The dose of Haldol Decanoate 50 or Haldol Decanoate 100 should be expressed in terms of its haloperidol content. The starting dose of haloperidol decanoate should be based on the patient's age, clinical history, physical condition, and response to previous antipsychotic therapy. The preferred approach to determining the minimum effective dose is to begin with lower initial doses and to adjust the dose upward as needed. For patients previously maintained on low doses of antipsychotics (. up to the equivalent of 10 mg/day oral haloperidol), it is recommended that the initial dose of haloperidol decanoate be 10–15 times the previous daily dose in oral haloperidol equivalents; limited clinical experience suggests that lower initial doses may be adequate.
The precise mechanism whereby the therapeutic effects of haloperidol are produced is not known, but the drug appears to depress the CNS at the subcortical level of the brain, midbrain, and brain stem reticular formation. Haloperidol seems to inhibit the ascending reticular activating system of the brain stem (possibly through the caudate nucleus), thereby interrupting the impulse between the diencephalon and the cortex. The drug may antagonize the actions of glutamic acid within the extrapyramidal system, and inhibitions of catecholamine receptors may also contribute to haloperidol's mechanism of action. Haloperidol may also inhibit the reuptake of various neurotransmitters in the midbrain, and appears to have a strong central antidopaminergic and weak central anticholinergic activity. The drug produces catalepsy and inhibits spontaneous motor activity and conditioned avoidance behaviours in animals. The exact mechanism of antiemetic action of haloperidol has also not been fully determined, but the drug has been shown to directly affect the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) through the blocking of dopamine receptors in the CTZ.