Recent investigations of mood stabilizers in the treatment of BPD are promising and suggest that these drugs can be useful in clinical practice, particularly for controlling affective instability and impulsive aggression. However, further studies are needed to confirm the initial results and to ascertain whether some novel antipsychotics can be used for their mood-stabilizing effects in patients with BPD.
Future investigations should focus on a list of relevant topics: pilot studies of new drugs; controlled trials of drugs already tested in open case series; comparisons of new anticonvulsant agents with better-known mood stabilizers, such as lithium(Drug information on lithium) or valproate(Drug information on valproate); head-to-head comparisons of novel and traditional antipsychotics to verify which differences in clinical effects and adverse events specifically occur in patients with BPD; maintenance studies to assess persistence of therapeutic effects in longlasting disorders such as BPD; add-on trials of mood stabilizers and novel antipsychotics in samples of patients with BPD who do not respond to firstline therapy with serotonergic antidepressants; and the relationship of clinical subtypes of patients with BPD (eg, affective labile, self-injurious, psychotoform) with response to drug treatment.
Dr Bellino is assistant professor of psychiatry, Dr Paradiso is a resident in psychiatry, and Dr Bogetto is professor of psychiatry and chairman in the department of neuroscience at the University of Turin in Italy.
Drs Bellino, Paradiso, and Bogetto report that they have no conflicts of interest with the subject matter of this article.
Drugs Mentioned in This Article
Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol, others)
Clonazepam(Drug information on clonazepam) (Klonopin, Rivotril)
Divalproex (Epival, Depakote)
Lamotrigine(Drug information on lamotrigine) (Lamictal)
Oxcarbazepine(Drug information on oxcarbazepine) (Trileptal)
Risperidone(Drug information on risperidone) (Risperdal)
Trifluoperazine(Drug information on trifluoperazine) (Stelazine)
Valproate/valproic acid (Depakote, others)
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