Haloperidol (Oral)

Haloperidol is a prescription antipsychotic medication that treats mood and mental disorders.

Overview

Haloperidol is prescribed for mood disorders and mental, emotional or nervous conditions (schizophrenia). It is also prescribed for Tourette's disorder, to give more control back to the patient and help treat outbursts of sounds and words associated with the disorder. It offers patients the chance to take part in normal life, feel less anxious and think in a clearer fashion.

Haloperidol can also help patients who are suicidal and who may hurt themselves. This medication can reduce hallucinations and negative thoughts, as well as the will to hurt other people and aggression. It is also useful for treating hyperactivity in children who have previously been treated with other medications or psychotherapy that did not work.

This medication is not intended for treatment of behavioral issues for older adults with dementia.

This prescription medication can only be obtained with permission from your doctor.

Haloperidol is available in both solution and tablet form. It is manufactured under the US brand name Haldol and the Canadian brand names Alti-Haloperidol, Apo-Haloperidol, Novo-Peridol, Peridol, PMS-Haloperidol, and Ratio-Haloperidol.

Conditions Treated

  • Mental conditions
  • Schozophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorders
  • Tourette's disorder

Type Of Medicine

  • Antipsychotic

Side Effects

In addition to necessary benefits, medications such as haloperidol can also trigger side effects that may be undesired. While not every one of these side effects will take place, if they do, they could require medical care.

Consult with your physician right away if you experience any of the side effects below after taking haloperidol.

More common side effects (medical care required):

  • Weak tendencies of the legs and arms
  • Walking in a shuffling manner
  • Twisted body movements
  • Shaking and trembling of the hands and fingers
  • Serious need to move around (restlessness)
  • Muscle spasms, specifically of the back and neck
  • Legs and arms stiffness
  • Inability to move eyes around
  • Face seems mask-like
  • Difficulty with swallowing or speaking
  • Balance loss (loss of control)

Less common side effects (medical care required):

  • Worm-like or rapid tongue movements
  • Urination becomes a struggle
  • Reduced thirst
  • Rash of the skin
  • Motions of the legs and arms that are uncontrolled
  • Lip puckering or smacking
  • Hearing or seeing things that aren't actually there (hallucinations)
  • Fainting, lightheadedness, or dizziness
  • Chewing motions that are uncontrolled
  • Cheek puffing

Rare side effects (medical care required):

  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Weakness or tiredness (unusual)
  • Weakness of the muscles
  • Sweating increase
  • Serious stiffness of the muscles
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Pulse or heartbeat irregularity or quickness
  • Pale skin (unusual)
  • Out of control movements or twisting of the legs, arms, trunk, or neck
  • No sweating, dry skin, or hot skin
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • High fever
  • Fever and sore throat
  • Fast or difficulty breathing
  • Eyelid spasms or blinking increase
  • Confusion
  • Bruising or bleeding (unusual)
  • Body positions or facial expressions that are unusual
  • Bladder control loss

Additional side effects - occurrence rate unknown (medical care required):

  • Weakness and tiredness
  • Vomiting or nausea (continuing)
  • Seizure frequency increase
  • Facial swelling
  • Appetite loss

Seek emergency medical care right away if you experience any of the overdose signs below:

  • Breathing difficulty (severe)
  • Drowsiness (severe)
  • Dizziness (severe) muscle stiffness, jerking, trembling, or uninhibited movements (severe)
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness (severe)

Other side effects may take place for patients when taking haloperidol, but these do not typically require medical care. These particular side effects have a higher likelihood of disappearing as you become more accustomed to taking the medication. In addition, your physician can inform you of methods for reducing or preventing certain side effects; consult with your physician to find out these methods.

If any of the side effects below become troublesome or prolonged, consult with your medical care provider. If you have questions regarding them, discuss your concerns with your physician.

More common side effects (medical care not required):

  • Weight gain
  • Vision blurred
  • Milk secretion (unusual)
  • Menstrual period changes
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Breast pain or swelling (females)

Less common side effects (medical care not required):

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Reduced sexual ability
  • Heightened sensitivity of skin to sunlight (severe sunburn, discoloration, redness, itching, or rash)
  • Drowsiness

Side effects not listed here can also take place for certain patients. If other side effects take place, ask your doctor if your dose needs to be reduced. Side effects of prescription medications can be serious.

Contact your physician for advice regarding side effects. Side effects can also be reported to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

Dosage

Only take haloperidol as your physician has directed - do not take more of this medication than you were instructed to by your physician. Do not take haloperidol more frequently than directed by your doctor. Never take this prescription for a longer duration than instructed. Elderly patients should especially pay attention to this advice, as older patients tend to have a stronger reaction to haloperidol.

