Oxcarbazepine in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder: A Pilot Study
J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66(9):1111-1115
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: According to available studies
concerning treatment of patients with borderline
personality disorder, mood stabilizers have been found
effective in controlling core symptoms of
borderline pathology, in particular impulsive behavior and
mood instability. Oxcarbazepine, an anticonvulsant
structurally related to carbamazepine, has been tested in
psychiatric settings for treating patients with bipolar
disorders, substance abuse, resistant psychosis,
and schizoaffective disorder. The present article is a
pilot study on the efficacy and tolerability of
oxcarbazepine in the treatment of borderline personality disorder.
Method: Seventeen outpatients diagnosed
with DSM-IV-TR borderline personality disorder were
included. Patients were administered
oxcarbazepine, 1200 to 1500 mg/day supplied twice daily, and
tested at baseline, week 4, and week 12 using the
Clinical Global Impressions scale-Severity of Illness
item (CGI-S), the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale
(BPRS), the Hamilton Rating Scales for Depression and
Anxiety (HAM-D, HAM-A), the Social Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale, and the
Borderline Personality Disorder Severity Index (BPDSI).
Adverse effects were collected and serum sodium
level was measured. Statistics were performed by using
the analysis of variance for repeated measures.
Results: Four patients discontinued treatment
in the first 4 weeks due to noncompliance. A
statistically significant response to oxcarbazepine was
observed according to CGI-S and BPRS mean score
(p = .001), HAM-A mean score (p = .002), BPDSI total
score (p = .0005), and 4 BPDSI items, including
interpersonal relationships (p = .0005), impulsivity (p = .0005), affective instability (p = .0005), and
outbursts of anger (p = .045). No cases of significant hyponatremia or severe adverse effects were
reported. Mild to moderate adverse effects included
sedation, dizziness, nausea, and headache. Seven patients
reported no adverse effects.
Conclusion: Oxcarbazepine was found an
effective and well-tolerated treatment in the
management of borderline personality disorder patients.