Medication and borderline personality disorder (BPD)

Insufficient evidence – there either hasn’t been any research on this treatment option or there is a small amount of evidence with unclear conclusions.

There is little evidence that any medication is useful in treating BPD. However, if you have a diagnosis of BPD you are more likely to have co-existing conditions, for example depression or ADHD, and so you might be prescribed medication for these conditions.

Medications are sometimes used to treat some of the individual symptoms of BPD. Commonly used medications in BPD are:

  • Antipsychotic drugs – these are usually prescribed at a low dose, and can help if you feel paranoid, or are hearing noises or voices.
  • Antidepressants – fluoxetine and sertraline are often used to treat depression and anxiety in BPD, and there is some evidence from adults that they can help people to be less impulsive.
  • Mood stabilisers – such as carbamazepine, these are sometimes used in adults with BPD, and there is some evidence that they can help if you have unstable mood and impulsive behaviour.
  • Sedatives – the short-term use of sedative medication as part of a larger treatment plan can be useful during a crisis.

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.

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