haloperidol, Haldol

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Coping With Schizophrenia

PREPARATIONS:

  • Tablets: 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 mg.
  • Oral Concentrate: 1 and 2 mg/ml. Injectable solution (lactate): 5 mg/ml;
  • Injectable solution (decanoate): 50 and 100 mg/ml.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Haloperidol causes sedation, and sedation may be greater if haloperidol is taken with alcohol and other drugs that can cause sedation such as the benzodiazepine class of anti-anxiety drugs for example:

The narcotic class of pain medications and its derivatives for example:

The tricyclic class of antidepressants for example:

Some antihistamines for example:

Certain antihypertensive medications for example:

Carbamazepine (Tegretol) may increase the elimination of haloperidol, rendering the haloperidol less effective. Rifampin (Rifadin) may decrease the elimination of haloperidol, increasing the risk of side effects from haloperidol.

PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY: Neonates exposed to antipsychotics during the 3rd trimester may develop withdrawal symptoms and extrapyramidal symptoms.

Haloperidol is secreted into breast milk. It should not be used while breast feeding.

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).

DOSING:

  • The recommended oral dose for schizophrenia is 0.5-5 mg two or three times daily up to a maximum dose of 30 mg daily. The lactate solution dose is 2-5 mg every 4-8 hours as needed by intramuscular injection. The lactate solution may also be administered by intravenous injection at 1-2 mg every 2-4 hours and titrated to effect. The maximum single injection dose is 50 mg and the maximum daily dose is 500 mg daily. The dose for the decanoate solution is 10-20 times the daily oral dose once monthly by intramuscular injection. The decanoate solution should not be administered intravenously.
  • The recommended dose for treating Tourette's syndrome is 0.5-5 mg orally two or three times daily.

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Haloperidol is an antipsychotic medication. It also is used to control tics and vocal utterances that are part of Tourette's syndrome. Haloperidol interferes with the effects of neurotransmitters in the brain which are the chemical messengers that nerves manufacture and release to communicate with one another. Haloperidol blocks receptors for the neurotransmitters (specifically the dopamine and serotonin type 2 receptors) on the nerves. As a result, the nerves are not "activated" by the neurotransmitters released by other nerves. Haloperidol was approved by the FDA in 1967.

Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/31/2016

Quick GuideSchizophrenia Pictures Slideshow: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Schizophrenia Pictures Slideshow: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
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