Haloperidol

Haloperidol treats schizophrenia. Tell your doctor right away if you have any unusual muscle movements.

Haloperidol Overview

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Haloperidol is a prescription medication used to treat psychotic disorders (conditions that cause difficulty telling the difference between things or ideas that are real and things or ideas that are not real). Haloperidol is also used to control motor tics (uncontrollable need to repeat certain body movements) and verbal tics (uncontrollable need to repeat sounds or words) in adults and children who have Tourette's disorder (condition characterized by motor or verbal tics). Haloperidol is also used to treat severe behavioral problems such as explosive, aggressive behavior or hyperactivity in children who cannot be treated with psychotherapy or with other medications.

Haloperidol is in a group of medications called conventional antipsychotics. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.

This medication comes as a tablet and concentrated liquid to take by mouth. It is usually taken two or three times a day, with or without food.

This medication is also available in an immediate release injectable form and extended release injectable form (haloperidol decanoate) to be given directly into the muscle (IM) by a healthcare professional.

  • The immediate release injectable form for the use in the treatment of schizophrenia and for the control of tics and vocal utterances of Tourette’s Disorder can be given as often as every hour.
  • Haloperidol decanoate is usually administered every 4 weeks.

Common side effects of haloperidol include rapid heartbeat, constipation, dry mouth, and drop in blood pressure upon standing.

Haloperidol can also cause blurred vision, drowsiness, and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how haloperidol affects you.

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  • Child Behavior Disorders
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizophrenia And Disorders With Psychotic Features
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome
  • Tourette Syndrome
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Uses of Haloperidol

Haloperidol is a prescription medication used to treat psychotic disorders (conditions that cause difficulty telling the difference between things or ideas that are real and things or ideas that are not real). Haloperidol is used for the treatment of schizophrenia. Haloperidol is also used to control motor tics (uncontrollable need to repeat certain body movements) and verbal tics (uncontrollable need to repeat sounds or words) in adults and children who have Tourette's disorder (condition characterized by motor or verbal tics). Haloperidol is also used to treat severe behavioral problems such as explosive, aggressive behavior or hyperactivity in children who cannot be treated with psychotherapy or with other medications.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Haloperidol Brand Names

Haloperidol may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Haloperidol Drug Class

Haloperidol is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Haloperidol

Serious side effects have been reported with haloperidol. See the “Haloperidol Precautions” section.

Common side effects of haloperidol include the following:

  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • increased saliva
  • blurred vision
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • blank facial expression
  • uncontrollable eye movements
  • unusual, slowed, or uncontrollable movements of any part of the body
  • restlessness
  • agitation
  • nervousness
  • mood changes
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • breast enlargement or pain
  • breast milk production
  • missed menstrual periods
  • decreased sexual ability in men
  • increased sexual desire
  • difficulty urinating
  • local tissue reactions (injection formulations)
  • Tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
  • Low blood pressure
  • High blood pressure

This is not a complete list of haloperidol side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Haloperidol FDA Warning

Studies have shown that older adults with dementia (a brain disorder that affects the ability to remember, think clearly, communicate, and perform daily activities and that may cause changes in mood and personality) who take antipsychotics (medications for mental illness) such as haloperidol have an increased chance of death during treatment.

Haloperidol is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of behavior problems in older adults with dementia. Talk to the doctor who prescribed this medication if you, a family member, or someone you care for has dementia and is taking haloperidol.