What Medication Is Often Used to Treat BPD?

What medication is often used to treat BPD?

Borderline personality disorder is sometimes treated with medications for anxiety or depression, as well as psychological conditions that frequently co-occur with BPD, such as major depressive disorder. When used in conjunction with psychotherapy and other treatments, medication may be particularly effective for BPD.

Following are types of medications for borderline personality disorder.


Types of antidepressants studied for use with BPD are:

  • Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

These medications may help with the common symptoms of BPD like sadness, low mood, anxiety and emotional reactivity, but they do not seem to have a strong effect on other symptoms of the disorder like anger and impulsivity.

Common antidepressants include:

  • Nardil (phenelzine)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Effexor (venlafaxine)
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)


Antipsychotics have been shown to reduce anxiety, paranoid thinking, anger/hostility and impulsivity in patients with BPD.

Common antipsychotics include:

  • Haldol (haloperidol)
  • Zyprexa (olanzapine)
  • Clozaril (clozapine)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Risperdal (risperidone) (Risperdal)

Mood Stabilizers/Anticonvulsants

Medications with mood stabilizing properties can be used to treat the impulsive behavior and rapid changes in emotion that are associated with BPD.

Common mood stabilizers/anticonvulsants include:

  • Lithobid (lithium carbonate)
  • Depakote (valproate)
  • Lamictal (lamotrigine)
  • Tegretol or Carbatrol (carbamazepine)

Anxiolytics (Anti-Anxiety)

It has to be noticed that uses of a particular class of anxiolytics, benzodiazepines (e.g., Ativan, Klonopin), may actually cause a worsening of symptoms for some individuals with BPD, and should be prescribed with caution.

Common anxiolytics include:

  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Buspar (buspirone)

Other Borderline Personality Disorder Medications

As we learn more about the biological causes of BPD, new medications are being developed and tested for BPD. For example, findings from a recent study suggest that an omega-3-fatty acid supplement can lead to decreased aggression and feelings of hostility in people with BPD.

Talk to your doctor about the benefits and side effects of medications.

Keywords: borderline personality disorder medication; medication borderline personality disorder

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.