Does Wellbutrin help BPD? (+3 side effects)

In this article, we will discuss the effect of Wellbutrin on borderline personality disorder (BPD). We will explore the effectiveness and efficiency of Wellbutrin for BPD. We will further discover the benefits and drawbacks of Wellbutrin in the treatment of BPD in patients. 

Does Wellbutrin help BPD? 

Wellbutrin may help with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant with many potential benefits for several conditions. However, it is not a first-line drug choice for the treatment of BPD. 

BPD is a condition that is not solely treated with medication. It is a complex psychotic condition that requires medications as well as behavioural and antipsychotic therapies for its treatment. 

Wellbutrin has limited efficacy and clinical efficiency in treating BPD. Wellbutrin is approved by the FDA for many mental health conditions. If you have symptoms related to BPD, then refer to your doctor for effective pharmacological treatment. 

What does research suggest?

Based on research studies, there are no specific medications approved for the treatment of BPD by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is also very limited data available for BPD related to a single medication (1). 

BPD is a complex condition that causes mental difficulties in identity, intimacy, and empathy. BPD is characterized by impulsivity, suicidality, psychosis, instability, emptiness, and devaluation (1). 

Antidepressants have proven useful in the treatment of BPD with beneficial effects in treating co-morbid mood disorders and anxiety symptoms. However, antidepressants did not serve efficiently in treating BPD (1). 

SSRIs were given preference over Wellbutrin in treating BPD. These drugs, however, showed limited therapeutic effectiveness in BPD treatment due to limited serotonin receptor specificity (1). 

Well, antidepressants have shown limited clinical efficacy in treating BPD but are considered a safer and well-tolerated group of drugs for BPD treatment. They are considered to have better receptor specificity as compared to other medications (1). 

Wellbutrin may not be the first and only choice of treatment for BPD. However, it may show its clinical benefits in a small population. 

Medications other than Wellbutrin to treat BPD

Some of the other medications that are prescribed to treat BPD other than Wellbutrin include SSRIs which also belong to antidepressant drugs. BPD is majorly comorbid with major depressive disorder, therefore, SSRIs are prescribed for its treatment (2). 

Among antidepressant drugs, SSRIs, Mianserin, and Phenelzine have shown positive effects in treating BPD. Amitriptyline was the only tricyclic antidepressant used for BPD that showed positive results other than treating major depressive disorder (2).  

Mood stabilizers and anticonvulsants are also prescribed for the treatment of BPD. Topiramate and Lamotrigine have shown improvement in aggressive symptoms related to BPD (2).

Non-pharmacological approaches to treat BPD

Some alternative non-pharmacological treatment approaches for BPD include (3):

  • Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)- It is the most well-known evidence-based treatment for BPD. This therapy focuses primarily on mindfulness, emotional regulation, and tolerating distress in such patients. 


  • Mentalization-based treatment (MBT)- The main focus of this therapy is on the human capacity to mentalize and think, which is impaired in patients with BPD. 


  • Transference-based psychotherapy (TFP)- This therapy focuses on interpersonal problems in the patient’s life and the emotions attached to it. TFP helps the patients to think coherently about themselves and others. 


  • General psychiatric management (GPM)- This is based on individual case management of different patients usually carried out by generalist clinicians. GPM focuses on stability and improvement overall rather than on one specific symptom. 

These are the alternative approaches to treat BPD. However, medication is always the best choice for treatment but if your doctor suggests you should go to alternative treatment methods which may help improve complex conditions such as BPD. 

What to do if BPD is not treated with Wellbutrin?

In case, BPD and related symptoms are not treated with Wellbutrin or any significant progress is not visible after initiating your treatment with Wellbutrin, then you need to seek medical attention. 

Your healthcare provider should prescribe a medication that suits your health condition well and is clinically efficient in treating BPD and results in improving its symptoms. 

Seek an alternative non-pharmacological therapy to improve BPD. You can improve your lifestyle and dietary conditions which may help in improving symptoms of BPD. 

BPD usually occurs with comorbidities and can be improved if the co-morbid condition is taken well care of. Your healthcare provider should Look for options to efficiently treat the underlying conditions along with BPD which might result in an improvement. 


In this article, we have discussed the clinical efficiency of Wellbutrin in the treatment of BPD. We have discussed the common link between Wellbutrin and BPD. We have also discussed the potential management strategies for using Wellbutrin for BPD. 

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Ripoll LH. Psychopharmacologic treatment of borderline personality disorder. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2013 Jun;15(2):213-24. doi: 10.31887/DCNS.2013.15.2/lripoll. PMID: 24174895; PMCID: PMC3811092.


Olabi B, Hall J. Borderline personality disorder: current drug treatments and future prospects. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2010 Mar;1(2):59-66. doi: 10.1177/2040622310368455. PMID: 23251729; PMCID: PMC3513859.


Choi-Kain LW, Finch EF, Masland SR, Jenkins JA, Unruh BT. What Works in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. Curr Behav Neurosci Rep. 2017;4(1):21-30. doi: 10.1007/s40473-017-0103-z. Epub 2017 Feb 3. PMID: 28331780; PMCID: PMC5340835.

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