What medication for borderline personality disorder are you likely to be prescribed as part of a BPD treatment plan? Borderline personality disorder can be a difficult condition to treat and many therapists find treating BPD patients emotionally demanding. BPD patients experience highly unstable emotions and have a tendency to see everything in black and white, which negatively affects their relationships with family, friends, and therapists.
Psychotherapy is generally considered to be the main avenue of treatment for borderline personality disorder patients, but medication for borderline personality disorder can also be explored as a way of keeping some of the symptoms under control and certain medications are commonly prescribed in conjunction with psychotherapy as a way of treating the many conditions that occur as part of BPD.
What medication for borderline personality disorder is commonly used to treat BPD patients?
Antipsychotic drugs can be used to treat BPD patients experiencing psychotic episodes and the term “borderline” actually derives from the belief of early psychiatrists that BPD patients were on the border between psychosis and neurosis. Antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal and Clozaril can have a very positive effect on BPD patients and can help to relieve paranoid thinking, impulsivity, hostility and anger, and anxiety. However, because such episodes are normally very short lived, they are not always a necessary part of the treatment plan.
Low doses of neuroleptics such as Haloperidol can also be useful for controlling disorganised thinking and some psychotic symptoms such as anger and aggression. However, such medication should not be given without psychosocial intervention.
Antidepressants such as Prozac and Nardil are essential for BPD patients displaying suicidal thoughts and intent. Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants, selective serotinin reuptake inhibiters, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors have all been tested for use with borderline personality disorder and have been proven to have positive effects on patients showing the symptoms of low mood, sadness and emotional reactivity. Long-term use of antidepressants is not always necessary as in many cases, the symptoms of depression are caused by short-term situational factors that come and go.
Anti-anxiety drugs (anxiolytics) are useful for the treatment of patients suffering from episodes of extreme anxiety, although there is little evidence to suggest that anxiolytics are an effective medication for use with borderline personality disorder patients. Indeed, some types of anti-anxiety medication such as the benzodiazepines can actually make BPD symptoms worse, and this class of drug is particularly dangerous for patients with substance abuse issues. In such instances, Buspar is a good alternative to benzodiazepines.
Mood stabilisers and anti-convulsant medications including lithium, carbamazepine, and lamogtrigine can be useful for treating the symptoms of unstable mood swings and impulsive behaviour, both of which are common traits in patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
Other more recent research into the biological causes of borderline personality disorder has found that omega 3 fatty acid supplements can be very useful for reducing the symptoms of hostility and aggression in BPD patients. As a result, new medications are now being developed based on omega 3 fatty acids.