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Haloperidol (Injection)

Haloperidol (hal-oh-PER-i-dol)

Treats mental illness (such as schizophrenia), behavior problems, agitation, and symptoms of Tourette's syndrome.

Brand Name(s):

Haldol

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to haloperidol, or if you have Parkinson's disease. This medicine should not be given to patients with severe brain disease.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using lithium (Eskalith®, Lithane®, Lithobid®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), a blood thinner (such as phenindione), or medicine for Parkinson's disease (such as carbidopa, levodopa, or Sinemet®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, Betapace®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Quinaglute®, or Tikosyn®) or medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, Luminal®, or Tegretol®).
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease, mania, thyroid problems, or a history of prolactin-dependent breast cancer, seizures, or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Your doctor needs to know if you have any kind of heart or blood vessel problems, including blood pressure problems, heart rhythm problems (such as QT prolongation), or a mineral imbalance (such as low potassium or magnesium in the blood).
  • Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine, including heart failure or pneumonia. This medicine is not used to treat behavioral problems in older adults with dementia.
  • Tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder) may occur and may not go away after you stop using the medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while receiving this medicine: lip smacking or puckering, puffing of the cheeks, rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue, uncontrolled chewing movements, or uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while using this medicine: convulsions (seizures), difficulty with breathing, a fast heartbeat, a high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusually pale skin, or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
  • This medicine will make you sweat less, causing your body temperature to increase. Use extra care not to become overheated during exercise or hot weather while you are using this medicine, since overheating may result in heat stroke. Also, hot baths or saunas may make you feel dizzy or faint while you are using this medicine.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. You may also feel lightheaded when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, so stand up slowly.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Feeling very thirsty or hungry.
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, or muscle stiffness.
  • Jerky muscle movement you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw).
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Painful, prolonged erection of your penis.
  • Problems with vision, speech, balance, or walking.
  • Seeing or hearing things which are not there.
  • Seizures or tremors.
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing.
  • Trouble with swallowing or talking, sticking out of the tongue, or spasm of the neck muscles.
  • Twitching or muscle movements you cannot control in the tongue, face, neck, jaw, or eyes.
  • Unexplained fever or muscle stiffness.
  • Unusual facial expressions.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Breast pain or swelling.
  • Drowsiness, depression, or headache.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Hair loss.
  • Irregular menstrual periods.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, or stomach upset.
  • Skin rash, soreness, or pain at the injection site.
  • Trouble having sex.
  • Trouble sleeping, restlessness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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


Last Updated: 4/4/2014
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