Haloperidol Side Effects

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Haloperidol is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, mania and other forms of psychosis. It acts by blocking the effects of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that affects thinking, behavior and feelings. Several possible side effects are associated with the use of this neuroleptic drug.

Some of these include:

  • Cardiovascular effects such as prolonged QT interval and Torsades de pointes.
  • Effects on the skin and hair include seborrheic dermatitis, acne, alopecia, urticaria, hyperhidrosis and contact sensitivity.
  • Effects on the reproductive system include male breast enlargement (gynecomastia), amenorrhea, erectile dysfunction, failed ejaculation and irregular menstruation.
  • Gastrointestinal side effects include abdominal pain, dry mouth, constipation, inability to swallow (dysphagia), nausea, swollen tongue and paralytic ileus (slowed peristalsis in the gut).
  • In rare cases, jaundice and hepatitis occur as adverse effects.
  • Musculoskeletal and connective tissue effects include back pain, muscle rigidity, stiff joints, weak muscles and pain in the extremities.
  • Anticholinergic side effects include dry mouth, constipation and blurred vision.
  • Respiratory system effects include dry throat, respiratory distress, nasal congestion, upper respiratory tract congestion, wheezing and laryngospasm.
  • Effects on the nervous system include parkinsonism, dysarthria, dyskinesia, dystonia, convulsion, drooling, sedation, lethargy, tremor and tics.
  • Adverse psychiatric effects include anxiety, insomnia, delirium, depression, panic attack, restlessness, nervousness and agitation.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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