Medication Monday: Haldol

The world may be shutting down because of Coronavirus, but Medication Monday is rolling on. Medication Monday is the weekly series that offers a brief informative introduction to mental health medications. It is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice. After all I am not a doctor or mental health professional so I am in no way qualified to be a substitute for medical advice. I am just giving you a little bit of research so that you can be more informed when you talk to your doctor about your medication options. This week, we are talking about Haldol (Haloperidol).

Haldol is considered a First Generation Antipsychotic. It is used primarily to treat Schizophrenia. However, it can also be used to treat Tourette syndrome and is also used to address hyperactive behavior and severe behavioral problems in children that don’t respond to therapy or other treatments. It works by restoring healthy levels of neurotransmitters and can help with a variety of symptoms, including delusions, disorganized thinking, hallucinations, lack of motivation, and a desire to not be around other people.

As with most mental health medications, Haldol comes with a range of potential side effects that users may experience. Some side effects include anxiety, difficulty urinating, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and sleep disturbances. If users experience dizziness or disorientation, they are advised to use extra caution when getting up from a seated position or from lying down as there is an increased risk of falling.

It should also be noted that missing dosages of Haldol or stopping it suddenly may exacerbate the underlying condition.

Concerns about side effects or advice about how to handle a missed dose should be addressed to your doctor or mental health professional. They will have prescribed this medication for you for specific reasons, and it may be that this is the best treatment option despite the possible side effects.

And as someone who is on mental health medication myself (Lexapro), I can tell you that just because a medication has a potential side effect does not mean you will experience that side effect. How people respond to mental health medication is as different as how people respond to mental health conditions generally, which is why it is important to work with your doctor or mental health professional to find what works for you.

So hopefully this post, as well as the other Medication Monday posts, will help you be more prepared if and when you decide to talk to your doctor or mental health professional about medication. Hopefully, this series will also help reduce the stigma that still exists surrounding mental health medication, as that will help all of us.

And as always, thanks for reading.

Sources: NAMI – Haloperidol (Haldol); WebMD – Haldol

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