Paroxetine augmentation in patients with generalised social anxiety disorder, non-responsive to mirtazapine or placebo

Sara I. J. Schutters*, Harold J. G. M. van Megen, J. Frederieke Van Veen, Koen R. J. Schruers, Herman G. M. Westenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives The aim of the study was to investigate if combination of mirtazapine with paroxetine causes a greater therapeutic effect and less sexual side effects than paroxetine monotherapy in social anxiety disorder (SAD). Methods Twenty one patients with generalised SAD, non-responsive to a 12 week trial with mirtazapine and 22 patients, non-responsive to placebo received paroxetine (20-40 mg) in addition to their double-blind treatment with mirtazapine or placebo for another 12 weeks. The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) and the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) scale were used to measure efficacy. Sexual functioning was assessed by the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX). Results Both treatments showed a significant LSAS reduction and their response rates (based on LSAS reduction >= 40% and CGI-I = 19) was found in half of patients treated with paroxetine and placebo, and in 38% of patients treated with paroxetine and mirtazapine. Conclusion The present study did not find support for a greater efficacy of combination pharmacotherapy in SAD, however results suggest that combination of paroxetine with mirtazapine might cause less sexual dysfunction than treatment with paroxetine alone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-76
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology-Clinical and Experimental
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • antidepressants
  • social anxiety disorder
  • mirtazapine
  • paroxetine

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