Sensitization versus tolerance to haloperidol-induced catalepsy: multiple determinants

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1990 Aug;36(4):883-7. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(90)90094-x.


The effects of dose, administration frequency, and behavioral testing conditions on the development of tolerance versus sensitization to haloperidol-induced catalepsy were tested in rats. Animals received daily or weekly injections of haloperidol (0.05-5.00 mg/kg SC) for up to 22 days. Catalepsy assessments were made either once or repeatedly using two tests: the horizontal bar and the inclined screen. Tolerance was found only in animals treated daily with haloperidol (1.5 mg/kg) and tested repeatedly on the horizontal bar. In contrast, sensitization was observed with various haloperidol doses, daily or weekly administration schedules (for most doses), either horizontal bar or inclined screen catalepsy tests, and repeated or single testing. Sensitization developed most strongly following weekly drug administration and repeated testing on the horizontal bar. No single experimental variable produced a definitive pattern of change in catalepsy over time. Dose, drug administration schedule, and behavioral test conditions all influenced the evolution of catalepsy during chronic haloperidol treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Catalepsy / chemically induced*
  • Catalepsy / physiopathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Haloperidol / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Haloperidol