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Haldol Decanoate

Generic Name: haloperidol injection (HAL oh PER i dol)
Brand Name: Haldol, Haldol Decanoate

Medically reviewed by on Sep 5, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Haldol Decanoate?

Haloperidol is a long-acting antipsychotic medicine that works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain.

Haldol Decanoate is used for long-term control of severe symptoms of psychosis, or mental illness such as schizophrenia. This medicine is sometimes used in people who cannot take antipsychotic medicine by mouth (orally).

Haldol Decanoate is also used to control motor and speech tics in people with Tourette's syndrome.

Haloperidol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not receive Haldol Decanoate if you have certain conditions that affect your central nervous system.

Haldol Decanoate contains sesame oil and should not be given to a person who is allergic to peanuts.

Haloperidol may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions and is not approved for this use.

Before taking this medicine

Haloperidol may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions and is not approved for this use.

You should not receive this medicine if you are allergic to haloperidol, or if you have:

  • a peanut allergy (this medicine contains sesame oil); or

  • certain conditions that affect your central nervous system (such as severe drowsiness, or slowed thinking caused by taking other medicines or drinking alcohol).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Using antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop using your medicine during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while receiving haloperidol.

You should not breast-feed while receiving this medicine.

How is Haldol Decanoate given?

You may be given haloperidol tablets or liquid to take by mouth for a short time before you are treated with Haldol Decanoate. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Haloperidol is injected into a muscle. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Haldol Decanoate is usually given once every 3 to 4 weeks as needed.

Drink plenty of water each day.

If you use Haldol Decanoate long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Haldol Decanoate.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if you have overdose symptoms (extreme drowsiness, severe tremors or muscle stiffness, weak or shallow breathing, fainting). An overdose of haloperidol can be fatal.

Since Haldol Decanoate is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving Haldol Decanoate?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects could occur.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. You may be more prone to heat stroke while you are using haloperidol.

Haldol Decanoate side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

High doses or long-term use of haloperidol can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. The longer you use haloperidol, the more likely you are to develop this disorder, especially if you are a diabetic or an older adult.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • rapid changes in mood or behavior;

  • lack of energy, decreased thirst;

  • uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);

  • tremors in your arms or legs, inability to sit still;

  • stiffness in your neck, tightness in your throat, trouble breathing or swallowing;

  • fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness (like you might pass out);

  • fever, chills, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough; or

  • severe nervous system reaction--very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;

  • neck stiffness;

  • tremors; or

  • involuntary muscle movements.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Haldol Decanoate?

Haloperidol can cause a serious heart problem. Your risk may be higher if you also use certain other medicines for infections, asthma, heart problems, high blood pressure, depression, mental illness, cancer, malaria, or HIV.

Using haloperidol with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect haloperidol, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect haloperidol. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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