Anxiety drugs for borderline personality disorder

To date, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved drugs for the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, some people with BPD are prescribed anti-anxiety drugs, also called “anxiolytics”, to treat the intense anxiety and agitation associated with BPD. It all depends on your personal doctor and your unique situation.

However, like any medication, treatment with anti-anxiety medications has its pros and cons. Here are some things to keep in mind and ask your doctor if your psychiatrist is considering prescribing anti-anxiety medications for your BPD symptoms.

Are anti-anxiety drugs for BPD effective?

Unfortunately, few studies have shown whether anti-anxiety drugs for BPD are really effective. There are several published papers describing the relief of symptoms of BPD patients after taking these drugs, but no controlled clinical trials have tested the effectiveness of anti-anxiety drugs on BPD.

Research on the overall effects of these drugs has been mixed.

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Personally, some people report that their BPD symptoms have improved significantly. Others report that symptoms worsen when taking certain medications such as Xanax because it exacerbates their cravings for impulsive behavior.

Types of anti-anxiety drugs

The most commonly used anti-anxiety drugs are called benzodiazepines. Some examples include:

Unfortunately, for BPD patients who also have substance use problems, these may not be the best options, because benzodiazepines may form a habit. Some non-benzodiazepine anti-anxiety drugs do not form a habit. These may be substitutes for benzodiazepines. These are often recommended more frequently because they can help you transition as you progress in the treatment and recovery process.

Risks and side effects of anti-anxiety drugs

It is important to know that these drugs can have significant side effects, especially in BPD patients, because they have not been thoroughly tested in this population.

The most common side effects of anti-anxiety drugs are feeling sleepy, tired, or groggy. Other side effects include impaired coordination and memory problems.

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If you drink alcohol, you should not take anti-anxiety drugs because it will worsen the effect of the atomization. Many anti-anxiety drugs should not be taken by pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant.

Benzodiazepines should not be mixed with other sedative drugs or alcohol.

Questions to ask your psychiatrist

You should consult your psychiatrist before starting to take anti-anxiety medications or any other type of BPD medication. If you have any concerns, please let them know. Make sure you understand the risks and side effects, and make sure to discuss in depth the reason you are taking a certain medicine.

Borderline Personality Disorder Discussion Guide

Get our printable guide to help you ask the right questions the next time you see a doctor.

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