Efficacy of extended-release divalproex combined with "condensed" dialectical behavior therapy for individuals with borderline personality disorder

Richelle Moen, Mary Freitag, Michael Miller, Susanne S Lee, Ann Romine, Sue Song, Adit Adityanjee, S. Charles Schulz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a significant psychiatric illness for which medication treatments are still being explored. The goal of this study was to assess divalproex extended release (ER) vs placebo for patients receiving dialectal behavior therapy (DBT). METHODS: Patients with BPD received 4 weeks of "condensed DBT." Those with Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) scores >150 after this treatment were then randomly and blindly assigned to placebo or divalproex ER for 12 weeks. Repeated measures analysis of variance utilizing last observation carried forward was used to assess the results. RESULTS: Seventeen participants completed the full assessment. Two patients had a significant decrease in SCL-90 in the first 4 weeks, leaving 15 patients for the medication phase of the trial. There were no significant differences between the participants assigned to divalproex ER compared with placebo. However, there was a significant improvement in both groups from baseline to endpoint (P = .001). CONCLUSIONS: The response of 2 of 17 participants in the first 4 weeks prior to medication may point to a practice strategy in approaching outpatients with BPD. Although the patients had a decrease in symptoms during the study, there was no advantage observed for divalproex ER and DBT over placebo and DBT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012



  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Divalproex ER

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