0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg
solution: 2 mg/mL
Injection: 5 mg/mL
injection (decanoate): 50 mg/mL, 100 mg/mL
name: haloperidol (HAL
oh PER i dol)
class: First generation antipsychotic (FGA), typical antipsychotic
All FDA black box
warnings are at the end of this fact sheet. Please review
before taking this medication.
is Haldol® and what does it treat?
is a medication that works in the brain to treat schizophrenia. It
is also known as a first generation antipsychotic (FGA) or typical
rebalances dopamine to improve thinking, mood, and behavior.
of schizophrenia include:
- imagined voices or images that seem real
- beliefs that are not true (e.g., other people are reading your
thinking or trouble organizing your thoughts and making sense
desire to be around other people
may help some or all of these symptoms.
is also FDA approved for Tourette’s syndrome.
medication sheet will focus primarily on schizophrenia. You can find
more information about Tourette’s syndrome at http://www2.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness.
is the most important information I should know about Haldol®?
requires long-term treatment. Do not stop taking haloperidol, even
when you feel better.
your healthcare provider can determine the length of haloperidol
treatment that is right for you.
doses of haloperidol may increase your risk for a relapse in your
not stop taking haloperidol or change your dose without talking to
with your healthcare provider first.
haloperidol to work properly, it should be taken everyday as ordered
by your healthcare provider.
there specific concerns about Haldol® and
you are planning on becoming pregnant, notify your healthcare
provider to best manage your medications. People living with
schizophrenia who wish to become pregnant face important decisions.
This is a complex decision since untreated schizophrenia has risks to
the fetus, as well as the mother. It is important to discuss the
risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor and caregivers.
is advised with breastfeeding since haloperidol does pass into breast
should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Haldol®?
of your condition that bother you the most
you have thoughts of suicide or harming yourself
you have taken in the past for your condition, whether they were
effective or caused any adverse effects
you ever had muscle stiffness, shaking, tardive dyskinesia,
neuroleptic malignant syndrome, or weight gain caused by a
you experience side effects from your medications, discuss them with
your provider. Some side effects may pass with time, but others may
require changes in the medication.
psychiatric or medical problems you have, such as heart rhythm
problems, long QT syndrome, heart attacks, diabetes, high
cholesterol, or seizures
you have a family history of diabetes or heart disease
other medications you are currently taking (including over the
counter products, herbal and nutritional supplements) and any
medication allergies you have
non-medication treatment you are receiving, such as talk therapy or
substance abuse treatment. Your provider can explain how these
different treatments work with the medication.
you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs
should I take Haldol®?
tablets and solution are usually taken 1 or 2 times per day with or
patients begin at a low dose of medicine and the dose is increased
slowly over several weeks.
dose of the oral medication usually ranges from 5 mg to 20 mg. The
dose of the long-acting injection is 25 mg to 200 mg. Only
your healthcare provider can determine the correct dose for you.
oral solution should be measured with a dosing spoon or oral syringe, which you can
get from your pharmacy if one is not provided with the product.
a calendar, pillbox, alarm clock, or cell phone alert to help you
remember to take your medication. You may also ask a family
member a friend to remind you or check in with you to be sure you are
taking your medication.
long-acting injection form of generic name is administered every 3 to
4 weeks. Your healthcare provider will administer these injections.
happens if I miss a dose of Haldol®?
you miss a dose of haloperidol,
take it as soon as you remember, unless it is closer to the time of
your next dose. Discuss this with your healthcare provider. Do not
double your next dose or take more than what is prescribed.
should I avoid while taking Haldol®?
drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs while you are taking
haloperidol. They may decrease the benefits (e.g. worsen your
confusion) and increase adverse effects (e.g. sedation) of the
happens if I overdose with Haldol®?
an overdose occurs call your doctor or 911. You may need urgent
medical care. You may also contact the poison control center at
specific treatment to reverse the effects of haloperidol does not
are possible side effects of Haldol®?
heartbeat, constipation, blurry vision, dry mouth, drop in blood
pressure upon standing
drowsy, dizzy, or restless
receiving haloperidol decanoate long-acting injection may notice some
pain at the site of the injection. This pain should resolve after a
in the body's ability to adjust temperature, vision problems,
sensitivity to sunlight, seizures
may increase the blood levels of a hormone called prolactin. Side
effects of increased prolactin levels include females losing their
period, production of breast milk and males losing their sex drive or
possibly experiencing erectile problems. Long term (months or years)
of elevated prolactin can lead to osteoporosis or increased risk of
people may develop muscle related side effects while taking
haloperidol. The technical terms for these are â€śextrapyramidal
effectsâ€ť (EPS) and â€śtardive dyskinesiaâ€ť (TD). Symptoms of EPS
include restlessness, tremor, and stiffness. TD symptoms include
slow or jerky movements that one cannot control, often starting in
the mouth with tongue rolling or chewing movements.
antipsychotics have been associated with the risk of sudden cardiac
death due to an arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). To minimize this
risk, antipsychotic medications should be used in the smallest
effective dose when the benefits outweigh the risks. Your doctor may
order an EKG to monitor for irregular heart beat.
malignant syndrome is a rare, life threatening adverse effect of
antipsychotics which occurs in <1% of patients. Symptoms include
confusion, fever, extreme muscle stiffness, and sweating. If any of
these symptoms occur, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
there any risks of taking Haldol® for long periods of time?
dyskinesia (TD) is a side effect that develops with prolonged use of
antipsychotics. If you develop symptoms of TD, such as grimacing,
sucking, and smacking of lips, or other movements that you cannot
control, contact your healthcare provider immediately. All patients
taking either first or second generation antipsychotics should have
an Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) completed regularly by
their healthcare provider to monitor for TD.
other medications may interact with Haldol®?
block the effects of agents used to treat Parkinson’s disease such
as levodopa/carbidopa (Sinemet®),
bromocriptine, pramipexole (Mirapex®),
may lower your blood pressure. Medications used to lower blood
pressure may increase this effect and increase your risk of falling.
is an example of this type of medication.
following medications may increase the risk of heart problems when
used with haloperidol:
and ziprasidone (Geodon®).
(heart rhythm medications) including procainamide, quinidine,
and sotalol (Betapace®).
may increase the risk of EPS or TD when used in combination with
following medications may increase the levels and effects of haloperidol: bupropion (Wellbutrin®),
and paroxetine (Paxil®).
following medications may decrease the levels and effects of haloperidol: carbamazepine
phenobarbital, and rifampin (Rifadin®)
long does it take for Haldol® to
is very important to tell your doctor how you feel things are going
during the first few weeks after
you start taking haloperidol. It will
probably take several weeks to see big enough changes in your
symptoms to decide if haloperidol is the
right medication for you.
treatment is generally needed lifelong for persons with
schizophrenia. Your doctor can best discuss the duration of treatment
you need based on your symptoms and illness.
disorganized thinking, and delusions may improve in the first 1-2
these symptoms do not completely go away
and desire to be around other people can take at least 1-2 weeks to
continue to get better the longer you take haloperidol
may take 2-3 months before you get the full benefit of haloperidol
of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists
of FDA Black Box Warnings
Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia Related Psychosis
first generation (typical) and second generation (atypical)
antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of mortality in
elderly patients when used for dementia related psychosis.
there were multiple causes of death in studies, most deaths appeared
to be due to cardiovascular causes (e.g. sudden cardiac death) or
infection (e.g. pneumonia).
are not indicated for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis.