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Haloperidol Alternatives (Haldol)

This entry was posted in Antipsychotic on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on July 11, 2022 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Alternative to Meds Center is a leading authority on sustainable haloperidol alternatives help, guidance, and information for individuals seeking different answers besides a lifetime stuck on antipsychotic drugs such as Haldol©.

Other treatment options may not have been feasible during a crisis. Perhaps now is the time to consider transitioning to drug-free ways to reduce and eliminate symptoms.

Do Your Symptoms
Require Haloperidol?

successful haloperidol alternatives
For over 15 years, Alternative to Meds has been the only licensed center helping people find alternatives to antipsychotic medications. We invite you to look over our published evidence regarding our clients’ long-term success. While each case is different, many times we find some medical condition or other contributing factor was missed and the original diagnosis may no longer be valid. Issues such as hypoglycemia or environmental toxicity, or allergies may have, at least in part, led to a premature or incorrect diagnosis. We can help sort it out.
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Why explore haloperidol alternative options?

haloperidol treatmentAs much as we may desire it, a drug may not be the complete answer we were searching for to manage unwanted symptoms. Do not despair, because Alternative to Meds Center has designed practical alternative solutions to help individuals transition to less medication, or in some cases no medication. This requires medical oversight, especially where haloperidol is prescribed both as tablets and in the injectable form, and requires exacting methods to reduce dosage safely.30 Considering the potential hazards and mishaps connected with haloperidol and other antipsychotic medications, many persons find they cannot cope and are looking for a better alternative.

Side effects and insufficient relief are only part of a bigger picture. Many antipsychotic users ultimately feel disconnected from themselves and from life, encounter physical dependence and tolerance to the drug, withdrawal effects, and a multitude of other problems. Traditional health care professionals are trained to treat (numb) symptoms with medications rather than correct whatever is causing the unwanted symptom. Some of these drug effects produce serious harm and can be fatal. Potential risks include cardiovascular adverse events, sudden death, Torsade de Pointes (tachycardia, irregular heart patterns, Tardive Dyskinesia, Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, bronchopneumonia, low white blood cell count, and impaired mental and physical abilities.1,30

In contrast, a truly comprehensive haloperidol alternatives treatment plan includes an investigation into the source of symptoms, especially those that were present before starting the medication. With few exceptions, symptoms or side effects that present after medication will generally abate over time once the medication is reduced or eliminated. Treatment plans that are based on the discoveries from Alternative to Meds Center help to ensure the comfort and safety of our clients. In summary, we do treat symptoms, but we also treat their causes.

What are Haldol alternatives?

There are many strategies that can be combined to help a person ease their current symptoms, as well as gently begin the process of transitioning to holistic treatment, over a period of time. Please consult your prescriber or holistic psychiatrist for more information on your best way forward.

Haldol Alternatives include:
  • holistic haldol alternativesLithium Orotate (dietary supplement ) 6
  • Eliminate sugars, refined carbs, and caffeine-laden foods and beverages to keep blood sugar levels stable13,14
  • Take 4-6 small hi-protein meals over the day 7,11 **
  • Test for and resolve food allergies 8
  • CBT and other psychosocial therapies 9,10
  • Stop alcohol, marijuana, and other recreational drugs 11,21
  • CBD (non-THC) has been found therapeutic 12
  • Cleanse toxic accumulations 15-17
  • Exercise, yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong 18-20,22,23
  • Test for vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies, especially B vitamins, vitamin D, and folic acid 24
  • Sunshine, bright light therapy 25,26
  • Support gut microbiome with yogurt, fermented foods, prebiotics and probiotics 27,28

* Lithium Orotate 5-25mg has shown to be an effective mood stabilizer according to clinical studies published in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences.6
** A hypoglycemic diet features foods high in protein, and low in refined carbs and sugars served in about 6 small portions or meals over the course of a day.

How does Alternative to Meds Center approach antipsychotic alternative treatment?

