Paroxetine Is Effective Treatment For Anxiety in Patients with GAD - generalized anxiety disorder

Author: Jack Gorman
Date: August 15, 2000

(153rd Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association) Results from a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study indicate that patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) receiving paroxetine (Paxil) experience a 60 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms. The study included 566 patients with GAD between 18 and 80 years of age (average age: 40 years). Patients receiving paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, showed significant reductions in tension (measured by the Hamilton Anxiety Scale), severity of illness (measured by a global assessment by the physician) and disability (measured by the Sheehan Disability Scale). The most common side effects associated with paroxetine include asthenia, sweating, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, decreased appetite, somnolence, dizziness, insomnia, tremor, nervousness, yawn, and sexual side effects in men and women. These side effects are generally not severe enough to cause discontinuation of paroxetine. Patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors should not take paroxetine. Paroxetine is currently labeled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder, but it is not labeled for the treatment of GAD.--JACK GORMAN, M.D., Columbia University, New York City.

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