Haldol haldol (haloperidol)

Haldol tablets, liquid and injection all contain the active ingredient haloperidol. Haloperidol is a type of medicine known as an antipsychotic. It is used in the treatment of various psychiatric illnesses. Haloperidol is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.

When used in psychiatric illness, haloperidol is sometimes described as a neuroleptic or a ‘major tranquilliser’, though this last term is fairly misleading, as this type of medicine is not just a tranquilliser, and any tranquillising effect is not as important as the haldol im main way it works in psychiatric illness.

Haloperidol works by blocking a variety of receptors in the haldol im brain, particularly dopamine receptors. Dopamine is a natural compound called a neurotransmitter, and is involved in transmitting messages between brain cells. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter known to be involved in regulating haldol im mood and behaviour, amongst other things.

Psychotic illness, and particularly schizophrenia, is considered to be caused by overactivity of dopamine in haldol im the brain. Haloperidol blocks the receptors that dopamine acts on and this haldol im prevents the overactivity of dopamine in the brain. This helps to control psychotic illness.

Haloperidol improves disturbed thoughts, feelings and behaviour in various mental conditions, including schizophrenia, mania, and behavioural disorders that involve aggression or severe agitation or haldol im excitement. It produces a calming effect and controls aggression, delusions and hallucinations.

Haloperidol also affects dopamine receptors in an area of the haldol im brain that controls nausea and vomiting. Vomiting is controlled by an area of the brain called haldol im the vomiting centre. The vomiting centre is responsible for causing feelings of sickness haldol im (nausea) and for the vomiting reflex. It is activated when it receives nerve messages from another haldol im area of the brain called the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) and when it receives nerve messages from the gut.

Haloperidol controls nausea and vomiting by blocking dopamine receptors found haldol im in the CTZ. This stops the CTZ from sending the messages to the haldol im vomiting centre that would otherwise cause nausea and vomiting. Haloperidol is sometimes used to provide relief from nausea and haldol im vomiting in terminal illness.

• the dose of this medicine that is prescribed, how often to take it and how long to take haldol im it for depends on the condition being treated. It is important to follow the instructions given by your haldol im doctor. These will be printed on the dispensing label that your haldol im pharmacist has put on the packet of medicine.

• if you forget to take a dose take it as haldol im soon as you remember, unless it is nearly time for your next dose. In this case just leave out the forgotten dose and haldol im take the next dose as usual. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a haldol im missed dose.

• if you have been taking high doses of this medicine haldol im for a long time, for example to treat schizophrenia, you should not suddenly stop taking it unless your doctor haldol im tells you to, even if you feel better and think you don’t need it any more. This is because the medicine controls the symptoms of the haldol im illness but doesn’t actually cure it. This means that if you suddenly stop treatment your symptoms haldol im could come back. Stopping the medicine suddenly may also rarely cause withdrawal symptoms haldol im such as nausea, vomiting, difficulty sleeping or tremor. When long-term treatment with this medicine is stopped, it should be done gradually, following the instructions given by your doctor.

• this medicine can occasionally cause your blood pressure to drop haldol im when you move from a lying down or sitting position haldol im to sitting or standing, especially when you first start taking the medicine. This may make you feel dizzy or unsteady. To avoid this try getting up slowly. If you do feel dizzy, sit or lie down until the symptoms pass.

• antipsychotic medicines are associated with an increased risk of getting haldol im a blood clot in a vein ( deep vein thrombosis) or in the lungs ( pulmonary embolism). For this reason, you should consult a doctor immediately if you get any haldol im of the following symptoms, as these could suggest you have a blood clot: stabbing pains and/or unusual redness or swelling in one leg, pain on breathing or coughing, coughing up blood or sudden breathlessness.

• antipsychotic medicines can sometimes affect the ability of the body haldol im to control its core body temperature. This is more likely to be a problem in elderly haldol im people and can result in heat stroke in hot temperatures haldol im and hypothermia in cold temperatures. It is important to avoid situations that can result in haldol im you overheating or getting dehydrated. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more advice.

• consult your doctor immediately if you experience abnormal movements, particularly of the face, lips, jaw and tongue, while taking this medicine. These symptoms may be indicative of a rare side effect haldol im known as tardive dyskinesia, and your doctor may ask you to stop taking this haldol im medicine, or decrease your dose.

• consult your doctor immediately if you experience the following symptoms haldol im while taking this medicine: high temperature (fever), pale complexion, sweating, muscle stiffness, fast heartbeat and feeling very drowsy. These symptoms may be due to a rare but serious haldol im side effect of this type of medicine, known as the neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and your treatment may need to be stopped.

• elderly people with dementia. (antipsychotic medicines have been shown to increase the risk of haldol im stroke in this group of patients. Haloperidol is not licensed or recommended for treating behavioural disturbances haldol im in elderly people with dementia).

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding haldol im providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to haldol im the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning haldol im a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

• the safety of this medicine during pregnancy has not been haldol im established. It should not normally be used in pregnancy, particularly in the first and third trimesters, unless considered essential by your doctor. However, doctors may sometimes prescribe this medicine to treat pregnant women haldol im with severe psychiatric illness. The dose and duration of treatment should be as low haldol im and as short as possible. If you are pregnant and your doctor has prescribed you haldol im this medicine, it is because the condition being treated with the medicine haldol im could pose more of a risk to the baby than haldol im the medicine itself. However, if the medicine is used during the third trimester it haldol im could cause side effects or withdrawal symptoms in the baby haldol im after birth and the baby may need extra monitoring because haldol im of this. If you are concerned or want any further information you haldol im should talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

• if you do get pregnant while taking this medicine it haldol im is important to consult your doctor straight away for advice. If you have been taking the medicine for long periods haldol im of time, for instance to treat schizophrenia, you should not suddenly stop taking it unless your doctor haldol im tells you to, as this could cause your symptoms to come back.

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people haldol im in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are haldol im known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not haldol im mean that all people using this medicine will experience that haldol im or any side effect. Very common (affect more than 1 in 10 people)

• decreased numbers of white blood cells in the blood. As this may increase your susceptibility to infections you should haldol im tell your doctor if you notice any signs of infection haldol im while you are taking this medicine, for example an unexplained sore throat, mouth ulcers, high temperature (fever) or general illness. Your doctor may want you to have a blood test haldol im to check the levels of blood cells in your blood.

• prolonged erection (priapism). If you get an erection that lasts longer than four haldol im hours while taking this medicine, you should consult a doctor immediately. Treatment of this condition should not be delayed more than haldol im six hours, as this can cause damage to the erectile tissue in haldol im the penis and irreversible erectile dysfunction.

It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what haldol im medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new haldol im medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.

There may be an increased risk of an abnormal heart haldol im rhythm if haloperidol is taken in combination with other medicines haldol im that can cause a ‘prolonged QT interval’ on a heart monitoring trace or ECG. These include the following. They should not be taken in combination with haloperidol:

This medicine may enhance the blood pressure-lowering effects of certain medicines used to treat high blood haldol im pressure (antihypertensives). If you are taking medicines for high blood pressure you haldol im should tell your doctor if you feel dizzy or faint haldol im after starting treatment with this medicine, as your blood pressure medicines may need adjusting.

Haloperidol should be used with caution in people taking lithium, as this combination may possibly increase the risk of side haldol im effects. If you are taking these medicines together, your blood level of lithium should be monitored regularly. You should consult your doctor straight away if you notice haldol im any new side effects, particularly an unexplained fever, or if you become confused or disorientated, with a headache, disturbances of balance and drowsiness.