Paroxetine in social anxiety disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled study


  • C. Allgulander

    1. Karolinska Institutet, Neurotec, Division of Psychiatry at Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
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      M57 Huddinge sjukhus. S-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden


Allgulander C. Paroxetine in social anxiety disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled study. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1999: 100: 193–198. © Munksgaard 1999.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of paroxetine treatment in social anxiety disorder.

Method: Previously undiagnosed and untreated subjects with social anxiety disorder (generalized social phobia) were selected from among responders to a newspaper advertisement. They were randomized to double-blind treatment with paroxetine 20–50 mg daily or placebo for 3 months. Outcome measures were self-rated social anxiety and avoidance behaviour, and clinician-rated global assessment of improvement.

Results: Significant differences in efficacy between treatments (intent-to-treat analysis: 44 subjects on paroxetine and 48 subjects on placebo) were noted after 4–6 weeks, increasing through the treatment period in the paroxetine group. Nine subjects on paroxetine and 3 subjects on placebo discontinued the treatment due to adverse events. Sexual side-effects were noted by 18 subjects on paroxetine and 4 subjects on placebo.

Conclusion: Paroxetine was effective in alleviating symptoms and avoidance behaviour in social anxiety disorder.