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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) balance
brain chemicals called
neurotransmitters. Balancing these brain chemicals can
relieve symptoms of
borderline personality disorder. Symptoms include feeling grouchy or angry, acting without thinking (being impulsive), and depression. 1
Some examples of SSRIs
that may be used to treat borderline personality disorder are:
Side effects include:
SSRIs can take several weeks to start working. But they
may work sooner.
Never suddenly stop taking antidepressants. Many antidepressants should be tapered off
slowly and only under the supervision of a doctor. Abruptly stopping
antidepressant medicines can cause negative side effects or a return of
symptoms of borderline personality disorder.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. Talk with your doctor about these possible side effects and the warning signs of suicide.
Taking triptans, used for headaches, with SSRIs or SNRIs (selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake
inhibitors) can cause a very rare but serious
condition called serotonin syndrome.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2009). Borderline Personality Disorder: Treatment and Management. London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Available online: http://publications.nice.org.uk/borderline-personality-disorder-cg78.
Current as of:
March 8, 2013
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
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