Personalized haloperidol alternatives include solutions that are different for each individual. However, there are some common denominators. In our experience, psychotic disorders are usually the result of a perfect storm comprising several common factors that are discussed below.

Orthomolecular Medicine as an Alternative to Medication

diet and mental healthOne such factor is poor diet. A clean, mostly organic diet is deliciously prepared so that nutritional needs are well met. Along with targeted nutritional supplements, these strategies provide the raw materials so that natural neurochemistry has the best chance of being restored. Supporting the gut-brain connection is of utmost importance in recovery from mental health challenges, especially where medications have been involved.2,27,28

It has been well-established that certain nutrient deficiencies can mimic illnesses that may have taken years to develop through overlooking chronically insufficient nutrition. Thankfully, these are easy to test for and correct.25.26

Environmental Medicine as an Alternative to Haloperidol

Another is having been exposed to toxins that accumulate over time. Toxic materials are just about everywhere in our modern environment. And, even in rural settings, exposure to pesticides or other accumulating toxins is possible. Importantly, because toxicity is such a common culprit, and is so debilitating to natural neurochemistry, a major aspect of our program is focused on removing these toxins. Neurotoxins tend to remain stored in fatty tissues.20 Vital organs in the body including the brain are surrounded by protective fatty tissue.30

Biotransformational sauna and supplementation is a method of transforming these fat-soluble toxins into a water-soluble form, for ease of elimination through the sweat and regular elimination channels of the body. Other methods may include chelation, mineral baths, ionic foot baths, colon hydrotherapy, to ensure the cleanout is as thorough as possible.3

Staff are Qualified to Administer Alternatives to Haloperidol

getting off haloperidolAlternative to Meds Center’s staff includes on-site medical professionals to assist. There are several phases to treatment, such as reducing dependence, preventing withdrawal symptoms, and smoothly transitioning to a more natural mental health approach.

Many of our staff have experienced their own journey from medication to natural alternatives, and wish to help others do the same. This authentic understanding and compassion are great assets for our clients.

Each phase is programmed uniquely for the client to ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness. This is done through thoughtfully designed tapering plans, lab testing that provides answers to what may be causing the symptoms, neurotoxin removal, neurochemistry stabilization using natural substances, IV and NAD therapy, nebulized glutathione, equine therapy, yoga, art therapy, environmental medicine, Qi Gong, CBT and other forms of counseling services, therapeutic massage, and many other modalities. Throughout the process, the client and their team will work in tandem to discuss progress and initiate micro-changes that may be beneficial. An open dialogue is thought to be the best approach to care. Peer support is a great asset of inpatient treatment programs at Alternative to Meds Center.

General Info:  What is haloperidol?

Haloperidol is the generic name for Haldol, classified as a “typical” or sometimes called “conventional,” or first-generation antipsychotic medication. The typical antipsychotics were the first ones to be developed and sold for the treatment of mental illness. More recent antipsychotics are differentiated by their “atypical” or “second-generation” moniker. These drugs seem to work when first taking them, but generally, end up being intolerable over long-term use. The most often heard complaints associated with haloperidol include inefficiency and harsh side effects such as loss of enjoyment of life and others.

haldol symptomsHaloperidol is manufactured under various brand names, such as Haldol, Haldol Decanoate®, Peridol®, and Haldol lactate®. In tablet form, dosages range from .05mg up to 20mg. Some versions of haloperidol such as haloperidol lactate are given intravenously or intramuscularly, with dosages that may be significantly higher. This might be given, for instance, to a patient in an aggressive state of mania who is otherwise unmanageable.

Haloperidol was FDA approved for treating schizophrenia; however, there is a wide range of symptoms that haloperidol has been used off-label, such as treating Tourettes Disorder, sedating children who are behaviorally explosive, subduing someone who is suicidal, or quietening a person experiencing an acute psychotic episode.33 Haloperidol is also given to persons with delirium-related conditions but is contraindicated in elderly persons with dementia-related psychosis, due to the risk of death, as stated in the “Black Box” warning on the drug’s label.

