Haloperidol is used to treat schizophrenia (an illness that causes changes in perception, thoughts and behaviour) and paranoia. It helps to relieve symptoms common in schizophrenia and paranoia, such as distorted thinking and emotional instability.
This medicine is also used to treat a dysfunctional mood condition known as mania.
It may also be used in Tourette's disorder to control movement and verbal tics (uncontrollable urge to repeat certain movements, words or sounds).
Haloperidol may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Haloperidol exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine may be taken with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Haloperidol is available as a tablet and as an oral liquid.
If you have been given an oral liquid, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use a dropper, measuring spoon or cup to measure out your dose.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition.
Haloperidol must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it suddenly as it could worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor or pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe depression
- Parkinson's disease (a brain disease that affects movement)
- lesions of the basal ganglia (part of the brain responsible for coordination of movement)
- heart disease e.g. heart attack, heart failure (weakness and inability of the heart to pump blood), irregular or abnormal heartbeat
- overactive thyroid
- low potassium levels in the blood
as Haloperidol may not be suitable for you.
Do not take this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- epilepsy (fits or seizures)
- heart rhythm problems
- heart and blood vessel disease
- blood clot disorders
- blocked bowel
- paralytic ileus (a condition where the bowel does not work properly)
- enlarged prostate or difficulty urinating
- liver or kidney disease
- narrow-angle glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Haloperidol to an elderly. Elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects.
This medicine may affect the ability of your body to adjust to temperature changes in the environment. Avoid exposure to very cold or very hot environments. Avoid strenuous exercise and activities like going to the sauna. Drink more water to prevent dehydration.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are being treated with Haloperidol.
Do not stop taking Haloperidol unless your doctor has specifically told you to do so. Your doctor will gradually reduce the dose when you are using this medicine. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- An electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure the electrical activity of your heart before or during your treatment will be performed.
- Certain tests may be performed to make sure that your eyes, blood counts, heart and liver function are normal while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Haloperidol may cause drowsiness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, confusion, depression, difficulty sleeping, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, blurred vision, rash, difficulty in passing urine, erectile dysfunction and weight changes.
You may feel dizzy when getting up from a sitting or lying down position. It will help if you get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- problems controlling movements of your body e.g. uncontrollable twitching or jerking
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- muscle stiffness, high fever, excessive sweating, altered mental status (neuroleptic malignant syndrome)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- certain antibiotics e.g. azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. methyldopa
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. carbamazepine, phenobarbital
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. lithium, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine
- medicines to treat depression e.g. citalopram, escitalopram
- other antipsychotics e.g. chlorpromazine, sertindole, pimozide
- medicines for irregular heartbeat e.g. disopyramide, quinidine, amiodarone, dofetilide
- medicine to treat TB (infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin
- medicines to treat fungal infections e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole
- medicine for Parkinson's disease e.g. levodopa
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Haloperidol.
Always notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol will worsen the dizziness and drowsiness caused by Haloperidol.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
If you have been given the oral liquid, store it in a cool, dry place but do not refrigerate or freeze it.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.