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Haloperidol vs. phenelzine in continuation therapy of borderline disorder.

Author(s): Cornelius JR, Soloff PH, George A, Ulrich RF, Perel JM

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15213.

Publication date & source: 1993, Psychopharmacol Bull., 29(2):333-7.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Comparative Study ; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

We report the first double-blind, placebo-controlled continuation study comparison of a neuroleptic (haloperidol < or = 6 mg), monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressant (phenelzine < or = 90 mg), and placebo in 54 patients with borderline personality disorder. Continuation medication trials of 16 weeks followed 5 weeks of acute therapy. Haloperidol continued to be effective beyond the acute phase only for the treatment of irritability. Higher levels of depression, hypersomnia, and leaden paralysis were noted in the haloperidol group than in the phenelzine and placebo groups. The dropout rate during the first half (8 weeks) of the continuation study was significantly higher for the haloperidol group (64%) than for the placebo group (28%) (p < .05). Phenelzine demonstrated very modest efficacy beyond that noted in the acute phase for the treatment of depression and irritability. Phenelzine was shown to have an activating effect on measures of excitement and reactivity.

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