Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

There's no one treatment that's best for everyone with intermittent explosive disorder. Treatment generally includes psychotherapy and medication.


Individual or group therapy sessions can be helpful. A commonly used type of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, helps people with intermittent explosive disorder identify which situations or behaviors may trigger an aggressive response. And, more importantly, this type of therapy teaches people how to manage anger and control inappropriate responses using techniques such as relaxation training, thinking differently about situations (cognitive restructuring) and learning coping skills.


Different types of drugs may help in the treatment of intermittent explosive disorder. These medications include:

  • Antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and others
  • Anticonvulsants, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin), topiramate (Topamax) and lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Anti-anxiety agents in the benzodiazepine family, such as lorazepam (Ativan) and clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Mood stabilizers, such as lithium (Lithobid)
Sept. 18, 2012