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Olanzapine Treatment of Female Borderline Personality Disorder Patients: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62:849-854

Background: The intent of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of olanzapine versus placebo in the treatment of women meeting criteria for borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Method: We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of olanzapine in 28 female subjects meeting Revised Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines and DSM-IV criteria for BPD. The subjects were randomly assigned to olanzapine or placebo in a 2:1 manner. Treatment duration was 6 months. Primary outcome measures were self-reported changes on anxiety, depression, paranoia, anger/hostility, and interpersonal sensitivity scales of the Symptom Checklist-90.

Results: Nineteen subjects were randomly assigned to olanzapine; 9, to placebo. When random effects regression modeling of panel data was used, controlling for baseline level of severity, olanzapine was associated with a significantly (p < .05) greater rate of improvement over time than placebo in all of the symptom areas studied except depression. Weight gain was modest in the olanzapine-treated group but was significantly higher than in those treated with placebo (p < .02). In addition, no serious movement disorders were noted.

Conclusion: Olanzapine appears to be a safe and effective agent in the treatment of women with criteria-defined BPD, significantly affecting all 4 core areas of borderline psychopathology (i.e., affect, cognition, impulsivity, and interpersonal relationships).