Resistant social anxiety disorder response to Escitalopram

Stefano Pallanti, Leonardo Quercioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is a common disorder and its high prevalence and lifelong chronicity are such that it represents a substantial public health problem. The observation that serotonergic agents appear to be effective for its treatment suggests that patients may have abnormal serotonergic neurotransmission within the central nervous system. We investigated the efficacy of Escitalopram in treatment resistant patients with SAD. Method: Twenty-nine adult outpatients participated in a 12-week open-label trial of escitalopram. All the subjects had a primary diagnosis of SAD and had failed at least one previous adequate trial of paroxetine. Escitalopram was orally administered starting with a dose of 10 mg/day following a 1-week titration. Results: The escitalopram treatment was characterized by good tolerability (drop-out rate due to intolerance: 10.3%), and 24 subjects completed the study trial. At the end of the 12-week treatment period, 14 subjects (48.3%) were considered as responders on the basis of the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) (much or very much improved) scale and the Liebowitz Scale for Social Anxiety (LSAS) (reduction >35% compared to baseline). We observed a significant mean reduction in the Sheehan Disability Scale Work (p < .05) and Social (p < .05) subscores, but not in the Family subscore. Conclusion: These data suggest escitalopram has a role in the treatment of resistant SAD, especially in view of the favourable tolerability profile observed in the patients. Controlled studies are required to further investigate these findings and to compare escitalopram with other treatments for this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalClinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health
StatePublished - 2006


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