Haloperidol

Brand names of haloperidol

  • Alti-Haloperidol
  • Apo-Haloperidol
  • Haldol
  • Haldol LA
  • Haloperidol
  • Haloperidol-LA
  • Halperon
  • Novo-Peridol
  • Peridol
  • PMS-Haloperidol
  • Rho-Haloperidol Decanoate

Haloperidol is a medication that helps to reduce psychosis and is given to control strange behavior as well as speech - a part of a condition called Tourette's syndrome. This medication incapacitates the actions of neurotransmitters (chemicals used by nerve cells in the brain to transmit indications to one another) by obstructing their receptors (particularly serotonin type-2 and dopamine receptors) lying on the nerves. Consequently, neurotransmitters discharged by other nerves fail to activate the receptors. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the sale as well as use of haloperidol in the United States in 1967.

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Things you need to tell your physician before taking haloperidol

Prior to beginning treatment with the antipsychotic drug haloperidol, you need to inform your physician and pharmacist about a few things. You ought to tell them if you have allergies while using this medication or any other drug. In addition, keep your physician and pharmacist informed about all the prescription and non-prescription drugs, dietary supplements, herbal remedies and vitamins being already used by you or those that you intend to use soon.

In addition, let your physician know about your medical history. Tell him/ her if you are suffering from or have earlier suffered from Parkinson's disease (a condition related to the nervous system wherein the patients find it difficult to move about, regulate their muscles and also maintain their balance). In case you are having this condition, which is also known as PD, most probably your physician will advise you against using haloperidol.

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Notify your physician if you have or had earlier had breast cancer; citrullinemia (a health condition that results in the accumulation of ammonia in the bloodstream); bipolar disorder (a malady that results in occurrences of depression, mania and different atypical moods); chest pain; poor amount of magnesium or calcium in the blood; an anomalous EEG (also called electroencephalogram - an examination done to document the electrical actions within the brain); or any ailment related to the heart or thyroid. Moreover, you should inform your physician if you ever required discontinuing any drug for mental ailment owing to serious side effects of the medication.

You should also tell your physician about the entire family medical history, especially if you or any other member in the family is enduring or has ever endured prolonged QT syndrome (a medical condition that augments the chances of developing an abnormal heartbeat and may result in fainting or even unexpected death).

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Women who are planning to take haloperidol for their condition should ensure that they tell their physician if they are pregnant, particularly if they are in the final stage of their pregnancy; if they indent to become pregnant shortly; or if they are breast feeding. Women who might become pregnant while undergoing treatment with haloperidol should immediately contact their physician for advice and help. Provided any woman has taken this medication during the final stage of pregnancy, it is likely that their babies will have problems following childbirth.

If you require undergoing any kind of surgery, counting a dental process, you should tell your surgeon and/ or dentist in advance that you are using haloperidol.

People taking haloperidol ought to be aware of the fact that this drug may possibly cause lethargy/ stupor and this may have an effect on your thoughts as well as movements. Therefore, it is advisable that you should not drive any vehicle or operate a machine till such time when you are convinced about the actions of the medication on your body and when you can execute these tasks without any problem.

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If you have the habit of consuming alcoholic beverages, you need to solicit your physician's advice regarding the safe way to use alcohol. You should know that using alcohol in combination with haloperidol is likely to further worsen the side effects of this medication.

Usage

Haloperidol is an anti-psychotic medication that helps in reinstating the balance of neurotransmitters (messengers of brain nerve cells). It is prescribed for people having restrained to acute psychiatric/ cognitive condition that includes manic states, schizophrenia and psychosis induced by medicines. This medication is also employed for treating severe behaviour disorders in children, counting infantile autism; to alleviate the symptoms related to Tourette's syndrome; as well as to lessen vomiting and nausea, which are related to chemotherapy for treating cancer.

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Haloperidol facilitates clear thoughts, lessens nervousness and anxiety. This medication may also help in putting of suicidal thoughts or suicides in patients who are prone to hurt them. In addition, haloperidol helps in decreasing violent behaviour and the patient's need to harm other people. It is also effective in lessening pessimistic or harmful thoughts and occurrence of deliriums. As aforementioned, this psychiatric medication is also employed to treat frenzied behaviour as well as verbal flare-ups that are common symptoms of Tourette' syndrome. When all other therapies or drugs have failed to yield the desired results, haloperidol is also prescribed for hyperactive children having acute behavioural disorders. Occasionally, it is also possible to use this drug on patients who are hospitalized and suffering from confusions and/ or behavioural disorders for brief periods.

