Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): SSRIs are quickly
becoming the standard first-line medication for social phobia.
Paroxetine received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for
this indication in 1999 and was the first SSRI to gain such approval.
In 2003, sertraline received FDA approval for short- and long-term
(20-wk) treatment of social phobia in adults. Venlafaxine, a
serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, was also approved for the
treatment of social phobia in 2003. Studies suggest that other SSRIs
also may be effective.
Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines may be effective for social phobia,
but they are more dangerous (lesser safety profile). Alprazolam and
clonazepam have been used successfully.
Buspirone: Some studies suggest efficacy in persons with social phobia.
Gabapentin: New studies suggest efficacy.
Propranolol: Beta-blockers have been used to block the autonomic
response in persons with social phobia. Preventing symptoms such as
tremor and increased heart rate may lead to successful performance in
social situations despite anxiety.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): Phenelzine has been demonstrated
to be effective in controlled studies. The dietary restrictions
required when taking MAOIs reduces their popularity. Moclobemide, a
newer reversible MAOI, has had some efficacy in persons with social
Behavioral: Behavioral psychotherapies, such as gradual
desensitization, may be useful in persons with social phobia. This
technique involves gradually exposing the patient to simulated
situations that normally cause anxiety in the patient. By mastering
the situation without anxiety, the patient is eventually able to
tolerate more situations that previously induced anxiety.
Cognitive: Cognitive and insight-oriented therapies have proved useful
in treating social phobia. Individuals with social phobia often have
significant cognitive distortions related to what other people could
be thinking about them that might respond to restructuring."
That page has further information on each of the drugs as well as some
good background information on the condition itself.
I found some studies which looked the effectiveness of Phenelzine on
social anxiety which you can look at here:
Phenelzine vs atenolol in social phobia. A placebo-controlled comparison
Venlafaxine Extended Release vs Placebo and Paroxetine in Social Anxiety Disorder
Generalized social phobia. Reliability and validity
Consisten techniques for dealing with social anxiety.
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7 June 2006
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