Neuroleptic-induced acute dystonia must have one or more of the following developed in association with the use of neuroleptic: abnormal positioning of the head and neck in relation to the body, spasms of the jaw muscles, impaired swallowing, thickened or slurred speech, tongue protrusion or dysfunction, eyes deviated up, down, or sideways, or abnormal positioning of limbs or trunk. These symptoms need to have developed within seven days of starting the neuroleptic medication. Moreover, the symptoms cannot be associated with an underlying mental disorder, and they can't be due to a medication other than a neuroleptic. Dystonia due to neuroleptics needs to be distinguished from dystonia due to neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
Haldol is available in sterile vials containing 5 mg strength Haldol per 1 ml of fluid used for injection. Usual starting dose is -5 mg intramuscularly. Dose may vary according to patient response to the drug. Switch to an oral form of this drug is recommended as soon as possible. Haldol may interact with other drugs so the patient needs close observation or monitoring to determine if other side effects develop. Haldol should only be used during pregnancy or in women likely to become pregnant only if the benefit clearly justifies a potential risk to the fetus; fetal abnormalities and fetal exposure to Haldol in the third trimester have shown dependence at birth. Women who are breastfeeding should not take Haldol because the drug may affect the infant. Although reports of use for behavior modification exist, the drug is not approved for use in children.
There are no well controlled studies with Haldol (haloperidol) in pregnant women. There are reports, however, of cases of limb malformations observed following maternal use of Haldol 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 Haldol, 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.