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Role of Serotonin Drugs in the Treatment of Social Phobia

Manuel E. Tancer, M.D., and Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.

Published: June 1, 1997

Article Abstract

Social phobia is a common anxiety disorder that is underdiagnosed and undertreated. To date, threeclasses of serotonin drugs have been used to treat patients suffering from social phobia. These includethe serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the partial 5-HT1A agonist buspirone, and the 5-HT3 antagonist ondansetron. Although none of the serotonin agents have yet been directly comparedwith the gold standard monoamine oxidase inhibitor phenelzine or the high potency triazolobenzodiazepinesalprazolam or clonazepam, the SSRIs, as a class, appear to be clinically useful agents. Furtherstudies using larger sample sizes and double-blind methodology are needed to clarify the role ofserotonin drugs in the treatment of social phobia.

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Volume: 58

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