Haloperidol is useful for treating psychotic mental disorders, namely difficulty distinguishing between reality and things that are not real, for example in schizophrenia . This medication is also used to treat mania, which is an extreme increase in mood, behavior, or energy level.

Haloperidol is an antipsychotic drug that works by balancing natural brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. This medication helps to clear your mind and reduce hallucinations , anxiety, aggression, negative thoughts, or thoughts of self-harm.

Haloperidol is also used to control severe tics, for example in those with Tourette's syndrome . Tics are uncontrollable and repetitive movements or sounds.

Haloperidol trademarks:  Govotil, Haloperidol, Lodomer, Seradol, Upsikis

What is Haloperidol

class Prescription drug
Category Antipsychotics
Benefit Relieves psychosis, symptoms of schizophrenia  or mania, and controls Tourette's syndrome
Used by Adults and children ≥3 years
Haloperidol for pregnant and lactating women Category C: Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.

Haloperidol can be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Drug form Tablets, caplets, oral drops ( drops ), injection

Warning Before Using Haloperidol

Haloperidol may only be used based on a doctor 's prescription . Pay attention to the following things before you use haloperidol:

  • Do not use haloperidol if you are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had or are currently suffering from severe nervous system disorders, seizures, dementia, Parkinson's disease, major depression or bipolar disorder .
  • Tell your doctor if you have or currently have hypomagnesemia or hypokalemia , difficulty urinating, glaucoma , slow heart rate, angina , heart failure, hyperthyroidism , or low white blood cell count.
  • Tell your doctor if you have severe vomiting or diarrhea while taking haloperidol, as these conditions may increase the risk of serious side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if anyone in your family has had any heart problems, such as QT prolongation or sudden cardiac arrest .
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking drugs, supplements or other herbal products, to anticipate possible interactions between drugs.
  • Tell your doctor that you are using haloperidol if you plan to have dental work or surgery.
  • Avoid activities under direct sunlight when the air is hot, because haloperidol can reduce sweating which can trigger heatstroke .
  • Do not drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery after using haloperidol, because this drug can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while on treatment with haloperidol, because it can increase the risk of side effects of the drug.
  • Immediately see a doctor if an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects occur after using haloperidol.

Dosage and Rules for Use Haloperidol

The following is a general dosage of haloperidol based on the condition, drug form, and age of the patient:

Drug form: tablets or drops

Condition:  psychosis , schizophrenia, or mania

  • Adult: 0.5–5 mg, 2–3 times daily. Maintenance dose 3–10 mg daily depending on patient response to drug.
  • Elderly: 0.5–2 mg, 2–3 times daily. The maximum dose is 20 mg per day.

Condition:  schizophrenia

  • Children 13–17 years: initial dose of 0.5 mg per day. Dosage may be increased to 1–6 mg per day if needed. Maximum dose of 10 mg per
  • Children 3–12 years: initial dose of 0.5 mg daily. Dosage may be increased to 1–4 mg per day if needed. The maximum dose is 6 mg per day.

Condition:  Tourette's syndrome, severe tic disorder

  • Adult: 0.5–5 mg, 2–3 times daily. Maintenance dose 4 mg per day. Maximum dose of 30 mg per day.
  • Children 13–17 years: initial dose of 0.25 mg daily. Dosage may be increased to 2–6 mg per day if needed. Maximum dose of 6 mg per
  • Children 3–12 years: initial dose of 0.25 mg daily. Dosage may be increased to 0.5–3 mg per day if needed. The maximum dose is 3 mg per day.

Drug form: injection (haloperidol lactate)

Conditions: psychosis, schizophrenia

  • Adult: initially 2–10 mg may be given every 1 hour until symptoms subside. Subsequent doses can be given 4–8 hours apart between doses. The maximum dose is 18 mg per day.

Drug form: long-term injection (haloperidol decanoate)

Conditions: psychosis, schizophrenia

  • Adults: initial dose 10-20 times the daily dose of oral medication, given once a month. The maximum dose is 100 mg. The maintenance dose is 10–14 times the daily dose of oral medication.

How to Use Haloperidol Correctly

Injectable haloperidol should only be given by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor.

For haloperidol taken by mouth, follow the doctor's advice and read the instructions for use listed on the package before using haloperidol.

Haloperidol tablets and haloperidol drops can be taken before or after meals. Take this drug at the same time every day for maximum treatment results. If you are going to use haloperidol drops, be sure to shake the bottle first and use the tools provided so that the dosage is correct.

If you forget to take haloperidol, take this drug as soon as you remember if the break with the next schedule is not too close. If it's close, ignore it and don't double the dose.

Drink plenty of water while taking haloperidol.

Store haloperidol in a dry and cool place away from direct sunlight, and keep this drug out of reach of children.

Haloperidol Interactions with Other Drugs

The following are some of the interactions that can occur when haloperidol is used with certain drugs:

  • Decreased effectiveness of haloperidol when used with phenobarbital or carbamazepine
  • Increased risk of arrhythmias which can be fatal when used with ciprofloxacin or levofloxacin
  • Increased risk of side effects when used with tucatinib, itraconazole , ketoconazole or fluoxetine
  • Increased risk of side effects of tricyclic antidepressants  when used together
  • Increased drowsiness when used with alprazolam , lorazepam , zolpidem , muscle relaxants , codeine , or antihistamines
  • Increased risk of developing heart rhythm disturbances of the QT prolongation type when used with  amiodarone , pimozide, quinidine , sotalol, procainamide , or macrolide antibiotics , such as erythromycin

Haloperidol Side Effects and Dangers

Call your doctor if you experience muscle stiffness or tightness, tremors, or drooling that occur hours or days after taking haloperidol. Doctors can prescribe other drugs to reduce these side effects.

Other side effects that may appear after using haloperidol are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Sleep disorders
  • Worry
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Nauseous

Call your doctor if your complaints don't improve or get worse. See a doctor immediately if you have an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects, such as:

  • Nausea or vomiting that doesn't stop, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, seizures
  • Slow heart beat ( bradycardia ), feeling very dizzy, chest pain , or fainting
  • An infection that can be characterized by fever and sore throat that doesn't get better
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome , which can be characterized by fever, muscle stiffness, muscle aches, tiredness, confusion, excessive sweating, fast heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, or dark urine
  • Enlargement of the breasts ( gynecomastia ), decreased sexual ability, erections that hurt and last for more than 4 hours in men
  • Cessation of menstruation or discharge of breast milk even though women have not finished giving birth.
  • Difficulty getting offspring

Long-term use of haloperidol can cause  tardive dyskinesia . This condition can be characterized by uncontrollable facial muscle movements, such as sticking out the tongue or chewing movements, or uncontrolled tremors.

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