A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of paroxetine in children and adolescents with social anxiety disorder

Karen Dineen Wagner, Ray Berard, Murray B. Stein, Erica Wetherhold, David J. Carpenter, Phillip Perera, Michelle Gee, Katherine Davy, Andrea Machin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

169 Scopus citations


Background: Social anxiety disorder is a debilitating, highly prevalent disorder in children and adolescents. If left untreated, it can interfere with emotional, social, and school functioning. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of paroxetine in children and adolescents with social anxiety disorder. Design and Setting: Multicenter, 16-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, flexible-dose, parallel-group, outpatient study. Patients: A total of 322 children (8-11 years of age) and adolescents (12-17 years of age) with social anxiety disorder as their predominant psychiatric illness. Intervention: Eligible patients were randomized (1:1) to receive paroxetine (10-50 mg/d) or placebo. Results: Four hundred twenty-five patients were screened, and 322 were randomized to treatment. Of these, 319 were included in the intention-to-treat population (paroxetine, n = 163; placebo, n = 156). At the week 16 last observation carried forward end point, the odds of responding (Clinical Global Impression-Improvement score of 1 or 2) were statistically significantly greater for paroxetine (77.6% response [125/161]) than for placebo (38.3% response [59/154]) (adjusted odds ratio, 7.02; 95% confidence interval, 4.07 to 12.11; P<.001). The proportion of patients who were "very much" improved (Clinical Global Impression-Improvement score of 1) was 47.8% (77/161) for paroxetine compared with 14.9% (23/ 154) for placebo. Adverse events occurring at an incidence of 5% or greater for paroxetine and twice that for placebo were insomnia (14.1% vs 5.8%), decreased appetite (8.0% vs 3.2%), and vomiting (6.7% vs 1.9%). Withdrawals due to adverse events were infrequent (5.5% [9/163] for paroxetine and 1.3% [2/156] for placebo). Conclusion: Paroxetine is an effective, generally well-tolerated treatment for pediatric social anxiety disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1162
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of general psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this