Treatment of social phobia with benzodiazepines

J Clin Psychiatry. 1994 Jun;55 Suppl:28-32.


Although social phobia is a common and highly treatable anxiety disorder, the majority of social phobics do not receive treatment. Without intervention, it is unlikely that patients will attain significant relief from the symptoms and disability associated with the disease. The authors review the results of studies concerning the use of high-potency benzodiazepines in the treatment of social phobia. These studies, which include open trials as well as a double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of clonazepam, have demonstrated clinical efficacy and suggest a therapeutic role for this drug class in the treatment of social phobia. Developmental work with the Davidson Brief Social Phobia Scale is described, along with predictors of treatment outcome for clonazepam and placebo and relapse data upon discontinuation of both treatments. Finally, the authors discuss general issues concerning the relapse of patients upon drug discontinuation, the long-term use of benzodiazepines, and other important issues concerning the use of these agents for the treatment of social phobia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alprazolam / therapeutic use
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Clonazepam / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Placebos
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Placebos
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Clonazepam
  • Alprazolam