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Excerpt 2
John H. Greist, MD, James W. Jefferson, MD and David J. Katzelnick, MD

Social Anxiety Disorder: A Guide

(Excerpt 1)

Success rate of medication treatment
The results of controlled studies indicate that about 70% of social anxiety disorder patients receiving an SSRI, SNRI, MAOI, gabapentin, pregabalin, or a benzodiazepine have worthwhile gains from that medication. In general, less than about 30% to 35% of social anxiety disorder patients receiving placebo (a sugar pill) improve. Obviously, some patients treated with medication do not benefit, and it is currently impossible to predict who will improve on which medication unless they have previously received that medication and benefited.

The amount of improvement with medication varies, but those who benefit often find their gains great enough to justify continuing the medication. Some patients become symptom-free. Unfortunately, when effective medication is stopped, patients may experience a return or worsening of social anxiety symptoms. Some patients who have had combined treatment with medication and behavior therapy may be able to discontinue the medication with little or no worsening of social anxiety symptoms, presumably because of the benefits from behavior therapy.