Haloperidol half-life after chronic dosing

Jose De Leon, Francisco J. Diaz, Peter Wedlund, Richard C. Josiassen, Thomas B. Cooper, George M. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In normal subjects after a single oral dose, haloperidol half-life has been reported to range 14.5-36.7 hours (or up to 1.5 days). After chronic administration, half-lives of up to 21 days have been reported. The objective of this study was to evaluate specific factors that might account for differences in haloperidol half-life in patients taking haloperidol chronically, including gender, age, weight, race, CYP2D6 and CYP3A5 genotypes, comedication, and smoking. Thirty-one patients were administered haloperidol for 4 weeks followed by a 1-week washout before administration of clozapine. Haloperidol plasma levels were measured weekly for at least 2 months after discontinuation. The geometric mean for haloperidol half-life and detectable levels duration were 3.9 and 13.8 days, respectively. Within 31 subjects, 58% (18/31) had half-lives <3 days (1.2-2.3 days) and 42% (13/31) 1) had half-lives ≥3 days. Two of 3 patients with half-lives longer than 30 days (720 hours) and levels detectable >2 months had received haloperidol decanoate. Five patients who received haloperidol decanoate in the prior year were excluded from a comparison between patients with long haloperidol half-lives (≥3 days, n = 10) and patients with short half-lives (<3 days, n = 16). The only significant difference between the two groups was that African-Americans (n = 4) were all found to have a long haloperidol half-life (P = 0.014). CYP3A5 genotype did not appear to influence haloperidol half-life but the two CYP2D6 poor metabolizer had half-lives ≥3 days. This study suggests that haloperidol half-life following repeated drug administration is substantially more prolonged than what has been observed after acute haloperidol administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-660
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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