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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.



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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