Meta-Analyses of Mood Stabilizers, Antidepressants and Antipsychotics in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder: Effectiveness for Depression and Anger Symptoms

University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Journal of personality disorders (Impact Factor: 3.08). 05/2009; 23(2):156-74. DOI: 10.1521/pedi.2009.23.2.156
Source: PubMed


The objective of our study was to complete separate meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of mood stabilizers, antidepressants and antipsychotics to determine whether these medications are efficacious for depression and anger symptoms in borderline personality disorder (BPD). Studies were obtained from OVID Medline, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and PsychInfo. References of all original papers and reviews were searched for additional studies. Index terms included: BPD, randomized controlled trials, drug therapy, medication, and treatment. Studies were included if they were randomized doubleblind placebo-controlled trials, published in a peer reviewed journal, had a majority of patients with BPD or included patients with BPD where anger was a target of treatment. Preference was given to studies using outcome measures that were well known, validated, objective, and based on intent-to-treat data. Where available, measures of anger that incorporated verbal and other indirect forms of aggression were utilized. The StatsDirect meta-analysis program was used to calculate an effect size and 95% confidence interval for each study. Mood stabilizers, with the exception of divalproic acid, were found to have a large pooled effect size (-1.75, 95% CI = -2.77 to -0.74) for anger. Divalproic acid and carbamazepine had a moderate effect on depression. Antidepressants had a moderate effect on anger reduction, but a small effect on depression. Antipsychotics had a moderate effect on anger; however aripiprazole had a much larger effect-size than other antipsychotics. Antipsychotics did not have an effect for depression. Sources of variation between studies included length of treatment (5-24 weeks), drop out rates (5% to 65%), proportion of patients in psychotherapy (0- 100%) and with comorbid mood disorders (0-100%). Unfortunately most

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    • "Lithium also has shown some positive effects on patients with personality disorders. In one study, lithium showed efficacy in reducing anger, irritation and self-harming behavior in patients with borderline PD (Mercer et al. 2009). However, there are no studies investigating the anti-suicidal effects of lithium in patients with PD or patients with affective disorders and comorbid PD. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Patients with both major depression and personality disorders have a high risk of suicidal behavior. Lithium is meant to have anti-suicidal properties in patients with affective disorders. The anti-suicidal effect of lithium in patients with affective disorders and comorbid personality disorders has not been investigated yet. Methods: A post-hoc analysis of a subsample of patients with depression and comorbid personality disorder (PD) and a recent suicide attempt (n = 19) from the prospective, placebo-controlled lithium intervention study (N = 167), was conducted. Results: Three patients in the lithium group (n = 8) and two patients in the placebo group (n = 11) presented a suicide attempt throughout the course of the study. No differences related to suicidal behavior could be detected between the placebo group and the group with lithium intervention. Conclusions: On the basis of the small sample size, among patients with comorbid PD, lithium does not seem to have an effect on suicidal behavior in contrast to patients with affective disorders without comorbid PD.
    International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 07/2014; 18(4):1-12. DOI:10.3109/13651501.2014.940052 · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    • "Despite the small evidence base, pharmacological treatment is widely used in BPD therapy. According to Mercer et al. (2009), up to 70% of all BPD patients are taking psychotropic medication on a regular basis. All prescriptions given are in fact 'off-label use', because specific pharmacotherapy does not exist; rather, drugs have to be given for different indications, for example, for the treatment of a comorbid depressive disorder. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacotherapy still seems to play a major role in the treatment of patients suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, little is known about psychiatrists' detailed perspective on indication and significance of medication. A total of 233 psychiatrists in the city of Munich and in Upper Bavaria were asked by questionnaire about their treatment habits in the medical treatment of patients with BPD. One hundred and forty-one psychiatrists answered the questionnaire (60.5%). In total, 94% of BPD patients were treated with psychotropic medication. Psychiatrists predominantly saw an indication to prescribe antidepressants (98%), followed by antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and benzodiazepines. Citalopram/escitalopram and quetiapine were mentioned most frequently. The results are discussed in conjunction with the international guidelines for the treatment of BPD.
    International Clinical Psychopharmacology 07/2014; 29(4):224-228. DOI:10.1097/YIC.0000000000000021 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    • "Valproate, lamotrigine, and topiramate offer greater therapeutic benefits in treating affective instability and impulsivity in BPD.22,29 As a class, anticonvulsant medications offer moderate-to-large effects on impulsive aggression, affective instability, and overall functioning, with potentially greater effect size than associated with atypical antipsychotic treatment.25,27 Trials with topiramate suggest a broad spectrum of therapeutic benefit, particularly in anger and interpersonal functioning.106-110 "
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    ABSTRACT: The best available evidence for psychopharmacologic treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is outlined here. BPD is defined by disturbances in identity and interpersonal functioning, and patients report potential medication treatment targets such as impulsivity, aggression, transient psychotic and dissociative symptoms, and refractory affective instability Few randomized controlled trials of psychopharmacological treatments for BPD have been published recently, although multiple reviews have converged on the effectiveness of specific anticonvulsants, atypical antipsychotic agents, and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. Stronger evidence exists for medication providing significant improvements in impulsive aggression than in affective or other interpersonal symptoms. Future research strategies will focus on the potential role of neuropeptide agents and medications with greater specificity for 2A serotonin receptors, as well as optimizing concomitant implementation of evidence-based psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, in order to improve BPD patients' overall functioning.
    06/2013; 15(2):213-24.
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