D-Cycloserine Enhancement of Exposure in Social Phobia

This study will provide individuals who meet criteria for social anxiety disorder (social phobia) with 12 weekly sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy lasting approximately two and a half hours each. During these sessions, patients will receive information on the nature of social phobia and a model of treatment and will receive weekly training in how to become more comfortable with social situations, with the goal of achieving confidence in social interactions. As part of this training, the therapist will practice social interactions with the patient, who will also be asked to practice what they have learned outside of the therapists’ office.

For the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sessions of the 12-session program of cognitive-behavioral therapy, the patient will be asked to arrive one hour early to take one of the study pills, a 50mg pill of either d-cycloserine or placebo, which participants will be randomly assigned to. A physician will be available in the unlikely event that a patient begins to experience side effects. Before the treatment starts, before the eighth session, and one week after the final session, patients will have their levels of symptoms assessed with measures of mood, anxiety, and avoidance. Upon completion of the study, participants will be asked to return for a one-month, three-month, and six-month follow-up.

Southern Methodist University
Principal Investigator: 
Jasper Smits, PhD, Southern Methodist University
Eligibility Criteria: 
  • Male or female outpatients 18 years or older with a primary diagnosis of generalized social anxiety disorder (as determined by the psychiatrists who conduct our initial screening process).
  • Physical examination, electrocardiogram, and laboratory findings without clinically significant abnormalities.
  • Willingness and ability to comply with the requirements of the study protocol.
  • Participants currently taking psychotropic medication will be excluded.
Dr. Jasper Smits, (214) 768-4310 or anxiety@smu.edu
Dallas, TX

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