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Borderline Personality Disorder (cont.)

Borderline Personality Disorder Medications

While medications can be helpful in reducing some of the specific mood symptoms of BPD, they by no means cure the disorder. Given the high number of mood problems that characterize this illness, practitioners take care to try and minimize the number and doses of medications in order to avoid exposing the person with BPD to numerous side effects. Using multiple medications at the same time, also called polypharmacy, can also put the person at risk for attempting to use their supply of medications to commit suicide.

Despite these risks, careful use of medications can help achieve some symptom relief in certain people with BPD. Examples of antidepressants include medications that affect the activity of the chemical serotonin in the brain (serotonergic medications) like fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro). They are often used due to the combinations of high effectiveness and relatively low occurrence of serious side effects. Other antidepressants that practitioners frequently use to address mood symptoms for individuals with BPD include antidepressants that impact the activity of serotonin as well as epinephrine and norepinephrine, like venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta), as well as those that affect the activity of dopamine in the brain like bupropion (Wellbutrin). Older antidepressants like tricylics (for example, amitriptyline [Elavil], imipramine [Tofranil]) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (for example, tranylcypromine [Parnate]) are not used as often as they used to be due to difficulties with possible side effects and the possibility of overdose.

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