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Haldol Decanoate

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

Medically reviewed on September 7, 2017

What is Haldol Decanoate?

Haldol Decanoate is a long-acting antipsychotic medicine. It 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 is not approved for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Haloperidol may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Before taking this medicine

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

You should not receive Haldol Decanoate 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).

To make sure haloperidol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

It is not known whether haloperidol will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while receiving this medicine.

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.

Haloperidol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while receiving this medicine.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of 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. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests or vision exams.

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?

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

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.

What should I avoid while receiving Haldol Decanoate?

Haloperidol may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls, fractures, or other 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 receive haloperidol, the more likely you are to develop a serious movement disorder. The risk of this side effect is higher in women and older adults.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • 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;

  • stabbing chest pain, cough with yellow or green mucus;

  • headache with chest pain and severe dizziness or fainting;

  • vision changes, skin changes;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • unusual changes in mood or behavior;

  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, painful mouth sores, cold or flu symptoms;

  • seizure (convulsions); or

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

Common side effects may include:

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Haldol Decanoate?

Using haloperidol with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, prescription cough medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Many drugs can interact with haloperidol. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • heart or blood pressure medication;

  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • an antibiotic or antifungal medicine;

  • anti-malaria medication;

  • cancer medicine;

  • medicine to treat Parkinson symptoms (such as levodopa); or

  • other antipsychotic medicines.

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with Haldol Decanoate. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

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.