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All about: Haloperidol Tablets

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Generic Name: Haloperidol Tablets (ha-loe-PER-ih-dahl)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Haloperidol is used for:

Treating certain mental disorders (eg, schizophrenia) and controlling symptoms associated with Tourette disorder. It also may be used to treat severe behavior problems in children and for the short-term treatment of hyperactive children. It also may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Haloperidol is an antipsychotic agent. Exactly how Haloperidol works is unknown, but it may work by blocking certain chemicals in the brain.

Do NOT use Haloperidol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Haloperidol
  • you are in a coma, have Parkinson disease, or have severe central nervous system depression
  • you are taking dofetilide, an H1 antagonist (eg, astemizole, terfenadine), or sodium oxybate (GHB)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Haloperidol:

Some medical conditions may interact with Haloperidol. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have the blood disease porphyria, heart problems, seizures, or an overactive thyroid

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Haloperidol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Rifampin because it may decrease Haloperidol's effectiveness
  • Carbamazepine because it may increase the risk of Haloperidol's side-effects or decrease Haloperidol's effectiveness
  • Cisapride, dofetilide, H1 antagonists (eg, astemizole, terfenadine), macrolides or ketolides (eg, erythromycin, telithromycin), phenothiazines (eg, thioridazine), or pimozide because the risk of serious heart-related side effects may be increased
  • Lithium because the risk of unexpected toxic effects, including weakness, severe tiredness, confusion, or unusual muscle movements, may be increased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or sodium oxybate because their actions and the risk of their side effects may be increased by Haloperidol

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Haloperidol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Haloperidol:

Use Haloperidol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Haloperidol by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If you miss a dose of Haloperidol, take it as soon as possible. Take the remaining doses for the day at evenly spaced intervals. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Haloperidol.

Important safety information:

  • Haloperidol may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Haloperidol with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Haloperidol; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Haloperidol may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Haloperidol. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Do not become overheated in hot weather or while you are being active; heatstroke may occur.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Haloperidol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by Haloperidol. Symptoms may include fever; stiff muscles; confusion; abnormal thinking; fast or irregular heartbeat; and sweating. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Some patients who take Haloperidol may develop muscle movements that they cannot control. This is more likely to happen in elderly patients, especially women. The chance that this will happen or that it will become permanent is greater in those who take Haloperidol in higher doses or for a long time. Muscle problems may also occur after short-term treatment with low doses. Tell your doctor at once if you have muscle problems with your arms; legs; or your tongue, face, mouth, or jaw (eg, tongue sticking out, puffing of cheeks, mouth puckering, chewing movements) while taking Haloperidol.
  • Diabetes patients - Haloperidol may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Haloperidol may rarely cause a prolonged, painful erection. This could happen even when you are not having sex. If this is not treated right away, it could lead to permanent sexual problems such as impotence. Contact your doctor right away if this happens.
  • Use Haloperidol with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Haloperidol should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 3 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Haloperidol while you are pregnant. Haloperidol is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Haloperidol.

Possible side effects of Haloperidol:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Blurred vision; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach upset; trouble sleeping.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); confusion; decreased urination; difficulty speaking or swallowing; drooling; excessive or unusual sweating; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; hallucinations; mental or mood changes (eg, abnormal thinking, agitation, anxiety, depression); prolonged, painful erection; rigid or stiff muscles; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness, headache, or vomiting; shuffling walk; uncontrolled muscle movements (eg, of the arms, legs, tongue, jaw, cheeks; twitching; tremors); vision problems or changes; yellowing of skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; muscle weakness, rigidity, or tremor; rapid or irregular pulse; slow or shallow breathing; unusual drowsiness or deep sleep; very dry mouth.

Proper storage of Haloperidol:

Store Haloperidol at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Haloperidol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Haloperidol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Haloperidol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Haloperidol. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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