Liquid form of haloperidol

  • Only take this medication orally with the dropper bottle that it came with. Measure every dose carefully with the marked dropper. Other droppers should not be used, because the accurate amount of medication may not be given.
  • This medication should ideally be mixed in with a beverage such as water, cola, tomato juice, apple juice or orange juice, and it should be consumed right away after the beverage is mixed.

Patients should take this medication throughout the entire course of treatment. Occasionally, this medication is prescribed for a period of several days up to several weeks until the full effect of the medication is reached.

The amount of medication prescribed will be different from one patient to another. Always follow the instructions given by your physician or the instructions on the haloperidol container label. The information included here summarizes only an average dose of haloperidol. If your dose differs in any way, it should not be changed unless your physician instructs you to change it.

The strength of the medication will determine how much medication you are prescribed. In addition, the total quantity of doses taken per day, the allotted time between each dose and the total duration for which haloperidol is taken will depend directly on the medical issue for which haloperidol is prescribed.

Oral prescription form (tablets and solution)

For mental, emotional, or nervous conditions:

  • Adults and adolescents: Initially, take 0.5 milligrams (mg) to 5 mg of haloperidol twice or up to three times daily. Your physician may raise the dose if required. The prescribed dose is typically never greater than 100 mg daily.
  • Adults who are older: Initially, take 0.5 mg to 2 mg twice or up to three times daily. Your physician may increase the dose of haloperidol prescribed if required. The maximum daily dose is typically not greater than 100 mg.
  • Children aged 3 to 12 or who weigh 33 to 88 pounds (15 to 40 kilograms): Your physician should always determine dose due to body weight. The average dose prescribed is 50 to 150 micrograms per kg daily, and should be dosed twice or three times maximum each day. Dose may be increased if approved by your medical professional. Typically, however, the dose is not greater than 6 mg daily.
  • Children under the age of 3: Your physician must determine dose.

Missed Dose

If patients accidentally skip a dose of haloperidol, it should be taken as soon as you remember that the dose was missed. However, if it is time for your scheduled next dose, the skipped dose should remain missed and you should return to your dosing schedule. Never take a double dose of this medication.

Interactions

Drug interactions

Some medications should never be taken simultaneously; however, in other circumstances, medications can be combined, despite the possibility of interaction. In these circumstances, your physician will likely want to reduce the dose or they may want to take other precautions to protect you as a patient.

While on this prescription, it is highly imperative that your medical care professional is aware of whether you are taking any of the prescription medications below. They were chosen due to the possible significance they have of interacting with haloperidol, but this list is not all inclusive.

It is not recommended that you take haloperidol with any of the medications below. Your physician may choose not to prescribe haloperidol, or they may change other medications you may be on.

  • Ziprasidone
  • Thioridazine
  • Terfenadine
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Saquinavir
  • Posaconazole
  • Piperaquine
  • Pimozide
  • Nelfinavir
  • Metoclopramide
  • Mesoridazine
  • Levomethadyl
  • Fluconazole
  • Dronedarone
  • Cisapride
  • Bromopride
  • Bepridil
  • Amifampridine

Taking haloperidol with any of the medications below is not typically recommended, but certain circumstances may require it. If both of the medications are prescribed simultaneously, your physician may adjust the dose of or frequency which which you are taking the medications.

