Haldol (Haloperidol) Medication

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Haldol is a psychiatric medication indicated for treating specific mental/mood disorders such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders.  

Classified as an antipsychotic, Haldol functions by rebalancing certain naturally occurring substances in the brain called neurotransmitters.  

This medication enhances cognitive clarity, reduces anxiety, and promotes everyday activities. It also aids in preventing self-harm and minimizing aggressive behavior, negative thoughts, and hallucinations. 

Haldol is typically prescribed for the following conditions: 

  • Schizophrenia 
  • Tourette syndrome: to control tics and vocal utterances in both children and adults 
  • Severe behavioral disorders in children: to treat combative and explosive hyperexcitability not caused by immediate provocation, after psychotherapy or other medication has failed 
  • Hyperactivity in children with accompanying conduct disorders, including impulsivity, difficulty sustaining attention, aggressivity, mood lability, and poor frustration tolerance, only after psychotherapy or other medication has failed 

Uses and Dosage 

Before starting treatment with Haldol and every time you get a refill, thoroughly review its patient information leaflet and medication guide. If any concerns or inquiries arise, seek guidance from a physician or pharmacist. 

Haldol dosage is based on the patient’s medical condition and response to treatment.  

Initially, a low dose is prescribed, which is gradually increased by the doctor. As soon as the condition is managed, the dosage may be reduced. 

Typically, Haldol is taken orally 2 to 3 times a day without regard to food intake or as prescribed by the doctor.  

Take Haldol exactly how it is prescribed. Refrain from taking more or less of it or taking it more frequently than instructed by your doctor. 

To maximize the efficacy of Haldol, take it regularly at the same time(s) daily, and continue use even if symptoms improve.  

Consult your doctor before discontinuing Haldol as abrupt cessation may result in uncontrolled movement issues. Gradual dosage reduction may be recommended by your doctor. 

Side Effects 

Potential side effects associated with the use of Haldol are listed below. If any of them last or worsen, promptly inform your physician or pharmacist. 

Common Side Effects 

  • Drowsiness 
  • Headache 
  • Dizziness and spinning sensation 
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements 
  • Restlessness or anxiety 
  • Insomnia 
  • Breast enlargement and irregular menstrual periods 

Serious Side Effects 

  • Involuntary muscle contractions in the facial region, such as chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking, or eye movement, that are distinct and specific to the individual. 
  • Muscle spasms in the neck, tightness in the throat, and difficulty swallowing 
  • Rapid mood or behavioral changes 
  • Fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in the chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness 
  • Cough with mucus, chest pain, and shortness of breath 
  • Low white blood cell counts – fever, chills, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, and difficulty breathing 
  • Severe nervous system reaction – very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out 

Allergic Reactions 

While it is uncommon, a severe allergic reaction to Haldol can occur. Notify your physician promptly if you experience symptoms such as: 

  • Rash 
  • Itching or swelling particularly of the face, tongue, or throat 
  • Severe dizziness 
  • Difficulty breathing 

The side effects of Haldol listed here are not exhaustive. If any unmentioned side effects are experienced and cause discomfort, notify your physician promptly. 


Before initiating Haldol, inform your physician or pharmacist about any existing allergies, particularly to haloperidol.  

This medication may also contain inactive ingredients that could trigger allergic reactions or other complications. Consult your pharmacist for further information. 

To ensure Haldol is safe for you, disclose your medical history to your doctor, especially of: 

  • Severe CNS depression 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Difficulty urinating (e.g., due to prostate problems) 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Heart problems (such as angina) 
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Seizures 
  • Low white blood cell count 

Certain products may interact with Haldol, including but not limited to: 

  • Anticholinergic medications (e.g., antispasmodics such as belladonna alkaloids, and scopolamine) 
  • Cabergoline 
  • Ketoconazole 
  • Lithium 
  • Methyldopa 
  • Parkinson’s disease medications (such as levodopa and carbidopa, selegiline) 
  • Paroxetine 
  • Pergolide 
  • Quinupristin/dalfopristin 
  • Saquinavir 

To prevent potential drug interactions, tell your physician and pharmacist of all medications, whether prescription or non-prescription, and any vitamins, supplements, or herbal products you are taking. 

Be sure to inform your physician or pharmacist if you are currently taking any other products with sedative effects, as listed below. They may need to adjust your medication dosages or closely monitor you for any potential side effects. 

  • Opioid pain or cough relievers (e.g., codeine, hydrocodone) 
  • Alcohol 
  • Marijuana (cannabis) 
  • Sleep or anxiety medications (e.g., alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem) 
  • Muscle relaxants (e.g., carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine) 
  • Antihistamines (e.g., cetirizine, diphenhydramine) 

Review the labels of all your medicines, especially allergy or cough-and-cold products, as they may contain drowsiness-inducing ingredients. Seek advice from your pharmacist to use such products safely. 

Prolonged or high-dose use of Haldol may result in an irreversible movement disorder, particularly in women or older adults. Speak to your doctor about the risks associated with extended use. 

Excessive heat exposure should be avoided while taking Haldol as it may decrease sweating and increase the risk of heatstroke. Refrain from strenuous physical activity and exercise in hot weather. 

Haldol may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting upon quickly getting up from a lying position. Patients may rise slowly, allowing their feet to rest on the ground for a few minutes before standing up to avoid this issue. 

Haldol should only be used during pregnancy when necessary. Notify your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while taking Haldol or plan to become pregnant, as it may cause serious problems in newborns if taken during the last trimester. 

Consult your doctor before breastfeeding while taking this medication because haloperidol can pass into breast milk and may have adverse effects on your nursing infant. 

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Quality Prescription Drugs has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Haldol (Haloperidol). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Haldol (Haloperidol).