Compare chlorpromazine vs. Haldol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Thorazine
(chlorpromazine)

Haldol
(haloperidol)

Stabilizes your mood. Thorazine (chlorpromazine) has more side effects than other medicines like it. It is most useful during psychotic episodes because it slows you down quickly.Helps control your thoughts and calms agitation. Haldol (Haloperidol) is okay for treating psychosis and agitation. It's less likely to cause weight gain than other antipsychotics, but it's more likely to cause other bad side effects.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Haldol
38%
-38% worse vs. chlorpromazine
42%
-42% worse vs. chlorpromazine
34%
+34% better vs. chlorpromazine
Have you used Haldol (haloperidol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
chlorpromazineHaldol

The chlorpromazine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about chlorpromazine side effects »

The Haldol FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Haldol side effects »
How it works
chlorpromazineHaldol
Thorazine (chlorpromazine) is a derivative of phenothiazine, which regulates dopamine levels in your brain to improve your mood.Haldol (Haloperidol) is a traditional antipsychotic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to change dopamine activity in your brain, which affects thoughts and mood.
Type of medication
chlorpromazineHaldol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
chlorpromazineHaldol
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for
chlorpromazineHaldol
Risk factors for serious side effects
chlorpromazineHaldol
  • People over 65 with dementia and psychosis
  • Taking antipsychotic medications
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Acute respiratory infections
Detailed Thorazine (chlorpromazine) risks & warnings »
  • Elderly patients with dementia
  • History of heart problems
  • Drug interactions
  • People with diabetes
  • People with high cholesterol
Detailed Haldol (haloperidol) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
chlorpromazineHaldol
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
No alcohol related info.
Food
chlorpromazineHaldol
No food related info.
  • Haldol (Haloperidol) can increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. However, Haldol (Haloperidol) is less likely to raise your blood sugar and cholesterol compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
Sleep
chlorpromazineHaldol
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • It can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and can lower your blood pressure.
Weight
chlorpromazineHaldol
No weight related info.
  • Haldol (Haloperidol) can cause you to gain weight. However, Haldol (Haloperidol) is less likely to cause weight gain compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
  • Less likely to cause weight gain and problems with cholesterol and blood sugar than most other antipsychotics.
Upsides and benefits
chlorpromazineHaldol
  • Acts fast to slow you down during a psychotic episode.
  • Can also be used for nausea or migraines.
  • Safe for use in children as young as 6 months.
  • Comes in a sugar-coated pill for easy administration.
  • Effective at relieving psychotic symptoms and agitation.
  • Works just as well as other antipsychotic medicines.
  • Less likely to cause weight gain and problems with cholesterol and blood sugar than most other antipsychotics.
Downsides and risks
chlorpromazineHaldol
  • Has more side effects than other medicines like it.
  • Can affect how your other medicines work.
  • Makes you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can make you dizzy or lightheaded, especially when injected.
  • Cannot be stopped right away.
  • It's an older medicine and has a lot more side effects than newer antipsychotics.
  • Compared to other antipsychotics, it causes more hormone problems that can cause nipples to leak fluid, and sudden, dangerous abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Has a higher risk of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS): movement disorders that include stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive, or involuntary movements. One of these symptoms (called tardive dyskinesia) is permanent and more likely if you take this medicine for many years.
  • You might need routine blood tests to check how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • All antipsychotics have side effects that make them difficult to take. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works best for you.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
chlorpromazineHaldol
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause involuntary muscle movements just like other medicines for your mood.
  • Can dry you out and make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
  • Cannot be stopped suddenly.
  • It'll take 4 to 6 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your thoughts.
  • It can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and can lower your blood pressure.
  • For the first week, avoid activities like driving that require you to be alert.
  • Immediately tell your doctor if you can't control your muscle movements or if you have a fever or excess sweating.
  • Don't use in elderly people who have dementia.
  • The oral liquid concentrate can be mixed with water or juice before taking it.
Learn more
More about chlorpromazineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about HaldolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Haldol (haloperidol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it