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What Factors Affect Haldol Dosage?

By Clara Kedrek
Updated May 17, 2024
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Haldol, a medication also known by the name haloperidol, is an antipsychotic drug that is used to treat a variety of conditions including schizophrenia, psychosis, delusional disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome. Typically, a patient's haldol dosage is titrated according to its observed effect. Older adults generally receive lower doses of the medication, as do children, who are typically given weight-based doses of the drug. There are a number of routes of administration for haldol, including by mouth, into the veins, or injected directly into the muscle. How the drug is given depends on how quickly the drug needs to take effect, and whether the patient can be relied upon to take pills on a daily basis.

Determining the effective dose of haldol can be difficult, and often requires titration over time in order to determine the best dose for an individual patient. Often a patient is started on a low dose, and monitored to see what sort of clinical response he or she has. If the patient continues to have symptoms of psychosis the dose can be increased. Patients experiencing too many side effects on a certain haldol dosage might be given a decreased dose.

One important factor affecting haldol dosage is the age of the patient being treated with this antipsychotic medication. Children are typically given a dose based on their weight, with those having lower body mass receiving lower amounts. Older adults, typically those aged 65 or more, also receive different doses compared to younger adults. They are given lower doses because they have increased susceptibility towards developing harmful side effects on this drug.

Another factor affecting haldol dosage and administration is how quickly the medication needs to take effect. For patients with acute psychosis whose behavior could prove a threat to themselves or others, administration of the drug either entered into the vein or injected into the muscle is required. These methods of administering the medication have a quicker effect as compared to taking the medication by mouth.

Understanding the patient’s ability to take haldol on an everyday basis also affects haldol dosage. Although typically patients take haldol as pills ingested daily, other patients could be given monthly shots of haldol. For patients with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, taking the shots every four weeks might be simpler than having to take the medication on their own every day.

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