Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pharmacotherapy options in social anxiety disorder: which is the best medicine?

When you are diagnosed to have social anxiety disorder, sometimes, the doctor will persuade you to take drugs. But which one is most effective for your social anxiety disorder?

The efficiencies of benzodiazepines, monoamine oxidaseinhibitors (MAOIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in social anxiety disorder have been investigated in placebo-controlled clinical trials.

On the basis of the clinical evidence, an SSRI is recommended as first-line treatment for social anxiety disorder. Treatment should be initiated at a low dose (for example, paroxetine 20 mg) and then increased gradually if necessary to obtain a clinical response. Improvement can be evident after 4 weeks, but if the patient does not benefit from some improvement after 8 weeks one should consider switching to an alternative SSRI or the addition of behavioural therapy. It is important to emphasise that social anxiety disorder is a chronic condition that required long-term maintenance treatment to achieve full remission and to consolidate the response.

Pharmacotherapy should be continued for at least 1 year, to prevent relapse and allow patients to benefit from their improvement in social, education and work functioning.

According to its studies, it takes about 12 weeks for Fluvoxamine to be more effective than placebo, Paroxetine about 4 weeks to show its effectiveness.

In the future posts, I will show you if there are alternatives and treatments that have quicker effects for social anxiety disorders.

reference: Facing the challenge of social anxiety disorder
By: Herman G.M. Westenberg


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