How to use haloperidol

Haloperidol is an oral medication that may be taken along with or with no food. You may also use this medication as per the instructions of your physician. Provided you are taking haloperidol in its liquid form, you need to use a dropper that determines the dosage of the medication and is made available in the package. In case you do not possess the dropper, you may request your pharmacist to give you a measured oral syringe to measure your dosage of the medication.

The prescribed amount of haloperidol is subject to the medical condition of the patient as well as his/ her reaction to the therapy. If you want to obtain the utmost benefits of using this medicament you need to take it on a regular basis. It is also necessary to take haloperidol at the same time(s) daily because it will enable you to remember taking this medication on time and every day. Never discontinue haloperidol suddenly and without talking to your physician. In case you stop taking this drug abruptly, it is likely that a number of conditions will deteriorate. Your physician may ask you to lessen the dose of the medication gradually before you stop taking it. Talk to your physician if you find your symptoms remaining the same or deteriorating even after taking haloperidol for a while.

How haloperidol works

The anti-psychotic drug haloperidol works by obstructing dopamine (a neurotransmitter) receptors present inside the central nervous system (CNS). It is believed that this action of the medication generates a sedative or antipsychotic result.

Side effects

Serious:
  • difficulty breathing
  • difficulty swallowing
  • neck stiffness
  • neuroleptic malignant syndrome (characterized by spasms or stiffness of the muscles, disorientation or confusion, and high fever)
  • profuse sweating
  • rapid heartbeat
  • seizures
  • swelling of the tongue
Common:
Less common:

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
Use of certain herbal products and minerals while taking haloperidol may possibly result in drug interaction and, therefore, it is advisable not to use any such combination. For instance, St. John's wort is likely to cause augmented sensitivity to the sun and, hence, people taking this medication should avoid exposure to too much sunlight. Even the herb ginseng may partially act in the form of an MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor; it should not be used in conjunction with haloperidol.
Alcohol:
Consuming alcoholic beverages or taking it in any different form may possibly enhance the tranquilizing effect of this medication and, at the same time, worsen the medication's sedating action on the functioning of the brain. This medication also has the aptitude to augment the inebriating effect caused by alcohol use.
Tobacco smoking:
According to the findings of one study undertaken to determine the effects of smoking while taking haloperidol, nicotine enhances the repression of twitches associated with Tourette's syndrome. Hence, it is advisable that people undergoing treatment with this medication should avoid smoking.
Marijuana smoking:
Smoking marijuana while taking haloperidol may possibly result in modest augmentation in stupor; worsening of orthostatic hypotension; misunderstanding the patient's mental condition as well as his/ her response to the therapy; and also enhancing the chances of hastening suppressed psychosis. Therefore, if you are taking this medication you ought to keep away from marijuana.
Exposure to heat:
You should also exercise caution while being exposed to hot surroundings, as haloperidol may possible harm the body's ability to regulate temperature and, at the same time, enhance the chances of having a heatstroke.
Exposure to cold:
Precaution is advised when being exposed to cold environments, because haloperidol has the aptitude to enhance the chances of developing hypothermia, especially in aged people.
Exposure to sun:
People undergoing treatment with haloperidol should be careful while going out in the sun, because this medication has the aptitude to result in photosensitivity.

Discontinuation

People taking haloperidol for a prolonged period should never stop taking this medication suddenly and without seeking their physician's consent. Your physician will advise you to gradually reduce the dose of the drug over two to three weeks' time before discontinuation.

Storage instructions

Always store haloperidol in the container in which you bought the medication. Close the container firmly and keep it in a place that children are unable to access. Make sure that you keep this medication at room temperature and in a place free from extreme heat and humidity. Do not keep this drug in your bathroom. If you are using the liquid form of haloperidol, you need to make sure that it is kept away from light and also prevent it from freezing. Dispose of all outdated medications as well as those that are not required any more. Discuss the safe and appropriate way of discarding such medications with your pharmacist.

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