At the request of the Pharmacovigilance Department of the Italian Drug Agency (AIFA), the sponsor (Johnson & Johnson) performed two post-marketing analyses of QT interval prolongation and TdP with haloperidol administration (oral or injectable). In one analysis, the sponsor searched their Benefit Risk Management worldwide safety database for QT prolongation -related adverse event reports received through June 30, 2005. This search identified 229 reports, many of which the sponsor described as confounded by concomitant QT-prolonging drugs or medical conditions. The reports included 73 cases of TdP, eleven of which were fatal. Eight of the eleven fatal cases involved intravenous administration of various doses of haloperidol.
The intravenous route is not FDA approved and is generally not recommended except when no other alternatives are available. Intravenous administration appears to be associated with a higher risk of QT prolongation and torsade de pointes (TdP) than other forms of administration. The manufacturer recommends ECG monitoring for QT prolongation and arrhythmias if IV administration is required. A dose in the range of 1 to 5 mg IV has been suggested, with the dose being repeated at 30 to 60 minute intervals, if needed. A maximum IV dose has not been established. The lowest effective dose should be used in conjunction with conversion to oral therapy as soon as possible.