“A variety of psychotherapies have been developed [for BPD], and while research on the use of medication is ongoing, no drug has been approved in the United States or elsewhere for its treatment,” the researchers pointed out. “This study was designed to provide a rigorous test of extended-release (ER) quetiapine in the treatment of borderline personality disorder.”
They randomly assigned 95 participants who met DSM-IV criteria for BPD to receive low (150 mg/day) or high dosages (300 mg/day) of ER-quetiapine or to placebo for eight weeks. The Zanarini Rating Scale for Borderline Personality Disorder was used to analyze changes in BPD symptoms. The results showed that participants receiving both low and high dosages of ER-quetiapine had significant improvements in BPD symptoms compared with those receiving placebo. Adverse events associated with ER-quetiapine included sedation, change in appetite, and dry mouth. Participants taking high dosages were more likely to experience adverse events.
The researchers noted that "while quetiapine was effective in treating many symptoms of borderline personality disorder, its adverse effects must be taken into consideration." They concluded that their findings emphasize a need for more studies to be conducted to confirm the efficacy of quetiapine—both extended- and immediate-release forms—intended for BPD. Funding for the study was provided by AstraZeneca, which makes the Seroquel brand of quetiapine.
To read more about potential pharmacotherapies for BPD, see the Psychiatric News article, "Several Therapies Show Success in Treatment of Personality Disorders."
(Image: University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine)