Generic Name: haloperidol (HAL-oh-PER-i-dol)
Brand Name: Haldol
Haloperidol is an antipsychotic. It may increase the risk of death when used to treat mental problems caused by dementia in elderly patients. Most of the deaths were linked to heart problems or infection. Haloperidol is not approved to treat mental problems caused by dementia.
Haloperidol is 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.
Haloperidol is an antipsychotic agent. Exactly how it works is not known, but it may work by blocking certain chemicals in the brain.
Do NOT use haloperidol if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in haloperidol
- you are in a coma, have Parkinson disease, or have severe central nervous system depression (eg, severe drowsiness, slow or shallow breathing)
- you have severely low levels of certain white blood cells (neutrophils)
- you are taking astemizole, dofetilide, dronedarone, nilotinib, propafenone, sodium oxybate (GHB), terfenadine, or tetrabenazine
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using haloperidol:
Some medical conditions may interact with haloperidol. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have the blood disease porphyria, low white blood cell levels, electrolyte problems (eg, low blood magnesium, low blood potassium), or high or low blood pressure
- if 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
- if you have heart problems or irregular heartbeat (eg, QT prolongation, long QT syndrome), or if a member of your family has a history of these conditions
- if you have had high blood prolactin levels or a history of certain types of cancer (eg, breast, pancreas, pituitary), or if you are at risk of breast cancer
- if you are dehydrated, drink alcohol, or if you are regularly exposed to extreme heat
- if you are taking medicine that may increase the risk of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (QT prolongation) or the risk of electrolyte problems (eg, low blood potassium). Check with your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may increase these risks
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with haloperidol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine, propafenone, sotalol), antipsychotics (eg, iloperidone, paliperidone, ziprasidone), arsenic, astemizole, bepridil, chloroquine, cisapride, dolasetron, domperidone, droperidol, halofantrine, ketolides (eg, telithromycin), kinase inhibitors (eg, lapatinib, nilotinib), macrolides (eg, erythromycin), maprotiline, methadone, phenothiazines (eg, thioridazine), pimozide, quinolone antibiotics (eg, 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 (eg, benztropine) or carbamazepine because they may increase the risk of haloperidol's side effects or decrease haloperidol's effectiveness
- Azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole, itraconazole) because they may increase the risk of haloperidol's side effects
- Rifampin because it may decrease haloperidol's effectiveness
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), narcotic pain medicines, or sodium oxybate (GHB) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by haloperidol
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if haloperidol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use haloperidol:
Use haloperidol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Haloperidol is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using haloperidol at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use haloperidol. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Do not use haloperidol 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.
- If you miss a dose of haloperidol, use it as soon as possible. Use the remaining doses for the day at evenly spaced intervals. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use haloperidol.
Important safety information:
- Haloperidol may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use haloperidol 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 haloperidol.
- Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using haloperidol; 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 haloperidol without checking with your doctor.
- Haloperidol may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to haloperidol. 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 haloperidol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- NMS is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by haloperidol. 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 haloperidol 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 haloperidol 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 (eg, tongue sticking out, puffing of cheeks, mouth puckering, chewing movements) while taking haloperidol.
- Diabetes patients - Haloperidol may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Haloperidol 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.
- Haloperidol 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.
- Haloperidol 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 haloperidol. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use haloperidol with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially uncontrolled muscle movements.
- Haloperidol should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking haloperidol while you are pregnant. Using haloperidol during the third trimester may result in uncontrolled muscle movements or withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Haloperidol is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking haloperidol.
Possible side effects of 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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; restlessness; stomach upset; trouble sleeping.
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; confusion; dark urine; decreased or difficult urination; decreased sexual ability; dehydration; difficulty speaking or swallowing; drooling; enlarged breasts; excessive or unusual sweating; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; hallucinations; mental or mood changes (eg, abnormal thinking, agitation, anxiety, depression); missed menstrual period or other menstrual changes; nipple discharge; prolonged, painful erection; rigid or stiff muscles; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness, headache, or vomiting; shortness of breath or unusual cough; shuffling walk; uncontrolled muscle movements (eg, of the arms, legs, tongue, jaw, cheeks; tremors; twitching); yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; muscle rigidity, tremor, or weakness; rapid or irregular pulse; slow or shallow breathing; unusual drowsiness or deep sleep; very dry mouth.Proper storage of haloperidol:
Store haloperidol at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze. Keep haloperidol out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about haloperidol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Haloperidol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take haloperidol or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about haloperidol. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to haloperidol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using haloperidol.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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