  • Zuclopenthixol
  • Zotepine
  • Voriconazole
  • Vinflunine
  • Venlafaxine
  • Vemurafenib
  • Vardenafil
  • Vandetanib
  • Triptorelin
  • Trimipramine
  • Trimethoprim
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Trazodone
  • Tramadol
  • Toremifene
  • Tizanidine
  • Tetrabenazine
  • Telithromycin
  • Telavancin
  • Tedisamil
  • Tapentadol
  • Tacrolimus
  • Sunitinib
  • Sultopride
  • Sulpiride
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Sufentanil
  • Spiramycin
  • Sotalol
  • Sorafenib
  • Solifenacin
  • Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
  • Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
  • Sodium Phosphate
  • Sevoflurane
  • Sertraline
  • Sertindole
  • Sematilide
  • Selegiline
  • Salmeterol
  • Risperidone
  • Remifentanil
  • Ranolazine
  • Quinupristin
  • Quinine
  • Quinidine
  • Quetiapine
  • Protriptyline
  • Propranolol
  • Propafenone
  • Promethazine
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Procainamide
  • Probucol
  • Pixantrone
  • Pitolisant
  • Pimavanserin
  • Periciazine
  • Perflutren Lipid Microsphere
  • Pentazocine
  • Pentamidine
  • Pazopanib
  • Pasireotide
  • Paroxetine
  • Panobinostat
  • Paliperidone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Oxycodone
  • Ondansetron
  • Ofloxacin
  • Octreotide
  • Nortriptyline
  • Norfloxacin
  • Nilotinib
  • Nafarelin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Morphine
  • Milnacipran
  • Mifepristone
  • Metronidazole
  • Methadone
  • Meperidine
  • Mefloquine
  • Lumefantrine
  • Lorcainide
  • Lopinavir
  • Lithium
  • Levofloxacin
  • Leuprolide
  • Lapatinib
  • Ketoconazole
  • Ivabradine
  • Itraconazole
  • Imipramine
  • Idelalisib
  • Ibutilide
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Hydroquinidine
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Histrelin
  • Halofantrine
  • Granisetron
  • Goserelin
  • Gonadorelin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Foscarnet
  • Fluoxetine
  • Flibanserin
  • Flecainide
  • Fingolimod
  • Fentanyl
  • Escitalopram
  • Erythromycin
  • Enflurane
  • Encainide
  • Efavirenz
  • Droperidol
  • Doxylamine
  • Doxepin
  • Donepezil
  • Domperidone
  • Dolasetron
  • Dofetilide
  • Disopyramide
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Dibenzepin
  • Deslorelin
  • Desipramine
  • Delamanid
  • Degarelix
  • Dasatinib
  • Darunavir
  • Dalfopristin
  • Dabrafenib
  • Crizotinib
  • Conivaptan
  • Codeine
  • Cobicistat
  • Clomipramine
  • Clarithromycin
  • Citalopram
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Chloroquine
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Ceritinib
  • Butorphanol
  • Buserelin
  • Bupropion
  • Buprenorphine
  • Bromazepam
  • Bretylium
  • Bedaquiline
  • Azithromycin
  • Azimilide
  • Astemizole
  • Asenapine
  • Artemether
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Aripiprazole
  • Aprindine
  • Apomorphine
  • Anagrelide
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amisulpride
  • Amiodarone
  • Alfuzosin
  • Alfentanil
  • Ajmaline
  • Acecainide

Taking haloperidol with any of the medications below could cause a heightened risk of some side effects; however, the combination may prove to be the most optimal form of treatment for you as a patient. If both medications are prescribed simultaneously, your physician may choose to adjust the dosage or frequency for one or both medications.

  • Trihexyphenidyl
  • Tacrine
  • Rifapentine
  • Rifampin
  • Procyclidine
  • Olanzapine
  • Nefazodone
  • Methyldopa
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Carbamazepine
  • Buspirone
  • Betel Nut
  • Benztropine

Other Interactions

Some medications should not be taken near mealtime or when having particular kinds of food due to the possibility of interaction. The use of tobacco or alcohol with particular medications can also trigger certain types of interactions. The interaction listed below was chosen due to the possible significance, but there could be other interactions that have not yet been discovered.

It is not typically recommended that you take haloperidol while using the following, but certain circumstances may require it. If used at the same time, your physician may adjust the dose or frequency for taking haloperidol, or they may give you other directions regarding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or food:

  • Tobacco

Medical Interactions

Patients who have other medical issues could experience changes in the effectiveness of haloperidol. Be sure to inform your physician if you have additional medical issues, including:

  • Breast cancer (history of)
  • Chest pain
  • Blood vessel disease (severe)
  • Heart disease (severe)
  • High prolactin within blood (hyperprolactinemia)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Mania
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (history of)
  • Epilepsy or seizures (history of) take caution; conditions can be made worse
  • Central nervous system depression (severe)
  • Coma
  • Dementia (elderly)
  • Parkinson's disease; patients should not use haloperidol
  • Heart rhythm issues (history of) such as familial long QT-syndrome
  • Low potassium levels in blood (hypokalemia)
  • Low magnesium in blood (hypomagnesemia)
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Overactive thyroid (thyrotoxicosis) risk of severe side effects could be increased for patients with this condition

Warnings

Your progress should be monitored regularly specifically in the initial months that you are being treated with haloperidol. The amount of medication you are prescribed could be adjusted according to your condition needs and to reduce side effects.

Consult your physician if you wish to quit taking haloperidol. Your physician may recommend for you to reduce the amount of medication you are taking gradually, prior to quitting completely. This will give your body a chance to adjust and may avoid your condition becoming worse.

This medication can contribute to the effects of CNS depressants (medications causing drowsiness or lack of alertness) and alcohol. CNS depressants include dental anesthetics, muscle relaxants, medications for barbiturates or seizures, narcotics or prescription pain medication, sleeping medication, sedatives or tranquilizers, medication for colds or allergies and antihistamines. Consult with your physician prior to taking any medications above while on haloperidol.

This medication can cause some patients to become less alert, drowsy or even dizzy, specifically when the quantity of medication is increased. Even if haloperidol is taken at bedtime, patients may feel less alert or drowsy upon waking up. Be sure you are familiar with your own personal reaction to this type of medication prior to operating machinery, driving or doing other activities that could be hazardous if you are less alert or dizzy.

