Improving Outcomes in Pharmacotherapy of Social Phobia

This study will compare the usefulness of three different medication strategies for treating individuals with social anxiety disorder who have not responded well to an established treatment (i.e., the medication sertraline, also known as Zoloft). Each of these three medication strategies involve taking a medication that is currently marketed for anxiety and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for sale for the treatment of anxiety.


The study is a two-phase, 23-week research study in which subjects who remain symptomatic at the end of one phase enter into the next. In Phase I, all subjects receive sertraline (Zoloft) for 10 weeks. Subjects who remain symptomatic will enter Phase II, in which subjects will be randomly assigned (there will be a one-in-three chance of being assigned to each group) to either keep taking sertraline, switch to taking sertraline and clonazepam, or switch to taking only venlafaxine extended-release for the remaining 12 weeks of the study. At the end of the study, you will enter follow-up care with the study doctor.

University of California, San Diego
Principal Investigator: 
Murray Stein, MD, MPH
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.
Exclusion Criteria: 

Those taking other psychotrophic medications are excluded.

Anxiety & Traumatic Stress Disorders Research Program, 1-877-UCSD-SHY or
San Diego, CA

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