Efficacy and tolerability of aripiprazole augmentation in sertraline-resistant patients with borderline personality disorder

Silvio Bellino, Erika Paradiso, Filippo Bogetto
Psychiatry Research 2008 November 30, 161 (2): 206-12
Information is available on aripiprazole as a treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD), but no data have yet been presented concerning the use of this drug as an adjunctive treatment for drug-resistant BPD patients. This study investigates aripiprazole augmentation of ongoing sertraline therapy in drug-resistant BPD patients. Twenty-one outpatients with a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of BPD who did not respond to sertraline, 100-200 mg/day for 12 weeks, were treated for 12 weeks with the addition of aripiprazole, 10-15 mg/day. Patients were assessed at baseline, week 4, and week 12 with the Clinical Global Impression Scale - Severity item (CGI-S), the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Hamilton scales for depression and anxiety (HAM-D, HAM-A), the Social Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS) for social functioning, the Borderline Personality Disorder Severity Index (BPDSI), and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11). Adverse effects were evaluated using the Dosage Record and Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale (DOTES). Sixteen patients completed the study. Five patients (23.8%) dropped out due to anxiety/insomnia or non-compliance. Nine patients (56.3%) were responders. Analysis of variance revealed significant changes in the following measures: CGI-S, BPRS, BPDSI total score, BPDSI "impulsivity" and "dissociation/paranoid ideation" items, and BIS-11. Adverse effects were mild headache, insomnia, and anxiety. Aripiprazole is an efficacious and well-tolerated add-on treatment for sertraline-resistant BPD patients. It acts on impulsive and psychotic-like symptoms.


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