Given these considerations, antipsychotic drugs should be prescribed in a manner that is most likely to minimize the occurrence of tardive dyskinesia. Chronic antipsychotic treatment should generally be reserved for patients who suffer from a chronic illness that 1) is known to respond to antipsychotic drugs, and 2) for whom alternative, equally effective, but potentially less harmful treatments are not available or appropriate. In patients who do require chronic treatment, the smallest dose and the shortest duration of treatment producing a satisfactory clinical response should be sought. The need for continued treatment should be reassessed periodically.
In pharmacokinetic studies, mild to moderately increased haloperidol concentrations have been reported when haloperidol was given concomitantly with drugs characterized as substrates or inhibitors of CYP3A4 or CYP2D6 isoenzymes, such as itraconazole, nefazodone, buspirone, venlafaxine, alprazolam, fluvoxamine, quinidine, fluoxetine, sertraline, chlorpromazine, and promethazine.
When prolonged treatment (1 to 2 weeks) with enzyme-inducing drugs such as rifampin or carbamazepine is added to haloperidol therapy, this results in a significant reduction of haloperidol plasma levels.
In a study of 12 schizophrenic patients 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 schizophrenic patients treated with oral haloperidol and rifampin, discontinuation of rifampin produced a mean -fold increase in haloperidol concentrations.
In a study in 11 schizophrenic patients co-administered haloperidol and increasing doses of carbamazepine, haloperidol plasma concentrations decreased linearly with increasing carbamazepine concentrations.
Thus, careful monitoring of clinical status is warranted when enzyme inducing drugs such as rifampin or carbamazepine are administered or discontinued in haloperidol-treated patients. During combination treatment, the haloperidol dose should be adjusted, when necessary. After discontinuation of such drugs, it may be necessary to reduce the dosage of haloperidol.
Sodium valproate, a drug known to inhibit glucuronidation, does not affect haloperidol plasma concentrations.
The dose of haloperidol decanoate injection 50 mg/mL or haloperidol decanoate injection 100 mg/mL should be expressed in terms of its haloperidol content. The starting dose of haloperidol decanoate should be based on the patient's age, clinical history, physical condition, and response to previous antipsychotic therapy. The preferred approach to determining the minimum effective dose is to begin with lower initial doses and to adjust the dose upward as needed. For patients previously maintained on low doses of antipsychotics (. up to the equivalent of 10 mg/day oral haloperidol), it is recommended that the initial dose of haloperidol decanoate be 10–15 times the previous daily dose in oral haloperidol equivalents; limited clinical experience suggests that lower initial doses may be adequate.