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J Clin Psychiatry. 2004 Jan;65(1):104-9.

Olanzapine versus placebo in the treatment of borderline personality disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA. mbogenschutz@salud.unm.edu



Atypical antipsychotics are increasingly used in clinical practice in the management of borderline personality disorder (BPD), and a small but growing body of literature supports their efficacy. Here, we report the results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of olanzapine as a treatment for BPD.


Forty BPD patients (25 female, 15 male) were randomly assigned in equal numbers to olanzapine and placebo. Diagnoses were made using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or current major depression were excluded. Olanzapine dosage was flexible, and the dose range was 2.5 to 20 mg/day, with most patients receiving 5 to 10 mg/day. No concomitant psychotropic medications were allowed. Patients were assessed at baseline and at 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks. The primary outcome was change in the total score for the 9 BPD criteria on a 1-to-7 Likert scale, the Clinical Global Impressions scale modified for borderline personality disorder (CGI-BPD), using an analysis of covariance model including baseline score as covariate. Data were collected from July 2000 to April 2002.


Olanzapine was found to be significantly (p <.05) superior to placebo on the CGI-BPD at endpoint, with separation occurring as early as 4 weeks. Similar results were found for the single-item Clinical Global Impressions scale. Weight gain was significantly (p =.027) greater in the olanzapine group.


This study supports the efficacy of olanzapine for symptoms of BPD in a mixed sample of women and men. Further studies with olanzapine and other atypical antipsychotics are needed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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