Compare Risperdal vs. Haldol

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

Risperdal
(risperidone)

Haldol
(haloperidol)

Helps control your thoughts and mood. Risperdal (Risperidone) is good for treating psychosis, mania, and irritability. Among newer antipsychotic medicines, more likely to cause side effects, especially weight gain and hormone problems.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
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.53Risperdal
Reviews for Risperdal
42%
of people (All ages) say Risperdal is worth it
47%
say it works well
49%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Risperdal (risperidone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Haldol
38%
+4% better vs. Risperdal
42%
+5% better vs. Risperdal
34%
-15% worse vs. Risperdal
Have you used Haldol (haloperidol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
RisperdalHaldol
  • Parkinsonism 16%
  • Relaxation or sleepiness 7%
  • Restlessness 6%
  • Tremor 3%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Muscle twitching 4%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Excessive saliva 2%
  • Vision blurred 1%
More Risperdal 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
RisperdalHaldol
Risperdal (Risperidone) is an atypical antipsychotic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works. It seems to change dopamine and serotonin activity in your brain, which affects thoughts and 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
RisperdalHaldol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
RisperdalHaldol
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for
RisperdalHaldol
Risk factors for serious side effects
RisperdalHaldol
  • Elderly patients with dementia
  • History of heart problems
  • Drug interactions
  • People with diabetes
  • People with high cholesterol
Detailed Risperdal (risperidone) 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

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.

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.

Food
RisperdalHaldol
  • Risperdal (Risperidone) can increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
  • 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
RisperdalHaldol
  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
  • It can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and can lower your blood pressure.
Weight
RisperdalHaldol
  • Risperdal (Risperidone) can cause you to gain weight. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
  • May cause weight gain and worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • Moderate risk of weight gain and problems with cholesterol or blood sugar compared to other antipsychotics.
  • 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
RisperdalHaldol
  • Effective at relieving psychotic symptoms, manic episodes, irritability, and aggressive behavior.
  • Lowers relapse rates in people with schizophrenia and people with irritability associated with autism.
  • Antipsychotic medicines are all about equally effective.
  • Less likely to cause heart problems than some antipsychotics.
  • 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
RisperdalHaldol
  • Mild to moderate risk of Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS): Movement disorders that include stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive, or involuntary movements.
  • Moderate risk of weight gain and problems with cholesterol or blood sugar compared to other antipsychotics.
  • Compared to other antipsychotics, higher risk of hormone problems that cause nipples to leak and male breasts to grow abnormally large.
  • You might need routine blood tests to check how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • All antipsychotics come with side effects that make them difficult to take. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you and that you can tolerate.
  • 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
RisperdalHaldol
  • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to see full effects on thoughts and mood.
  • Can cause dizziness and drowsiness.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • May cause weight gain and worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • Report any unusual thoughts, inability to control muscle movements, or fever and excess sweating to your doctor.
  • Elderly people with dementia shouldn't take it.
  • 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 RisperdalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Risperdal (risperidone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about HaldolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Haldol (haloperidol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it