Haloperidol Lactate (Page 2 of 4)

PRECAUTIONS

Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis

Class Effect: In clinical trial and/or postmarketing experience, events of leukopenia/neutropenia have been reported temporally related to antipsychotic agents, including haloperidol. Agranulocytosis has also been reported.

Possible risk factors for leukopenia/neutropenia include pre-existing low white blood cell count (WBC) and history of drug-induced leukopenia/neutropenia. Patients with a history of a clinically significant low WBC or a drug-induced leukopenia/neutropenia should have their complete blood count (CBC) monitored frequently during the first few months of therapy and discontinuation of haloperidol should be considered at the first sign of a clinically significant decline in WBC in the absence of other causative factors.

Patients with clinically significant neutropenia should be carefully monitored for fever or other symptoms or signs of infection and treated promptly if such symptoms or signs occur. Patients with severe neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count <1000/mm3) should discontinue haloperidol and have their WBC followed until recovery.

Withdrawal Emergent Dyskinesia

Generally, patients receiving short-term therapy experience no problems with abrupt discontinuation of antipsychotic drugs. However, some patients on maintenance treatment experience transient dyskinetic signs after abrupt withdrawal. In certain of these cases the dyskinetic movements are indistinguishable from tardive dyskinesia (see WARNINGS, TARDIVE DYSKINESIA) except for duration. It is not known whether gradual withdrawal of antipsychotic drugs will reduce the rate of occurrence of withdrawal emergent neurological signs but until further evidence becomes available, it seems reasonable to gradually withdraw use of haloperidol (see WARNINGS, USAGE IN PREGNANCY).

Other

Haloperidol should be administered cautiously to patients:

•with severe cardiovascular disorders, because of the possibility of transient hypotension and/or precipitation of anginal pain. Should hypotension occur and a vasopressor be required, epinephrine must not be used since haloperidol may block its vasopressor activity and paradoxical further lowering of the blood pressure may occur. Instead, metaraminol, phenylephrine or norepinephrine should be used.
•receiving anticonvulsant medications, with a history of seizures, or with EEG abnormalities, because haloperidol may lower the convulsive threshold. If indicated, adequate anticonvulsant therapy should be concomitantly maintained.
•with known allergies, or with a history of allergic reactions to drugs.
•receiving anticoagulants, since an isolated instance of interference occurred with the effects of one anticoagulant (phenindione).
When haloperidol is used to control mania in cyclic disorders, there may be a rapid mood swing to depression.

Severe neurotoxicity (rigidity, inability to walk or talk) may occur in patients with thyrotoxicosis who are also receiving antipsychotic medication, including haloperidol.

Drug Interactions
Drug-drug interactions can be pharmacodynamic (combined pharmacologic effects) or pharmacokinetic (alteration of plasma levels). The risks of using haloperidol in combination with other drugs have been evaluated as described below.

Pharmacodynamic Interactions

Since QTc interval-prolongation has been observed during haloperidol treatment, caution is advised when prescribing to a patient with QT-prolongation conditions or to patients receiving medications known to prolong the QTc-interval (see WARNINGS, CARDIOVASCULAR EFFECTS). Examples include (but are not limited to): Class 1A antiarrhythmics (e.g., procainamide, quinidine, disopyramide); Class 3 antiarrhythmics (e.g., amiodarone, sotalol); and other drugs such as citalopram, erythromycin, levofloxacin, methadone, and ziprasidone.

Caution is advised when haloperidol is used in combination with drugs known to cause electrolyte imbalance (e.g., diuretics or corticosteroids because hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and hypocalcemia are risk factors for QT prolongation.

Haloperidol may impair the antiparkinson effects of levodopa and other dopamine agonists. If concomitant antiparkinson medication is required, it may have to be continued after haloperidol is discontinued because of the difference in excretion rates. If both are discontinued simultaneously, extrapyramidal symptoms may occur. The physician should keep in mind the possible increase in intraocular pressure when anticholinergic drugs, including antiparkinson agents, are administered concomitantly with haloperidol.

As with other antipsychotic agents, it should be noted that haloperidol may be capable of potentiating CNS depressants such as anesthetics, opioids, and alcohol.

Pharmacokinetic Interactions

Drugs that May Increase Haloperidol Plasma Concentrations

Haloperidol is metabolized by several routes. The major pathways are glucuronidation and ketone reduction. The cytochrome P450 enzyme system is also involved, particularly CYP3A4 and, to a lesser extent, CYP2D6. Inhibition of these routes of metabolism by another drug or a decrease in CYP2D6 enzyme may result in increased haloperidol concentrations. The effect of CYP3A4 inhibition and of decreased CYP2D6 enzyme activity may be additive.

The haloperidol plasma concentrations increased when a CYP3A4 and/or CYP2D6 inhibitor was coadministered with haloperidol. Examples include:


CYP3A4 inhibitors – alprazolam; itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, ritonavir.

CYP2D6 inhibitors – chlorpromazine; promethazine; quinidine; paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine.

Combined CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 inhibitors – fluoxetine, fluvoxamine; ritonavir.

