Haldol (generic name haloperidol) is a neuroleptic that is approved to treat psychosis, schizophrenia, and Tourette syndrome. It is also used in an “off label” capacity to treat the chorea that occurs in Huntington disease, delirium in the intensive care unit, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and nausea and vomiting after surgery or during chemotherapy. Haldol is a powerful drug that causes dramatic benefits, but also dramatic side effects.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome and Other Serious Side Effects of Haldol
Haldol, like all neuroleptics, has the potential to cause a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). According to the Haldol drug label as reported by the FDA, symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome include mental status changes, fever, rigid muscles, and a higher than normal white blood count and liver enzyme levels. The syndrome may also lead to acute renal failure. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome, while uncommon, is one of the most feared Haldol adverse effects.
Other severe reactions include:
Common Side Effects of Haldol
Common reactions according the Haldol drug label include:
Less Common Haldol Side Effects
Rare reactions according to the Haldol drug label include:
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Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry
Read more about Rxight® genetic testing for drug metabolism