What is Haloperidol?
Haloperidol medicine is a typical antipsychotic drug. It is used in the treatment of schizophrenia, cardiac arrhythmias in Tourette’s syndrome, mania in bipolar disorder, nausea and vomiting, delirium, agitation, acute psychosis, and hallucinations when alcohol withdrawal.
Haloperidol works by blocking a chemical, called dopamine, in the brain to reduce symptoms of psychosis. The drug can be taken orally or injected into a muscle or vein. Haloperidol usually works within 30-60 minutes.
The long-acting drug may be given as an injection every four weeks in people with schizophrenia or related conditions who forget or refuse to take their medication by mouth.
Indications for drug use
Haloperidol is used to treat a variety of disruptive disorders, behavior problems, and movement problems. It is approved to treat:
- Manifestations of mental disorder
- Management of facial spasms (tics) and voice disturbances of tourette syndrome
- Severe behavioral problems in children with excitability, explosiveness
- Hyperactive children exhibit excessive activity accompanied by behavioral disorders
This medication should only be considered in children after psychotherapy and other medications have failed.
What is the dose of Haloperidol ?
Many things can affect how much medication a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications.
Treatment of mental disorders or Tourette’s syndrome
- The usual starting dose of haloperidol for adults is 2 to 6 mg per day in 1 to 2 divided doses.
- Elderly patients may require a lower starting dose: usually 0.25 – 0.5 mg orally 2 or 3 times a day.
- For children 6 to 12 years of age, the usual starting dose of haloperidol: 0.25 to 0.5 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day.
Intramuscular haloperidol may also be given to people who have acute psychotic episodes or who are agitated or aggressive. For the ongoing treatment of psychiatric disorders, long-acting haloperidol injections are used to help reduce the amount of medication that some people have to take.
The dose to start with depends on the oral dose the person has previously taken. Long-acting injections are given intramuscularly, usually by a doctor or nurse, every 4 weeks. For some people starting on a long-acting injection, they can use both oral and injectable forms of haloperidol at the same time.
How to take Haloperidol?
Take Haloperidol exactly as directed by your doctor or as directed on the label. Do not take more or less than directed by your doctor.
The drug should be taken with food or milk to avoid stomach upset.
It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medicine as directed and let your doctor know if your symptoms do not improve.
Use it regularly to get the best benefit from it. You should not stop taking Haloperidol without consulting your doctor, as some conditions can be made worse by abruptly stopping the medication.
Contraindications to the use of Haloperidol
Do not use Haloperidol in patients who are allergic to any of the ingredients in the tablet.
It should not be used if you have Parkinson’s disease or certain conditions that affect your central nervous system.
Haloperidol is not approved for use in older adults with dementia-related psychosis.
Haloperidol side effects
Haloperidol may cause drowsiness. If affected, do not drive or engage in any activity where you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, confusion, depression, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, blurred vision, rash, difficulty urinating, confusion erection and weight changes.
Some side effects may require immediate medical help. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Problems controlling body movements, such as uncontrollable twitching or jerking
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Muscle stiffness, high fever, profuse sweating, altered mental status (neuroleptic malignant syndrome)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
What other medicines does Haloperidol interact with?
Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- Certain antibiotics such as azithromycin , clarithromycin , erythromycin , levofloxacin
- Medicines for high blood pressure such as methyldopa
- Medicines for epilepsy (edema or convulsions) such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital
- Drugs for mood disorders such as lithium, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine
- Antidepressants such as citalopram, escitalopram
- Other antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine, sertindole, pimozide
- Medicines to treat irregular heartbeats such as disopyramide, quinidine, amiodarone, dofetilide
- Medicines to treat tuberculosis (an infection called tuberculosis), eg rifampicin
- Medicines to treat fungal infections, eg itraconazole, ketoconazole
- Medicines for Parkinson’s disease, eg levodopa
This list does not include all drugs that may interact with Haloperidol. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal supplements, dietary supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Precautions while using Haloperidol
Body temperature: Haloperidol, like other antipsychotics, can disrupt the body’s ability to control body temperature. People who exercise vigorously, are exposed to extreme heat, are dehydrated, or are taking anticholinergics are more at risk.