The FDA states it does not know how haloperidol works. Researchers suggest that haloperidol restricts dopamine, resulting in slowed breathing, and reducing feelings of aggression, or uncontrolled movements. Drug treatment may have been quite necessary for the middle of a crisis, but can also go on way too long after the crisis has passed. Unfortunately, some of the long-term effects of haloperidol (Haldol) have been found irreversible.4,5,31,32 There are relatively few studies performed on the long-term effects of antipsychotic medications, but the ones that are available advise caution in prolonged usage. If negative effects begin to outweigh benefits, it may be time to consider an alternative strategy.

Find Out More About Alternative to Meds Natural Mental Health Strategies

We are here to help. We invite you to call us directly to learn more about Haloperidol alternatives help, insurance coverage, and any other specific questions you may have as you consider a wider range of treatment options for improved natural mental health.

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3. NHS Information Sheet, “Poisoning – Symptoms” NHS 2018 May 31 [cited 2022 June 27]

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6. Al-Achi A (2019)Lithium as a Dietary Supplement. J Pharm Pract Pharm Sci 2019(1): 75-76. [cited 2022 June 27]

7. Balhara YP. Diabetes and psychiatric disordersIndian J Endocrinol Metab. 2011;15(4):274-283. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.85579 [cited 2022 June 27]

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9. Gautam M, Tripathi A, Deshmukh D, Gaur M. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression. Indian J Psychiatry. 2020;62(Suppl 2):S223-S229. doi:10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_772_19 [cited 2022 June 27]

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11. Acute Hypoglycemia Presenting as Acute Psychosis Tanveer Padder MD, Aparna Udyawar MD, Nouman Azhar MD, Kamil Jaghab MD From the Department of Psychiatry, Nassau University Medical CenterDecember 2005 [cited 2022 June 27]

12. Patel S, Khan S, M S, Hamid P. The Association Between Cannabis Use and Schizophrenia: Causative or Curative? A Systematic Review. Cureus. 2020;12(7):e9309. Published 2020 Jul 21. doi:10.7759/cureus.9309 [cited 2022 June 27]

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14. Wang HR, Woo YS, Bahk WM. Caffeine-induced psychiatric manifestations: a review. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2015 Jul;30(4):179-82. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0000000000000076. PMID: 25856116. [cited 2022 June 27]

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16. Genuis SJ. Toxic causes of mental illness are overlooked. Neurotoxicology. 2008 Nov;29(6):1147-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2008.06.005. Epub 2008 Jun 24. PMID: 18621076. [cited 2022 June 27]

17. Brown JS Jr. Psychiatric issues in toxic exposures. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2007 Dec;30(4):837-54. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2007.07.004. PMID: 17938048. [cited 2022 June 27]

18. Maurus I, Hasan A, Röh A, Takahashi S, Rauchmann B, Keeser D, Malchow B, Schmitt A, Falkai P. Neurobiological effects of aerobic exercise, with a focus on patients with schizophrenia. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2019 Aug;269(5):499-515. doi: 10.1007/s00406-019-01025-w. Epub 2019 May 21. PMID: 31115660. [cited 2022 June 27]

19. Dauwan M, Begemann MJ, Heringa SM, Sommer IE. Exercise Improves Clinical Symptoms, Quality of Life, Global Functioning, and Depression in Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Schizophr Bull. 2016 May;42(3):588-99. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbv164. Epub 2015 Nov 7. PMID: 26547223; PMCID: PMC4838091. [cited 2022 June 27]

20. Firth J, Stubbs B, Rosenbaum S, Vancampfort D, Malchow B, Schuch F, Elliott R, Nuechterlein KH, Yung AR. Aerobic Exercise Improves Cognitive Functioning in People With Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Schizophr Bull. 2017 May 1;43(3):546-556. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbw115. PMID: 27521348; PMCID: PMC5464163. [cited 2022 June 27]

