You are here:

Bipolar Disorder/Haloperidol and Risperidone


Hello. My diagnosis is actually schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. I was recently hospitalized (for the 8th time in the past 10 years), and I was given a monthly shot of haloperidol (Haldol Decanoate 100mg/ml), put on Risperidone 2mg tabs at one pill per night, and lithium 900mg nightly. My question is that I am wondering why they chose to give me both risperidone and haloperidol. What are the similarities and differences between risperidone and haloperidol in terms of clinical outcomes and side effects? My outpatient doctor and I decided to keep the haloperidol monthly shot as well as the lithium, and he said the whether or not and when to take the risperidone is up to me. I am trying to make a decision as to whether or not to keep the risperidone, but I do not know if it is necessary given that I am on haloperidol and lithium anyway. I am worried about weight gain and increased prolactin levels with the risperidone, both of which I had when previously on 2mg of that medication. Thank you in advance for your reply!

Both Haldol and Rispedrdal are antipsychotic medications. While physicians sometimes prescribe more than one antipsychotic medication at a time, there is not good evidence that lower doses of two antipsychotic medications are more effective than adequate doses of one such drug.

If I were to treat someone with a history similar to yours I would want them to be on more than one mood stabilizing medication. I would try to add carbamazepine or divalproex to the lithium for greater protection against mood swings.

Best regards . . .


Bipolar Disorder

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ivan Goldberg, M.D.


I am a psychiatrist/psychopharmacologist with many years of expereince in treating individuals with depressions, manic-depression (Bipolar Disorder), other mood disorders,. I am especially interested in the psychopharmacologic treatment of individuals with so called "treatment-resistant" syndromes.


I have been on the staff of the National Institute of Mental Health, Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. I am currently in full-time private practice in New York City.

A.B. Johns Hopkins University
M.D. N.Y.U. College of Medicine

I am the creator of Depression Central:

©2017 All rights reserved.