Amphetamine response in borderline patients

S. Charles Schulz, Patricia M. Schulz, Cynthia Dommisse, Robert M. Hamer, William G. Blackard, Nedathur Narasimhachari, Robert O. Friedel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The behavioral and biological responses to d-amphetamine have been studied extensively in patients with schizophrenia and depression, and to a lesser degree in bipolar affective disorders. Because of theories linking borderline personality disorder to those illness, amphetamine, 30 mg, p.o., was administered to eight borderline patients in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study and the results were compared to the responses of normal subjects under identical conditions. Amphetamine led to symptoms of psychosis in four out of eight (50%) borderline patients. No normal subject became psychotic during the procedure. Global ratings of well-being were significantly elevated in the borderline group compared to the normal group. In addition the global response was highly inversely correlated with the patient's score on the Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines. Borderline patients had a nonsignificantly decreased growth hormone response following amphetamine compared to normals. Thus, borderline patients appear to be pharmacodynamically separable from normals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1985


  • Amphetamine
  • borderline patients
  • growth hormone


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