Haloperidol in palliative care

Palliat Med. 2004 Apr;18(3):195-201. doi: 10.1191/0269216304pm881oa.


Haloperidol is one of 20 'essential' medications in palliative care. Its use is widespread in palliative care patients. The pharmacology of haloperidol is complex and the extent and severity of some of its adverse effects, particularly extrapyramidal adverse effects (EPS), may be related to the route of administration. Indications for the use of haloperidol in palliative care are nausea and vomiting and delirium. Adverse effects include EPS and QT prolongation. Sedation is not a common adverse effect of haloperidol. It is important that palliative care practitioners have a comprehensive understanding of the indications, doses, adverse effects and pharmacology of haloperidol. This review is intended to address these issues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Delirium / drug therapy
  • Haloperidol / adverse effects
  • Haloperidol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Long QT Syndrome / chemically induced
  • Nausea / drug therapy
  • Vomiting / drug therapy


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Haloperidol