21. Ganguly P, Soliman A, Moustafa AA. Holistic Management of Schizophrenia Symptoms Using Pharmacological and Non-pharmacological TreatmentFront Public Health. 2018;6:166. Published 2018 Jun 7. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2018.00166 [cited 2022 June 27]

22. Kang R, Wu Y, Li Z, Jiang J, Gao Q, Yu Y, Gao K, Yan Y, He Y. Effect of Community-Based Social Skills Training and Tai-Chi Exercise on Outcomes in Patients with Chronic Schizophrenia: A Randomized, One-Year Study. Psychopathology. 2016;49(5):345-355. doi: 10.1159/000448195. Epub 2016 Sep 2. PMID: 27584836. [cited 2022 June 27]

23. Yeung A, Chan JSM, Cheung JC, Zou L. Qigong and Tai-Chi for Mood Regulation. Focus (Am Psychiatr Publ). 2018 Jan;16(1):40-47. doi: 10.1176/appi.focus.20170042. Epub 2018 Jan 24. PMID: 31975898; PMCID: PMC6519567. [cited 2022 June 27]

24. Brown HE, Roffman JL. Vitamin supplementation in the treatment of schizophreniaCNS Drugs. 2014;28(7):611-622. doi:10.1007/s40263-014-0172-4 [cited 2022 June 27]

25. Kent ST, McClure LA, Crosson WL, Arnett DK, Wadley VG, Sathiakumar N. Effect of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and non-depressed participants: a REGARDS cross-sectional study. Environ Health. 2009;8:34. Published 2009 Jul 28. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-8-34 [cited 2022 June 27]

26. Terman M. Evolving applications of light therapy. Sleep Med Rev. 2007 Dec;11(6):497-507. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2007.06.003. Epub 2007 Oct 25. PMID: 17964200. [cited 2022 June 27]

27. Ganci M, Suleyman E, Butt H, Ball M. The role of the brain-gut-microbiota axis in psychology: The importance of considering gut microbiota in the development, perpetuation, and treatment of psychological disorders. Brain Behav. 2019 Nov;9(11):e01408. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1408. Epub 2019 Sep 30. PMID: 31568686; PMCID: PMC6851798. [cited 2022 June 27]

28. Bear TLK, Dalziel JE, Coad J, Roy NC, Butts CA, Gopal PK. The Role of the Gut Microbiota in Dietary Interventions for Depression and Anxiety. Adv Nutr. 2020 Jul 1;11(4):890-907. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmaa016. PMID: 32149335; PMCID: PMC7360462. [cited 2022 June 27]

29. Jackson E, Shoemaker R, Larian N, Cassis L. Adipose Tissue as a Site of Toxin Accumulation [published correction appears in Compr Physiol. 2018 Jun 18;8(3):1251]. Compr Physiol. 2017;7(4):1085-1135. Published 2017 Sep 12. doi:10.1002/cphy.c160038 [cited 2022 June 27]

30. Tchkonia T, Morbeck DE, Von Zglinicki T, et al. Fat tissue, aging, and cellular senescenceAging Cell. 2010;9(5):667-684. doi:10.1111/j.1474-9726.2010.00608.x [cited 2022 June 27]

31. FDA label Haldol (haloperidol) Revised Feb 2017 [cited 2022 June 27]

32. Rahman S, Marwaha R. Haloperidol. [Updated 2021 Jul 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: [cited 2022 June 27]

33. Fox CA, Mansour A, Watson SJ Jr. The effects of haloperidol on dopamine receptor gene expression. Exp Neurol. 1994 Dec;130(2):288-303. doi: 10.1006/exnr.1994.1207. PMID: 7867758. [cited 2022 June 27]

Originally Published Oct 30, 2018 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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