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Haloperidol (Injection)

Generic name: haloperidol (injection) [HAL-oh-PER-i-dol]
Brand names: Haldol Decanoate, Haldol Injection
Dosage forms: injectable solution (5 mg/mL), intramuscular solution (decanoate 100 mg/mL, decanoate 50 mg/mL).
Drug class: antipsychotics

What is Haloperidol?

Haloperidol is an antipsychotic medication commonly prescribed to treat schizophrenia.Haloperidol can also be used to treat motor and speech tics in people with Tourette syndrome.Haloperidol is injected into the bodies of people who cannot take it orally.This medication guide does not list all possible uses of haloperidol.

Side effects of Haloperidol

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, or throat.Haloperidol in high doses or for a long time can cause serious movement disorders that are not always reversible. Haloperidol can cause serious movement disorders, which may not be reversible.

Haloperidol may cause serious side effects. If you experience:

  • Uncontrolled facial movements (such as lip smacking and frowning; tongue movements, blinking, or eye movements);
  • Rapid changes in mood or behavior
  • You may experience rapid or pounding pulses, fluttering of the chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness.
  • Cough, feeling of shortness of breath, chest pain, and mucus;
  • Lack of energy and decreased thirst
  • You may experience muscle spasms, tightness, or difficulty swallowing in your throat.
  • Low white blood cell count: fever; mouth sores or skin sores; sore neck; coughing; difficulty breathing.
  • Severe nervous system reaction: very stiff (rigid muscles), high fever, sweating, confusion, rapid or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and the feeling that you may pass out.

In older adults, serious side effects are more likely to occur.

Haloperidol can cause a number of side effects.

  • Drowsiness;
  • Neck stiffness
  • Tremors
  • Involuntary muscular movements

There may be other side effects. For medical advice regarding side effects, call your physician. The FDA can be reached at 1-800-FDA-1088 in order to report them.

Similar/related drugs

hydroxyzine, ondansetron, lorazepam, diazepam, risperidone, meclizine, and Benadryl


Haloperidol has not been approved for older adults who have dementia-related psychosis.

Before you take this drug

Haloperidol should not be given to you if:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • Lewy body dementia
  • This medicine may cause an allergic reaction to sesame oil or peanut butter.
  • Certain conditions affect the central nervous system. (For example, severe drowsiness or slow thinking due to taking other medications or drinking alcohol.)

Haloperidol can increase the risk of death in older adults who have dementia-related psychosis. This use is not approved.

Inform your doctor of any of the following issues:

  • Heart problems, angina (chest pain);
  • Long-qt syndrome
  • Low blood pressure
  • A seizure;
  • Low white blood cell counts
  • A thyroid disorder,
  • An electrolyte imbalance (such as a low potassium or magnesium level in the blood) is a problem.

Antipsychotic medication taken in the last three months of pregnancy can cause serious problems for the baby.If you become pregnant, immediately inform your physician. Do not discontinue the medicine without consulting them first.Haloperidol should not be used while breastfeeding.

How to take Haloperidol?

Before you receive haloperidol by injection, you may be prescribed oral haloperidol.Haloperidol can be injected by a healthcare professional into a muscle, typically once every 3–4 weeks.You may need to undergo frequent medical tests if you take this medication for a long time.If you suddenly stop taking haloperidol after long-term usage, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor can tell you how to stop taking this medication safely.

What happens if I miss the dose?

If you are unable to keep your appointment for haloperidol, call your doctor.

What happens if I overdose?

If you experience overdose symptoms, such as extreme drowsiness or tremors, shallow or weak breathing, or fainting, call 1-800-222-1222 or seek emergency medical care. A haloperidol overdose can be fatal.

What should be avoided?

Haloperidol can cause you to feel dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving and other dangerous activities until you are sure of how they will affect you. Dizziness and drowsiness may cause accidents or serious injuries.Don't drink alcohol. Alcohol can have dangerous side effects.Avoid overheating or dehydration during exercise or in hot weather. Haloperidol may make you more susceptible to heat stroke.

Interaction with other drug

At times, taking multiple medications simultaneously may not be safe.Taking certain drugs together can cause side effects and/or make other medications less effective.Haloperidol may cause serious heart problems if taken with other medications for asthma, high blood pressure, depression, mental illness, or cancer.Haloperidol can make you more drowsy if taken with other drugs. Before taking an opioid, sleeping pill, muscle relaxer, or medicine to treat anxiety or seizures, consult your doctor.

Tell your doctor about your other medications, including:

  • Lithium;
  • Rifampin;
  • Parkinson's disease treatment;
  • Seizure medicine;
  • A blood thinner: warfarin coumadin jantoven

This list is incomplete. Haloperidol may be affected by other drugs, such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines and vitamin and herb products. This list does not include all possible drug interactions.