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Paroxetine in social phobia/social anxiety disorder: Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

  • David Baldwin (a1), Julio Bobes (a2), Dan J. Stein (a3), Ingebor Scharwächter (a4) and Michel Faure (a5)...

Preliminary studies have suggested that paroxetine may be effective in social phobia/social anxiety disorder.


To assess the efficacy and tolerability of paroxetine in the acute (12-week) treatment of social phobia.


Two-hundred and ninety patients with social phobia were assigned randomly to paroxetine (20–50 mg/day flexible dose) or placebo for 12 weeks of double-blind treatment. Primary efficacy outcomes were the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) total score (patient-rated) and the Clinical Global Impression (GGI) scale global improvement item. The secondary efficacy variables included CGI scale severity of illness score and the patient-rated Social Avoidance and Distress Scale.


Paroxetine produced a significantly greater reduction in LSAS total score (mean change from baseline: –29.4 v. –15.6; P 0.001) and a greater proportion of responders (score $2 on CGI global improvement) (65.7% v. 32.4%; P < 0.001) compared with placebo at the end of the 12-week study period. Both primary efficacy variables were statistically significant compared with placebo from week 4 onwards. Paroxetine was generally well tolerated.


Paroxetine is an effective, well-tolerated treatment for patients with social phobia.

Corresponding author
Dr David Baldwin, Mental Health Group, University of Southampton, Royal South Hants Hospital, Brintons Terrace, Southampton SO14 0YG. Tel: +44 (0)1703 825538; Fax: +44 (0)1703 234243; e-mail:
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Paroxetine in social phobia/social anxiety disorder: Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

  • David Baldwin (a1), Julio Bobes (a2), Dan J. Stein (a3), Ingebor Scharwächter (a4) and Michel Faure (a5)...
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