Health Guide

Haloperidol (By injection)

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

Treats schizophrenia and symptoms of Tourette syndrome.

Brand Name(s):

Haldol, Haldol Decanoate, Haloperidol Decanoate Novaplus

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to haloperidol, or if you have Parkinson disease.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • 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.

  • Some medicines can affect how haloperidol works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Alprazolam, buspirone, carbamazepine, carbidopa/levodopa, chlorpromazine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, itraconazole, ketoconazole, lithium, nefazodone, paroxetine, promethazine, quinidine, rifampin, sertraline, venlafaxine
    • Blood thinner (including phenindione, warfarin)
    • Medicine for heart rhythm problems
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, bone marrow problems, heart or blood vessel disease, heart rhythm problems (including long QT syndrome), allergies, thyroid problems, or a history of breast cancer or seizures.
  • Do not breastfeed while you are using this medicine.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Heart rhythm changes
    • Tardive dyskinesia (a muscle disorder that could become permanent)
    • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a nerve disorder that could be life-threatening)
    • Bronchitis or pneumonia
    • Extrapyramidal reaction (a muscle and nerve disorder)
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy, or may cause trouble with thinking or controlling body movements, which may lead to falls, fractures, or other injuries. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Do not stop receiving Haldol® suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

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
  • Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, cough, trouble breathing
  • Jerky muscle movement you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw)
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Muscle spasms, trouble swallowing
  • Sweating, confusion, muscle stiffness
  • Twitching or muscle movements you cannot control, problems with balance or walking
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

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

  • Breast pain or swelling
  • Dry mouth
  • Pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given

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: 7/4/2018
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