Quetiapine in the treatment of borderline personality disorder

Eva Hilger, Christian Barnas, Siegfried Kasper
World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 2003, 4 (1): 42-4
Affective dysregulation, impulsivity and cognitive-perceptual difficulties are the psychopathological nuclear dimensions of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Psychopharmacological treatment may become necessary during episodes of acute decompensation in which suicidal or self-destructive behaviour erupts. Some classes of psychotropic drugs have demonstrated efficacy in diminishing symptom severity and optimising functioning, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, benzodiazepines, opiate antagonists and antipsychotics. Conventional antipsychotics are the best-studied psychotropic medications for BPD, but nonadherence is often due to their severe side effects. Preliminary data reveal efficacy of atypical antipsychotics in BPD. We describe the impact of the novel antipsychotic drug quetiapine on severe self-mutilation in two female patients with the diagnoses of BPD. In both cases, monotherapeutic treatment with quetiapine was well tolerated and resulted in a marked improvement of impulsive behaviour and, over time, overall level of function. Though promising, our findings have to be regarded as preliminary. Due to the overall paucity of data there still is insufficient evidence to make a strong recommendation concerning continuation and maintenance therapy with atypical antipsychotics in BPD. Thus, there is a clear need for further controlled studies to evaluate pharmacological treatment options for this disorder.

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