What Meds

Psychiatric Medications


Haloperidol
Brand Names: Haldol, Haldol IM, Haldol Decanoate, Halperon

Overview
Haloperidol is often used to treat schizophrenia. It is a typical antipsychotic agent. This drug works by blocking receptors for the chemical dopamine (D1 and D2) in the brain. It decreases the release of hormones from the hypothalamus of the brain and is thought to depress the area of the brain known as the reticular activating system, thus affecting metabolism, body temperature, wakefulness, and nausea.

This drug is used to:

Why is this drug prescribed?
Haloperidol is FDA-approved for treatment of:

Haloperidol is used primarily to treat schizophrenia, but it used for several other diagnoses as well. It is prescribed for the following symptoms:

Other symptoms that Haloperidol is used to treat include:

How much of this drug is typically used?
Oral tablet: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg
Oral solution: 2 mg/mL
Injectible (short-acting IM) solution: 5 mg/mL
Decanoate oil-based (monthly IM) injection: 50 mg/mL and 100 mg/mL

Warnings and Precautions
Haloperidol should only be used in children and adolescents under 18 who are under the care of a child psychiatrist.

Haloperidol may cause dizziness and/or drowsiness. Patients taking it should not drive or operate heavy machinery until the full effects on alertness are known.

Patients can be more sensitive to UV light while taking Haloperidol and should always wear a sunscreen SPF 15 or more and wear sunglasses when outdoors or in direct sunlight. Patients should not be exposed to artificial sunlight such as tanning booths or sun lamps.

This drug can reduce a patient’s ability to withstand extreme heat or cold. Patients should be cautious when exercising in hot weather, and should dress appropriately for cold weather and avoid excessive exposure to cold.

For Nursing Mothers: Do not take if you are breast-feeding.

Contraindications
Haloperidol should Not be used for people with the following medical conditions:

Adverse Reactions
Haloperidol may cause the following reactions:

Rarely:

Interactions with Drugs and Other Substances
Drugs or substances that may interact with Haloperidol are:

Research Studies and Use in Child Psychiatry
The typical antipsychotics are less used in children currently, due to their side effect profile. However, haloperidol is still sometimes used in treatment-resistant schizophrenia, and in emergency situations to decrease agitation and psychosis. According to a recent large review of medications for early-onset schizophrenia, there are few relevant trials and, presently, there is little conclusive evidence regarding the effects of typical (older) antipsychotic medication for those with onset of schizophrenia at a young age.

Sources

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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