Blood clots: The drug has been linked to blood clots in the legs and lungs. If you experience unusual pain, heat, or swelling in one leg or suddenly have trouble breathing and chest pain, get medical help right away.
Complete blood count: Haloperidol may lower the number of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection), red blood cells (which carry oxygen), and platelets (which help the blood clot). Your doctor will do blood tests to monitor this.
Blood sugar : The drug may increase blood sugar (possibly causing loss of glycemic control) and glucose tolerance may change. This can happen to people who have never had high blood sugar levels.
Cardiovascular Effects: Cases of sudden death or changes in heart rate (torsades de pointes) have been reported by people taking haloperidol, especially at doses higher than those recommended by any of the formulations.
Dizziness when standing up: Haloperidol may cause dizziness, especially when standing from a sitting or lying position. If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or are elderly, discuss with your doctor how this medicine may affect your health.
Reduced alertness: The drug may affect the mental or physical abilities needed to drive or operate machinery, especially when you first start taking it or increase your dose.
Hyperthyroidism: If you have uncontrolled high thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism), discuss with your doctor how Haloperidol may affect your condition.
Kidney function: If you have decreased kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how the medication may affect your condition.
Liver function: If you have decreased liver function or liver disease, discuss with your doctor how Haloperidol may affect your condition.
Movement disorders: Drug use has been associated with a potentially irreversible movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia (TD).
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): Haloperidol, like other antipsychotics, can cause a potentially fatal syndrome called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
Prolonged erection : If an erection lasts more than 4 hours (rare), seek medical help immediately. If this condition is not treated quickly, it can lead to tissue damage and permanent loss of the ability to have an erection.
Seizure disorders: Haloperidol may increase the frequency of seizures. If you have a seizure disorder or a history of drug-induced seizures, an abnormal EEG, or a head injury, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your condition.
Pregnancy: The drug should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefit outweighs the risk. If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast- feeding: The drug passes into breast milk. If you are a nursing mother and are using haloperidol, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breastfeeding.
Children: Safety and effectiveness have not been established in young children.
Elderly: Elderly people taking Haloperidol may be more prone to side effects, especially fatigue and a decreased ability to feel thirsty.
How to store Haloperidol?
- Store the medicine in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
- Keep medicine in a safe place, out of reach of children and pets.
The above article is for reference only and is not a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. Readers should only follow the instructions of the doctor who is treating you, Index-Chinadisclaims responsibility if problems occur.
Reputable source ThuocLP Vietnamese: Haloperidol medicine: Uses, dosage & usage
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Tran Ngoc Anh is currently Hanoi Medical University Hospital, Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Head of Department of General-Uematology of Hanoi Medical University. Consulting doctor at ThuocLP Pharmacy.
Professional qualifications, Academic degrees – Education:
Graduated from General Practitioner System, Hanoi Medical University
Graduated with a Master degree in Internal Medicine, Hanoi Medical University
Graduated from the training program specialized in Gastrointestinal, Henri Mondor Institute Center, University of Paris 6, French Republic 1996-1997; 1999
Graduated from the training program specialized in Gastrointestinal, North Royal Sydney Hospital, Australia; 2002
Graduated from a training program specialized in chronic liver diseases, Pizza, Italy 2009
Graduated with a PhD in Gastrointestinal, Hanoi Medical University
Associate Professor, Gastroenterology, Hanoi Medical University
Training and Scientific Research:
Published more than 200 articles in domestic and international specialized journals
Editor of many monographs and participates in compiling 2 textbooks.
Guide many students and graduate students of Hanoi Medical University
Manager of many grassroots research projects
Certificate of Good Clinical Practice (GCP: 2012, 2015), Ministry of Health
Specialized certificates: General gastrointestinal endoscopy, Interventional gastrointestinal endoscopy, General gastrointestinal ultrasound, Interventional gastrointestinal ultrasound (Bach Mai BV), Chronic liver disease.