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Haloperidol

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By mouth

Haloperidol is used to treat nervous, emotional, and mental conditions (eg, schizophrenia). It is also used to control the symptoms of Tourette's disorder… Read more

Brand names include: Alti-Haloperidol, Apo-Haloperidol

By injection

Haloperidol injection is used to treat nervous, emotional, and mental conditions (eg, schizophrenia). It is also used to control the symptoms of Tourette's… Read more

Brand names include: Haldol, Haldol Decanoate

Drug classes About this
Antipsychotic

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

No evidence has been found of any significant general improvement in manifestations of agitation, other than aggression, among demented patients treated with haloperidol, compared with controls

Agitation is common in demented patients, and often takes the form of wandering, crying out, and aggression. It is presumed to reflect subjective distress and is associated both with risks to the patient and an increase in caregiver burden. In the present study haloperidol treatment was associated with a lower degree of aggression than was placebo. Adverse effects occurred more frequently in haloperidol treated patients than controls, but similar drop‐out rates among treated and control patients suggested that for some patients adverse effects may have been tolerated because of better control of behaviour. Our findings indicated that there is little evidence to support a benefit of haloperidol on manifestations of agitation other than aggression, and that haloperidol should not be used routinely to treat patients with agitated dementia. Treatment of agitated dementia should be individualized, with careful monitoring of benefits and adverse effects.

Haloperidol alone or in combination for the treatment of mania

Fifteen trials met the inclusion criteria and are included in the review. Interpretation of the results was hindered by the small total sample size and by the low quality of reporting of the included trials. There was some evidence that haloperidol was more efficacious than placebo in terms of reduction of manic and psychotic symptom scores, when used both as monotherapy and as add‐on treatment to lithium or valproate. There is no evidence of difference in efficacy between haloperidol and risperidone, olanzapine, valproate, carbamazepine, sultopride and zuclopentixol. There was a statistically significant difference with haloperidol being probably less effective than aripiprazole. No comparative efficacy data with quetiapine, lithium or chlorpromazine were reported. Haloperidol caused more extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) than placebo and more movement disorders and EPS but less weight gain than olanzapine. Haloperidol caused more EPS than valproate but no difference was found between haloperidol and lithium, carbamazepine, sultopride and risperidone in terms of side effects profile.

Depot haloperidol decanoate for schizophrenia

Synopsis pending.

See all (243)

Summaries for consumers

No evidence has been found of any significant general improvement in manifestations of agitation, other than aggression, among demented patients treated with haloperidol, compared with controls

Agitation is common in demented patients, and often takes the form of wandering, crying out, and aggression. It is presumed to reflect subjective distress and is associated both with risks to the patient and an increase in caregiver burden. In the present study haloperidol treatment was associated with a lower degree of aggression than was placebo. Adverse effects occurred more frequently in haloperidol treated patients than controls, but similar drop‐out rates among treated and control patients suggested that for some patients adverse effects may have been tolerated because of better control of behaviour. Our findings indicated that there is little evidence to support a benefit of haloperidol on manifestations of agitation other than aggression, and that haloperidol should not be used routinely to treat patients with agitated dementia. Treatment of agitated dementia should be individualized, with careful monitoring of benefits and adverse effects.

Haloperidol alone or in combination for the treatment of mania

Fifteen trials met the inclusion criteria and are included in the review. Interpretation of the results was hindered by the small total sample size and by the low quality of reporting of the included trials. There was some evidence that haloperidol was more efficacious than placebo in terms of reduction of manic and psychotic symptom scores, when used both as monotherapy and as add‐on treatment to lithium or valproate. There is no evidence of difference in efficacy between haloperidol and risperidone, olanzapine, valproate, carbamazepine, sultopride and zuclopentixol. There was a statistically significant difference with haloperidol being probably less effective than aripiprazole. No comparative efficacy data with quetiapine, lithium or chlorpromazine were reported. Haloperidol caused more extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) than placebo and more movement disorders and EPS but less weight gain than olanzapine. Haloperidol caused more EPS than valproate but no difference was found between haloperidol and lithium, carbamazepine, sultopride and risperidone in terms of side effects profile.

Depot haloperidol decanoate for schizophrenia

Synopsis pending.

See all (67)

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