Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a common disorder in psychiatric practice and drugs are widely used in its treatment, targeting symptom clusters, such as affective dysregulation, impulsive-behavioural dyscontrol, and cognitive-perceptual symptoms. In last period, a growing number of studies on pharmacological treatment of BPD have been performed, but different proposals of treatment guidelines are not completely in accordance on drug indications for BPD patients. This article reviews double-blind randomized controlled trials comparing active drugs versus placebo and drugs versus drugs, published between 1990 and 2010 and focused on the treatment of borderline personality disorder. Different classes of psychoactive agents, such as antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and dietary supplementation were tested in BPD patients. More recent evidences suggest that mood stabilizers (topiramate, valproate and lamotrigine), second generation antipsychotics (olanzapine and aripiprazole) and omega-3 fatty acids can be useful to treat affective symptoms and impulsive-behavioural dyscontrol in BPD patients. Moreover, antipsychotics significantly improve cognitive symptoms in patients with BPD. SSRIs were found effective in decreasing severity of depressed mood, anxiety and anger, mainly in subjects with a concomitant affective disorder. Effects of antidepressants on impulsive behaviours are uncertain. Further studies are needed to improve methods of trials and confirm these findings.
Keywords: Borderline personality disorder, pharmacotherapy, antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, omega-3 fatty acids, randomized controlled trials, efficacy, adverse effects, treatment guidelines