Haldol

Generic name: Haloperidol.

Haldol is an antipsychotic. It calms some parts of the brain and allows the other parts to function normally. 

Quick Facts About Haldol

Purpose

Used to treat the symptoms of mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Also used to control tics (uncontrolled contractions); the unintended verbal outbursts associated with Tourette’s syndrome; and to treat severe behavior problems in children on a short-term basis. Has also been used to relieve severe nausea and vomiting caused by cancer drugs, to treat drug problems such as LSD flashback and PCP intoxication, and to control hemiballismus (involuntary writhing of one side of the body).

Haldol Dosage

May take with food or after a meal. If using liquid concentrate form of Haldol, mix with milk or water. Gradually stop medication as directed by your doctor to avoid temporary muscle spasms and twitches.

  • Usual adult dose: for moderate symptoms — 1 to 6 milligrams per day divided into 2 or 3 smaller doses. For severe symptoms — 6 to 15 milligrams per day divided into 2 or 3 smaller doses. Seniors — generally prescribed doses in the lower range of 1 to 6 milligrams per day.
  • Usual child dose (for children 3 to 12 years): for psychotic disorders — 0.05 to 0.15 milligram per each 2.2 pounds of body weight per day. For nonpsychotic behavior disorders and Tourette’s syndrome — 0.05 to 0.075 milligram per each 2.2 pounds of body weight per day. Not prescribed for children under 3 years.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible. Take remaining doses for the day at equally spaced intervals. Do not double doses.

Haldol Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

catatonic (unresponsive) state, coma, decreased breathing, low blood pressure, rigid muscles, sedation, tremor, weakness. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abnormal milk secretion, acne-like skin reactions, agitation, anemia, anxiety, blurred vision, breast pain, breast development in males, cataracts, catatonic (unresponsive) state, chewing movements, confusion, constipation, coughing, deeper breathing, dehydration, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, epileptic seizures, exaggerated feeling of well-being, exaggerated reflexes, excessive perspiration, excessive salivation, hair loss, hallucinations, headache, heat stroke, high fever, high or low blood pressure, high or low blood sugar, impotence, inability to urinate, increased sex drive, indigestion, involuntary movements, irregular menstrual periods, irregular pulse, lack of muscular coordination, liver problems, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, nausea, parkinson-like symptoms, persistent abnormal erections, physical rigidity and stupor, protruding tongue, puckering of mouth, puffing of cheeks, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, rigidity (in arms, feet head, and muscles), rotation of eyeballs, sensitivity to light, skin rash, skin eruptions, sleeplessness, sluggishness, swelling of breasts, twitching (in the body, neck, shoulders, and face), vertigo, visual problems, vomiting, wheezing, or asthma-like symptoms, yellowing of skin and eyes.

No known less common or rare Haldol side effects.

Interactions

Inform your doctor before combining Haldol with:

anticonvulsants such as Dilantin and Tegretol; antidepressants including Elavil, Tofranil, and Prozac; anti-spasmodics such as Bentyl and Donnatal; blood thinners such as Coumadin; epinephrine (EpiPen); lithium (Lithonate); methyldopa (Aldomet); propranolol (Inderal); rifampin (Rifadin). If Haldol is taken with narcotics, painkillers, sleeping medications, or other medications that slow the central nervous system, can cause extreme drowsiness and serious side effects.

Using alcohol may cause extreme drowsiness and serious side effects. Should not use caffeine during Haldol therapy. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, informing your doctor immediately. Should not breastfeed during Haldol therapy.

Seniors are generally prescribed doses in the lower ranges.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children 3 years and older.

  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • May cause tardive dyskinesia — involuntary muscle spasms and face and body twitching.
  • Senior women are at higher risk. Talk with your doctor about your risk level.
  • Should not take if sensitive to or allergic to Haldol, or if you have Parkinson’s disease.
  • Use with caution if you have or ever had: any drug allergies, breast cancer, chest pain, glaucoma, seizures, or severe heart or circulatory disorder.
  • Use caution in sunlight; may cause skin sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Interferes with the body’s temperature-regulating system; may experience extremely hot or cold body temperatures.

Note:

HealthSurvey.org provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Haldol side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.