"Feb. 23, 2012 -- The FDA has warned that treatment with antipsychotic drugs increases the risk of death among elderly patients with dementia, and now a new study confirms that some drugs are riskier than others.
Compared to patients t"...
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Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of seventeen placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. HALDOL Injection is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis (see WARNINGS).
Haloperidol is the first of the butyrophenone series of major antipsychotics. The chemical designation is 4-[4-(p-chlorophenyl)-4-hydroxypiperidino]-4'-fluorobutyrophenone and it has the following structural formula:
HALDOL (haloperidol) is available as a sterile parenteral form for intramuscular injection. The injection provides 5 mg haloperidol (as the lactate) and lactic acid for pH adjustment between 3.0 - 3.6.
What are the possible side effects of haloperidol (Haldol)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;
- restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
- tremor (uncontrolled shaking);
- seizure (convulsions);
- pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, flu symptoms;
- very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats,...
What are the precautions when taking haloperidol injection (Haldol)?
Before taking haloperidol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a certain severe nervous system problem (severe CNS depression), Parkinson's disease.
This medication should not be given to a patient who is unconscious.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: bipolar disorder, difficulty urinating (e.g., due to prostate problems), glaucoma, heart problems (e.g.,...
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/26/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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