Paroxetine for social anxiety and alcohol use in dual-diagnosed patients.
The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy and tolerability of paroxetine to matched placebo in adults with co-occurring social anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorder. Outcome measures included standardized indices of social anxiety and alcohol use. Fifteen individuals meeting DSM-IV criteria for both social anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorder were randomized to treatment. Paroxetine (n = 6) or placebo (n = 9) was given in a double-blind format for 8 weeks using a flexible dosing schedule. Dosing began at 20 mg/d and increased to a target dose of 60 mg/d. There was a significant effect of treatment group on social anxiety symptoms, where patients treated with paroxetine improved more than those treated with placebo on both the Clinical Global Index (CGI) and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (Ps < or = 0.05). On alcohol use, there was not a significant effect of treatment on quantity/frequency measures of drinking, but there was for the CGI ratings (50% paroxetine patients versus 11% placebo patients were improvers on drinking, P < or = 0.05). This pilot study suggests that paroxetine is an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder in individuals with comorbid alcohol problems, and positive treatment effects can be seen in as little as 8 weeks. Further study is warranted to investigate its utility in helping affected individuals reduce alcohol use.
Randall, CL; Johnson, MR; Thevos, AK; Sonne, SC; Thomas, SE; Willard, SL; Brady, KT; Davidson, JR
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