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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1998 Feb;52(1):13-9.

Pharmacotherapy for personality disorders.

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Department of Psychiatry, National Center Hospital for Mental, Nervous and Muscular Disorders, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan.


Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of pharmacotherapy for personality disorders (PD) were reviewed, and the indications concluded were as follows: (1) Severe cases of both Borderline Personality Disorder (BDP) and Schizotypal Personality Disorder (SPD) respond to low dose antipsychotic drugs resulting in improvement of a broad spectrum of symptoms. They also respond to monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Amitriptyline causes a paradoxical effect. (2) Borderline personality disorder with behavioral dyscontrol responds to carbamazepine which reduces actual episodes of dyscontrol, to an antipsychotic drug and to MAOI. Alprazolam is associated with an increase in suicidality and dyscontrol. Borderline personal disorder or Histrionic Personality Disorder with a tendency to suicide, responds to a depot antipsychotic drug. Personality disorders with aggressive behavior respond to lithium. Moderately severe PD with explosive behavior respond to oxazepam, but at a dose where the side effect is sedation. (3) Borderline personality disorder and SPD with psychotic symptoms respond to an antipsychotic drug which improves psychotic symptoms as well as neurotic symptoms. Emotionally Unstable Character Disorder with a disturbance of mood swings, responds to lithium. Adolescent PD respond to an antipsychotic drug. (4) Comorbid atypical depression of histrionic personality and BPD respond to MAOI or imipramine. Comorbid neurotic disorder of PD responds to dothiepin. Comorbid social phobia of avoidant and dependent PD responds to MAOI.

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