Haldol is a drug used to reduce the symptoms of mental disorders such as schizophrenia. It is also prescribed to control tics (uncontrolled muscle contractions of face, arms, or shoulders) and the unintended utterances that mark Tourette’s syndrome. In addition, it is used in short-term treatment of children with severe behavior problems, including hyperactivity and combativeness. It is often used in long term care facilities.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued this month an alert to all health care providers regarding potential side affects of this drug. It appears that some doctors were ordering the drug be administered intravenously or in dosages higher than recommended. The manufacturer recommends oral or intramuscular administration only. The FDA has discovered it is not uncommon for doctors to give IV haldol for the treatment of severe agitation. This is called an “off-label use.” This intravascular administration of haldol has lead to reported cases of sudden death.
Read the FDA warning here.