Mental Health Home > Haloperidol

Haloperidol is a drug that is licensed to treat psychotic disorders, tics due to Tourette syndrome, severe behavior problems in children, and severe ADHD in children. The medication works by blocking or lessening the effects of a certain chemical in the brain called dopamine. Haloperidol is available as a tablet, an oral solution, and an injection. As with any drug, there are possible side effects. Some of the more common side effects seen with this drug include confusion, insomnia, and vertigo.

What Is Haloperidol?

Part of a class of drugs known as "typical antipsychotics," haloperidol (Haldol®) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat the following conditions:
  • Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia
  • Tics (including vocal tics) associated with Tourette syndrome
  • Severe behavior problems in children
  • Severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children (for short-term use only).
Haloperidol tablets and oral solution are approved to treat the conditions listed above. Short-acting injectable haloperidol is approved to treat schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome, while long-acting injectable haloperidol is approved for chronic treatment of schizophrenia.
(Click What Is Haloperidol Used For? for more information on what haloperidol is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Side Effects of Haloperidol

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects. However, not everyone who takes this medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate the medication well. When side effects do occur, in most cases they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of this medication include, but are not limited to:
(Click Side Effects of Haloperidol to learn about specific side effects of this drug, including some of the more serious side effects that you should report to your healthcare provider. You can also read about possible side effects by going to:
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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