehydrated, drink alcohol, or if you are regularly exposed to extreme heat.
- You are taking medicine that may increase the risk of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (QT prolongation) or the risk of electrolyte problems (e.g., low blood potassium). Check with your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may increase these risks.
Haldol® may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Haldol® with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
Do not drink alcohol while you are using Haldol®.
Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (e.g., sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Haldol®; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
Do not use more than the recommended dose or suddenly stop using Haldol® without checking with your doctor.
Haldol® may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Haldol®. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
Do not become overheated in hot weather or while you are being active; heatstroke may occur.
Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Haldol® before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
NMS is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by Haldol®. Symptoms may include fever; stiff muscles; confusion; abnormal thinking; fast or irregular heartbeat; and sweating. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
Some patients who take Haldol® may develop muscle movements that they cannot control. This is more likely to happen in elderly patients, especially women. The chance that this will happen or that it will become permanent is greater in those who take Haldol® in higher doses or for a long time. Muscle problems may also occur after short-term treatment with low doses. Tell your doctor at once if you have muscle problems with your arms; legs; or your tongue, face, mouth, or jaw (e.g., tongue sticking out, puffing of cheeks, mouth puckering, chewing movements) while taking Haldol.
Diabetes patients – Haldol® may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
Haldol® may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
Haldol® may increase the amount of a certain hormone (prolactin) in your blood. Symptoms may include enlarged breasts, missed menstrual period, decreased sexual ability, or nipple discharge. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
Haldol® may rarely cause a prolonged, painful erection. This could happen even when you are not having sex. If this is not treated right away, it could lead to permanent sexual problems such as impotence. Contact your doctor right away if this happens.
Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Haldol®. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
Use Haldol® with caution in the elderly; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially uncontrolled muscle movements.
Haldol® should be used with extreme caution in children; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Haldol® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Haldol®. Haldol® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Haldol® (haloperidol)?
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach upset
- Trouble sleeping
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
- Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
- Blurred vision or other vision changes
- Chest pain
- Dark urine
- Decreased or difficult urination
- Decreased sexual ability
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Enlarged breasts
- Excessive or unusual sweating
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Fever, chills, or persistent sore throat
- Mental or mood changes (e.g., abnormal thinking, agitation, anxiety, depression)
- Missed menstrual period or other menstrual changes
- Nipple discharge
- Prolonged, painful erection
- Rigid or stiff muscles
- Severe or persistent dizziness, headache, or vomiting
- Shortness of breath or unusual cough
- Shuffling walk
- Uncontrolled muscle movements (e.g., of the arms, legs, tongue, jaw, cheeks; tremors; twitching)
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Haldol® (haloperidol)?
Haldol® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products that may interact with this drug are:
- Antiarrhythmics (e.g., amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine, propafenone, sotalol), antipsychotics (e.g., iloperidone, paliperidone, ziprasidone), arsenic, astemizole, bepridil, chloroquine, cisapride, dolasetron, domperidone, droperidol, halofantrine, ketolides (e.g., telithromycin), kinase inhibitors (e.g., lapatinib, nilotinib), macrolides (e.g., erythromycin), maprotiline, methadone, phenothiazines (e.g., thioridazine), pimozide, quinolone antibiotics (e.g., levofloxacin, moxifloxacin), terfenadine , or tetrabenazine because the risk of serious heart-related side effects may be increased.
- Lithium because unexpected toxic effects, including weakness, severe tiredness, confusion, unusual muscle movements, and brain damage, have occurred in a few patients taking this combination. It is not known whether the combination of haloperidol and lithium may have caused this reaction. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Tramadol because the risk of seizures may be increased.
- Anticholinergics (e.g., benztropine) or carbamazepine because they may increase the risk of Haldol’s side effects or decrease Haldol’s effectiveness.
- Azole antifungals (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole) because they may increase the risk of Haldol’s side effects.
- Rifampin because it may decrease Haldol’s effectiveness.
- Anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin), narcotic pain medicines, or sodium oxybate (GHB) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Haldol.
Does food or alcohol interact with Haldol® (haloperidol)?
Haldol® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Haldol® (haloperidol)?
Haldol® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Haldol® (haloperidol).
What is the dose of Haldol® (haloperidol) for an adult?
Parenteral medication, administered intramuscularly in doses of 2 to 5 mg, is utilized for prompt control of the acutely agitated schizophrenic patient with moderately severe to very severe symptoms.
Depending on the response of the patient, subsequent doses may be given, administered as often as every hour, although 4 to 8 hour intervals may be satisfactory.
The maximum dose is 20 mg/day.
What is the dose of Haldol® (haloperidol) for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Haldol® (haloperidol) available?
Haldol® (haloperidol) is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Injection: Haloperidol lactate 5mg in 1Ml
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Haldol®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Haldol®. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/haldol.html. Accessed August 1, 2017
Haldol®. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-5419/haldol-oral/details. Accessed August 1, 2017
Review Date: August 2, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019