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Haldol

Generic Name: Haloperidol Injection (ha loe PER i dole)
Brand Name: Haldol

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 31, 2019.

Warning

  • There is a higher chance of death in older adults who take Haldol (haloperidol injection) for mental problems caused by dementia. Most of the deaths were linked to heart disease or infection. This medicine is not approved to treat mental problems caused by dementia.

Uses of Haldol:

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Haldol?

  • If you have an allergy to haloperidol or any other part of Haldol (haloperidol injection).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have Parkinson's disease or dementia.
  • If you are very sleepy.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Haldol (haloperidol injection).

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Haldol (haloperidol injection).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Haldol (haloperidol injection) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Haldol?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Haldol (haloperidol injection). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Haldol (haloperidol injection) affects you.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Haldol (haloperidol injection).
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • Sudden death and heartbeats that are not normal have happened with Haldol (haloperidol injection). Very high doses raise the chance of these problems. Tell your doctor if you have a heartbeat that is not normal like long QT on ECG, electrolyte problems like low potassium or magnesium levels, heart problems, low thyroid function, or a family member that has a long QT on ECG. Tell your doctor if you take any drugs that may raise the chance of a heartbeat that is not normal. Ask your doctor if you are not sure. Talk with your doctor.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may happen. Call your doctor right away if you have any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or are sweating a lot.
  • If you also take lithium, talk with your doctor. A few people who were taking Haldol (haloperidol injection) along with lithium have had very bad side effects and brain problems that did not go away.
  • Dizziness, sleepiness, and feeling less stable may happen with Haldol (haloperidol injection). These may lead to falling, which can cause broken bones or other health problems.
  • Some people have gotten pneumonia when taking Haldol (haloperidol injection). Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have fever, chest pain, cough, shortness of breath, or wheezing.
  • Some people may get a severe muscle problem called tardive dyskinesia. This problem may lessen or go away after stopping Haldol (haloperidol injection), but it may not go away. The risk is greater with diabetes and in older adults, especially older women. The risk is greater with longer use or higher doses, but it may also occur after short-term use with low doses. Call your doctor right away if you have trouble controlling body movements or problems with your tongue, face, mouth, or jaw like tongue sticking out, puffing cheeks, mouth puckering, or chewing.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Haldol (haloperidol injection) with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Haldol (haloperidol injection) while you are pregnant.
  • Taking Haldol (haloperidol injection) in the third trimester of pregnancy may lead to uncontrolled muscle movements and withdrawal in the newborn.

How is this medicine (Haldol) best taken?

Use Haldol (haloperidol injection) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as a shot into a muscle.
  • It may be given as a shot into a vein.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
  • Heat stroke has happened in people taking Haldol (haloperidol injection). Be careful in hot weather and during physical activity.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids after using Haldol (haloperidol injection) unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
  • If you have been taking Haldol (haloperidol injection) on a regular basis and you stop it all of a sudden, you may have signs of withdrawal. Do not stop taking Haldol (haloperidol injection) all of a sudden without calling your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have any bad effects.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of high or low blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of low sodium levels like headache, trouble focusing, memory problems, feeling confused, weakness, seizures, or change in balance.
  • Trouble controlling body movements, twitching, change in balance, trouble swallowing or speaking.
  • Shakiness, trouble moving around, or stiffness.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Chest pain that is new or worse.
  • Trouble passing urine.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Seizures.
  • Mental, mood, or behavior changes that are new or worse.
  • Not able to control eye movements.
  • Change in sex interest.
  • Enlarged breasts, nipple discharge, not able to get or keep an erection (in males), or period (menstrual) changes (in females).
  • Erection that lasts more than 4 hours.
  • Low white blood cell counts have happened with drugs like this one. This may lead to a higher chance of infection. Rarely, infections have been deadly. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a low white blood cell count. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat.

What are some other side effects of Haldol?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Haldol?

  • If you need to store Haldol (haloperidol injection) at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Haldol (haloperidol injection), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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