When are medications indicated in the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD)?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Roy H Lubit, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Answer

The treatment of BPD is largely based on psychotherapeutic interventions, however, patients with BPD may also present with symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, transient psychosis that can be managed with medication. Patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are often impulsive thereby increasing their risk of overdoses of their prescribed medication. Antidepressants, lithium, and other mood stabilizers must be prescribed with caution and monitored carefully as part of an ongoing therapeutic relationship. Because of their relative safety, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the agents of choice for treating symptoms of anxiety and depression. Antipsychotic medication treatment may become necessary to manage psychotic symptoms, albeit their use is associated with potential adverse effects (eg, tardive dyskinesia or neuroleptic malignant syndrome).


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