Buspirone.
Increased haloperidol plasma concentrations may result in an increased risk of adverse events, including QTc interval prolongation (see WARNINGS – CARDIOVASCULAR EFFECTS). Increases in QTc have been observed when haloperidol was given with a combination of the metabolic inhibitors ketoconazole (400 mg/day) and paroxetine (20 mg/day).

It is recommended that patients who take haloperidol concomitantly with such medicinal products be monitored for signs or symptoms of increased or prolonged pharmacologic effects of haloperidol, and the haloperidol dose be decreased as deemed necessary.

Valproate: Sodium valproate, a drug known to inhibit glucuronidation, does not affect haloperidol plasma concentrations.

Drugs that May Decrease Haloperidol Plasma Concentrations

Coadministration of haloperidol with potent enzyme inducers of CYP3A4 may gradually decrease the plasma concentrations of haloperidol to such an extent that efficacy may be reduced. Examples include (but are not limited to): carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, St John’s Wort (Hypericum, perforatum).

Rifampin: In a study of 12 patients with schizophrenia coadministered oral haloperidol and rifampin, plasma haloperidol levels were decreased by a mean of 70% and mean scores on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale were increased from baseline. In 5 other patients with schizophrenia treated with oral haloperidol and rifampin, discontinuation of rifampin produced a mean 3.3-fold increase in haloperidol concentrations.

Carbamazepine: In a study in 11 patients with schizophrenia coadministered haloperidol and increasing doses of carbamazepine, haloperidol plasma concentrations decreased linearly with increasing carbamazepine concentrations.

During combination treatment with inducers of CYP3A4, it is recommended that patients be monitored and the haloperidol dose increased as deemed necessary. After withdrawal of the CYP3A4 inducer, the concentration of haloperidol may gradually increase and therefore it may be necessary to reduce the dose of haloperidol.

Effect of Haloperidol on Other Drugs

Haloperidol is an inhibitor of CYP2D6. Plasma concentrations of CYP2D6 substrates (e.g., tricyclic antidepressants such as desipramine or imipramine) may increase when they are co-administered with haloperidol.

Information for Patients
Haloperidol may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of hazardous tasks such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. The ambulatory patient should be warned accordingly.

The use of alcohol with this drug should be avoided due to possible additive effects and hypotension.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No mutagenic potential of haloperidol was found in the Ames Salmonella assay. Negative or inconsistent positive findings have been obtained in in vitro and in vivo studies of effects of haloperidol on chromosome structure and number. The available cytogenetic evidence is considered too inconsistent to be conclusive at this time.

Carcinogenicity studies using oral haloperidol were conducted in Wistar rats (dosed at up to 5 mg/kg daily for 24 months) and in Albino Swiss mice (dosed at up to 5 mg/kg daily for 18 months). In the rat study survival was reduced in all dose groups, decreasing the number of rats at risk for developing tumors. However, although a relatively greater number of rats survived to the end of the study in high-dose male and female groups, these animals did not have a greater incidence of tumors than control animals. Therefore, although not optimal, this study does suggest the absence of a haloperidol related increase in the incidence of neoplasia in rats at doses up to approximately 2.5 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 20 mg/day based on mg/m2 body surface area.

In female mice there was a statistically significant increase in mammary gland neoplasia and total tumor incidence at doses approximately 0.3 and 1.2 times the MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area and there was a statistically significant increase in pituitary gland neoplasia at approximately 1.2 times the MRHD. In male mice, no statistically significant differences in incidences of total tumors or specific tumor types were noted.

Antipsychotic drugs elevate prolactin levels; the elevation persists during chronic administration. Tissue culture experiments indicate that approximately one-third of human breast cancers are prolactin dependent in vitro, a factor of potential importance if the prescription of these drugs is contemplated in a patient with a previously detected breast cancer. Although disturbances such as galactorrhea, amenorrhea, gynecomastia, and impotence have been reported, the clinical significance of elevated serum prolactin levels is unknown for most patients. An increase in mammary neoplasms has been found in rodents after chronic administration of antipsychotic drugs. Neither clinical studies nor epidemiologic studies conducted to date, however, have shown an association between chronic administration of these drugs and mammary tumorigenesis; the available evidence is considered too limited to be conclusive at this time.

There are no well controlled studies with haloperidol in pregnant women. There are reports, however, of cases of limb malformations observed following maternal use of haloperidol along with other drugs which have suspected teratogenic potential during the first trimester of pregnancy. Causal relationships were not established in these cases. Since such experience does not exclude the possibility of fetal damage due to haloperidol, this drug should be used during pregnancy or in women likely to become pregnant only if the benefit clearly justifies a potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers
Since haloperidol is excreted in human breast milk, infants should not be nursed during drug treatment with haloperidol.

Pediatric Use
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use
Clinical studies of haloperidol did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not consistently identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. However, the prevalence of tardive dyskinesia appears to be highest among the elderly, especially elderly women (see WARNINGS, TARDIVE DYSKINESIA). Also, the pharmacokinetics of haloperidol in geriatric patients generally warrants the use of lower doses (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Use in Hepatic Impairment
Studies in patients with hepatic impairment have not been conducted. Haloperidol concentrations may increase in hepatically impaired patients, because it is primarily metabolized by the liver and protein binding may decrease.

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