Fainting, lightheadedness or dizziness could take place for patients after taking haloperidol, especially when suddenly standing from a sitting or lying position. It may be helpful to get up slowly. If this issue becomes prolonged, consult with your physician.

This medication can frequently cause you to sweat less, which will trigger your body temperature to become increased overall. Always take extra caution not to be overheated during hot weather or exercise while on haloperidol, due to the fact that overheating can cause heat stroke. Saunas or hot baths may also cause you to feel faint or dizzy while on haloperidol.

Haloperidol can cause a heightened sensitivity of your skin to the sunlight, even more than normal. Even brief exposure to periods of intense sunlight can trigger a skin rash, severe sunburn, redness, itching or other kinds of skin discoloration. When first beginning to take haloperidol:

  • Avoid direct sunlight, specifically between 10 am and 3 pm, as much as you are able to.
  • Wear sunglasses, hats and other types of protective clothing
  • Use and apply a sunblock with an SPF of 15 or more. Certain patients could require a sunscreen that has a higher SPF, specifically patients with fair skin complexions.
  • Apply a sunblock chapstick with an SPF of 15 or more for lip protection
  • Never use a tanning booth

Consult with your physician if you experience a severe reaction after sun exposure.

Haloperidol can trigger dry mouth for some patients. Sugarless gum or candy can be of relief for some patients. Saliva substitutes or melting pieces of ice in the mouth can also be relief temporarily. However, if the dry mouth symptoms occur for longer than two weeks at a time, consult with your dentist or medical doctor. If the mouth is exposed to extended dryness, fungus infections, gum disease, tooth decay and dental disease have a higher likelihood of occurring.

Contact your physician right away if you experience chest discomfort or pain, a quickened heartbeat, difficulty breathing or chills and fever. These signs can signal a severe heart issue.

This medication can cause a movement disorder known as tardive dyskinesia. Consult with your physician immediately if you experience any of these symptoms while on haloperidol: uncontrolled movements of the legs or arms, uncontrolled movements while chewing, quick or worm-like tongue movement tendencies, cheek puffing or lip puckering or smacking.

Stop taking haloperidol and consult with your physician immediately if you experience any of these symptoms while taking this medication: tiredness, atypically pale skin, serious muscle stiffness, bladder control loss, increase of sweating, low or high blood pressure, quickened heartbeat, breathing difficulty or seizures (convulsions). These could be signs of a severe condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

Other medications should not be taken unless approved previously approved by your physician. This refers to non-prescription and prescription medications, as well as vitamin and herbal supplements.

When choosing whether a medication is right for you, it would be wise to compare the potential dangers of taking the medication against the benefits it may provide. You should make this decision with your physician. Consider the following factors prior to taking haloperidol:

Allergies

Inform your physician if you have ever experienced allergic reactions to haloperidol or any other medication. Also let your doctor know if you've experienced other kinds of allergies to animals, preservatives, dyes or foods. Make sure you are familiar with the ingredients on any medication label carefully, especially if it is not previously approved by your physician (non-prescription medications).

Specific demographic use

Pediatric

Current research has not identified whether or not it is safe and effective for children under three years old to take haloperidol. Parents should take caution and rely on the advice of their medical care professional.

Geriatric

Current research has not identified whether there are issues that are specific to the geriatric population and could inhibit the usefulness of this medication for elderly patients. However, more elderly women tend to have a side effect known as tardive dyskinesia and patients who are in their older years have a higher likelihood of having heart issues that are age-related. Geriatric patients may require their dose to be adjusted if they are prescribed haloperidol.

Pregnancy

Regarding haloperidol, either animal research has revealed a negative effect and similar studies have not been conducted for women who are pregnant or there has been no research in both pregnant animals and women. Pregnant women should use their best judgment and consult with their physician regarding whether or not haloperidol is safe for them to take.

Breastfeeding

Adequate research has not yet been conducted whether or not there is a risk to the infant when a woman takes haloperidol while breastfeeding. Compare the possible benefits against the possible risks prior to taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Storage

This medication must be stored in a sealed temperature that remains closed. It should be kept far from moisture and heat. Direct sunlight can alter the chemical composition of this medication; always keep haloperidol out of direct natural light. Keep the container away from freezing and hot temperatures, as well. It should be stored at room temperature.

Always store prescription medications out of reach of children.

Never keep medications that are expired or no longer required. Consult with your medical professional to find out methods of disposing of unused medications.

Summary

Haloperidol aids the treatment of mood disorders and mental, emotional or nervous conditions, for example, schizophrenia. It is also given for Tourette's disorder, to allow the patient to have more control. It gives patients the chance to take part in regular life, feel less nervous and think in a sharper manner.