Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition that affects a person’s ability to regulate their emotions. The treatment usually involves psychotherapy. However, a doctor may prescribe medications to help treat specific symptoms, such as depression.
BPD can cause extreme mood shifts, impulsivity, and low self-esteem. It affects a person’s ability to maintain healthy relationships with others.
Several treatment strategies, including psychotherapy and medications, may help a person with BPD.
This article reviews some of the medications that can help treat the symptoms associated with BPD.
However, doctors may prescribe medications to treat the symptoms associated with the condition, such as mood shifts and depression.
A doctor may prescribe medications that fall under the following categories:
- mood stabilizers
These medications can
- sleep disturbances
- psychotic symptoms
The authors of a
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- tricyclic antidepressants
- tetracyclic antidepressants
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
However, MAOIs are not well-tolerated and can cause adverse reactions.
According to an
Antidepressants can take
Antipsychotics are medications that doctors typically prescribe to people with psychosis but may sometimes prescribe to individuals with BPD.
- paranoid thoughts
- anger or hostility
Examples of antipsychotics include:
- ziprasidone (Geodon)
- aripiprazole (Abilify)
- quetiapine (Seroquel)
- risperidone (Risperdal)
- olanzapine (Zyprexa)
It can take up to
Doctors often prescribe mood stabilizers to help people with BPD manage periods of mania. Some studies have shown the effectiveness of these drugs in helping the person regulate their emotions and impulse control.
- sodium valproate
The person’s characteristics, overall health, and symptoms will determine the dosage.
Anxiety can be
Anxiolytics are a type of medication that doctors use to treat anxiety and its symptoms.
A common type of anxiolytics is benzodiazepines. Some examples include:
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- diazepam (Valium)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
Benzodiazepines work quickly and may relieve anxiety in the short term.
However, they carry a risk of dependency.
They can also cause the following side effects:
- memory problems
- muscle weakness
- slurred speech
Another common form of anxiolytic that works slightly differently is buspirone (formerly available as Buspar). Buspirone may take
Although SSRIs are a type of antidepressant, a doctor may prescribe them to help treat anxiety in those with BPD.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
According to a 2021 meta-analysis in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, taking marine omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the severity of BPD symptoms, such as impulsivity and the inability to regulate emotions.
A person can find marine omega-3 fatty acids in fish,
Another option is to take marine omega-3 dietary supplements, which include:
- fish oil
- krill oil
- cod liver oil
The researchers state that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial as an add-on therapy. However, these fats cannot replace psychotherapy or other medications that a doctor may prescribe.
A person should speak with a doctor if they would like to take omega-3 fatty acids for BPD.
Medications are not the first-line treatment for BPD. There is limited evidence to support the use of medications to treat BPD, and they can result in adverse side effects.
Therapy is the
If a doctor has prescribed medications for BPD, a person should let the doctor know if they experience any side effects.
It is also important to remember that it can take several weeks for medications to take effect.
Medications will not cure BPD, and a person will need ongoing care.
Paying for medication can be expensive.
If a person does not have health insurance, they may find it helpful to speak with a doctor or pharmacist. These professionals may be able to provide a generic substitute or recommend different medications.
Some clinics may offer reduced cost or free medications.
Individuals looking for more assistance can try to contact one of the following organizations for help:
BPD is a severe mental health condition that results in the inability to regulate emotions.
Currently, the FDA has
- mood stabilizers
A person may also find that taking marine omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the severity of their symptoms.