Haloperidol (Haldol or Serenace)


Overview: Haloperidol, known by the brand names Haldol and Serenace, is an antipsychotic of the Typical class. Haloperidol is used to treat Psychosis – including SchizophreniaBipolar Disorder, Delirium, Tourette Syndrome and acute Psychosis. Haloperidol has helped many people control their symptoms, and is the most widely-used Typical antipsychotic worldwide. Haloperidol is only available on prescription.


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Key Facts: It will take around four to six weeks for a patient to feel the full benefits of Haloperidol. However, anxiety should lessen rapidly upon consumption of the drug. There are some side effects to Haloperidol, as mentioned below. Haloperidol should be used without interruption – you shouldn’t suddenly stop taking the medicine. The medicine should help control your symptoms.


How do they work?: Antipsychotics cannot help cure mental health conditions, but they are usually effective in reducing and controlling some of the symptoms associated with these conditions. These symptoms can include delusions and hallucinations, disturbed thoughts, agitation, mania and violence. The medication works by blocking the action of dopamine. It is believed psychotic episodes are caused by the brain producing too much of the chemical dopamine. The medication also regulates levels of other chemicals that are responsible for regulating mood – such as noradrenaline and serotonin. It is recommended that Haloperidol is used in conjunction with therapy.


Dosage: You can take Haloperidol either in tablet form or as an injection.


In the tablet form, the standard dose is anywhere from 2-20mg per day. The maximum dosage per day is 20mg per day. You should take the dose in divided amounts – therefore taking two tablets a day. You can take Haloperidol with or without food.


As mentioned, you can also have Haloperidol administered by injection. The injection would slowly-release Haloperidol into your system. The buttock muscle or thigh is normally used. The dose can be anywhere from 25mg to 150mg. 300mg per month is the maximum dosage. Haloperidol will generally be injected once a month.


A typical treatment course of Haloperidol ranges from patient to patient, dependent on the severity of symptoms.


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Side Effects

With each box of Haloperidol, there will be an information leaflet enclosed. This will provide an exhaustive list of side effects. Side effects from Haloperidol can last any length of time from just a few days to permanent changes. It is natural to experience some side effects as your body gets used to the medication.


Common side effects of Haloperidol include restlessness, shaking, insomnia, spasms, muscle rigidity, sexual dysfunction and movement disorders. Blurred vision, a dry mouth and constipation are also common.


Serious side effects include suicidal thinking, abnormal hearth rhythm, tardive dyskinesia and paralysis. An overdose should be avoided. You should contact your doctor if any of these serious side effects take place.




You should always read the information leaflet that comes with your medication as it will include important information there. You should tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. You shouldn’t use any other antipsychotic medication with Haloperidol. Do not use any Haloperidol with any antidepressant. Do not use Alprazolam (Xanax) or the herbal remedy St. John’s Wort with Haloperidol. Always ask your doctor if you are unsure.


Don’t take Haloperidol if you are allergic to sesame oil. Don’t take Haloperidol if you have Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, any heart condition, low potassium levels in the blood, suffer from epilepsy, or have kidney or liver problems. Some treatments too for Malaria and Cancer can interact with Haloperidol. It is recommended to consider a different antipsychotic if you suffer from depression.


Alcohol acts as a sedative, therefore it is recommended that anyone taking an antipsychotic stays away from drinking alcohol. Combining Haloperidol with recreational drugs is also not recommended.


Haloperidol is not recommended in pregnancy or the breastfeeding stage. It is believed that Haloperidol can cause withdrawal symptoms in breastfed babies. Haloperidol has also been linked to fertility problems.


Other Typical Antipsychotics: