Psychopharmacological treatment in borderline personality disorder: A pilot observational study in a real-world setting

L. R. Magni, C. Ferrari, S. Barlati, M. E. Ridolfi, E. Prunetti, G. Vanni, M. Bateni, G. Diaferia, A. Macis, S. Meloni, G. Perna, G. Occhialini, A. Vita, G. Rossi, R. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychotherapy is the cornerstone of treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD) while pharmacotherapy should be considered only as an adjunctive intervention. In clinical practice, however, most of BPD patients only receive medication. The aim of the study is to first describe pharmacological treatment in BPD patients in Italy and secondly to evaluate if comorbidity or illness severity are associated with the prescription of different class compounds. Data on pharmacological treatment and clinical evaluation of 75 BPD patients were collected in 5 clinical settings. The association between comorbidity and medication was assessed. Moreover, we evaluated the association between pharmacotherapy and severity, defined by a cluster analysis aimed at detecting different groups of patients. Most of the participants (82.7%) were characterized by polypharmacy, with a mean of 2.4 medications per person. Interestingly, the prescription didn't seem to depend on/be based on the severity of the disorder and was only partially determined by the presence of comorbidity. In conclusion, our findings are similar to what described in other clinical studies, supporting the idea that medication management for BPD is only partially coherent with international guidelines. This pilot study confirms the need for more rigorous studies to gain greater understanding of this topic and diminish the gap between guidelines and the real clinical world.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 7 2020


  • BPD
  • Personality disorder
  • Pharmacological treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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