The following provides information on contraindications to the use of haloperidol in general, pregnancy & breastfeeding and children. Please note that the contraindications may vary depending on the dosage form of a drug (eg tablet, syringe, ointment).
When should haloperidol not be used?
Haloperidol must not be used with
- Hypersensitivity to the active substance and other neuroleptics (butyrophenones)
- Parkinson’s disease
- severe depression
- with malignant neuroleptic syndrome caused by haloperidol, a life-threatening reaction with high fever and muscle stiffness
Haloperidol should only be used with special medical care at:
- acute poisoning with alcohol, opioid analgesics, sleeping pills or psychotropic drugs, which have a cushioned effect on brain activity
- Dysfunction of the liver or kidneys
- Blood potassium deficiency and other disorders of mineral balance due to the risk of cardiac arrhythmias
- slowed heartbeat
- very low blood pressure or drop in body position
- Cardiac conduction disturbances that manifest as cardiac arrhythmias or ECG changes (prolonged QT interval) when the family has or has had QT prolongation or is receiving concomitant medications that promote cardiac conduction disorders
- cancers, such as breast cancer, which are favored by increased release of the milk-producing hormone prolactin
- mild to moderate depression and only if an antidepressant is added
- Diseases of the blood-forming organs such as the bone marrow and a pathological blood picture
- brain damage, circulatory disorders of the brain or epilepsy because haloperidol increases the spasm readiness of the brain
- Hyperthyroidism and only if treated appropriately.
- Adrenal cancer (pheochromocytoma), kidney, heart or brain dysfunction because haloperidol increases the tendency to high blood pressure drop.
What should you watch out for during pregnancy and lactation?
There is still insufficient experience to use during pregnancy. In animal experiments, however, there was evidence of an increased risk of harm to the unborn child. Therefore, haloperidol should only be used after careful consideration of the benefit and risk by the physician. During therapy with haloperidol, pregnancy should be avoided.
Mothers who take the drug in the last trimester of pregnancy endanger their newborns by causing side effects such as movement disorders and withdrawal symptoms. These can be in excitement, muscle tension or flaccidity, tremor, drowsiness, dyspnoea or disturbances in food intake. Such newborns must be carefully monitored by a doctor.
Nursing mothers should also not be treated with this drug. Haloperidol passes into breast milk. Breastfed babies may experience muscle cramps and movement discomfort. The mother should therefore abstain before starting treatment.
What should be considered in children?
Children under the age of three should not be treated with haloperidol. Since the active substance can interfere with the movement even in older children even at low dosages, the doctor must carefully evaluate the benefits and risks before treating children under twelve with haloperidol.
Warnings and Precautions
- Avoid coffee, tea, caffeine-containing foods and supplements during treatment with the medication, otherwise the effects may be reduced.
- Cardiovascular function should be monitored regularly during treatment with the drug.
- Brain function should be checked regularly during treatment with the drug, especially common in patients with organic brain damage, convulsions, brain disorders and circulatory disorders of the brain.
- Patients with depression must be monitored by the doctor and should continue taking their antidepressants.
- Elderly patients, patients with adrenal tumor (pheochromocytoma) and with renal impairment should be particularly well monitored by the doctor when taking the medicine.
- Patients with prior cardiac damage, cardiac or cardiac arrhythmia in the family must be particularly well medicated when taking the drug.
- In case of fever and muscle stiffness after taking the drug immediately contact the doctor.
- During treatment with the drug, the doctor should regularly check the blood count.
- During treatment with the drug, pregnancy should be avoided as much as possible.
- Reactivity may be impaired by treatment with the drug to the extent that driving a car, operating machinery or working without secure hold are dangerous. This is especially true in conjunction with alcohol.
Sometimes medications release allergic reactions.
If you notice any signs of allergic reaction, tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.