Haldol is a "typical antipsychotic" medication that is licensed to treat several conditions, including psychotic disorders, tics due to Tourette syndrome, severe behavior problems in children, and severe ADHD in children. The medication can also occasionally be used "off-label" for treating other conditions. Some of these off-label Haldol uses include the treatment of dementia, agitation, and migraine headaches. Haldol is approved for use in children as young as three years old.
An Overview of Haldol UsesPart of a class of drugs known as "typical antipsychotics," Haldol® (haloperidol) 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).
Haldol tablets and oral solution are approved to treat the above conditions. Short-acting injectable Haldol is approved to treat schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome, while long-acting injectable Haldol is approved for chronic treatment of schizophrenia.
Haldol and Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is one of the most confusing and disabling mental illnesses. It is a group of mental disorders that involve abnormal thinking. Although the causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood, it is currently thought that genetics and environmental factors play an important role in developing the illness. Depending on the type of schizophrenia (see Types of Schizophrenia), symptoms may include the following:
- Thought disorders
- Disorders of movement
- Flat affect (immobile facial expression, monotonous voice)
- Lack of pleasure in everyday life
- A diminished ability to initiate and sustain planned activity
- Speaking infrequently, even when forced to interact
- Poor executive functioning (the ability to absorb and interpret information and make decisions based on that information)
- An inability to stay focused
- Problems with working memory (the ability to keep recently-learned information in mind and use it right away).
Although psychotherapy may be helpful for schizophrenia (see Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics), medication is often essential to schizophrenia treatment. Haldol can help improve the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Haldol can also be used to treat other psychotic disorders, such as delusional disorder or schizoaffective disorder.