Moclobemide is effective and well tolerated in the long-term pharmacotherapy of social anxiety disorder with or without comorbid anxiety disorder
Social phobia (social anxiety disorder) is a highly prevalent and chronic disorder that is associated with significant comorbidity and disability. Despite recent advances in the pharmacotherapy of the disorder, there is a paucity of randomized controlled trials on patients with comorbid disorders and on maintenance treatment. A randomized placebo-controlled, double-blind multi-site trial of moclobemide, a reversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase A, was undertaken with 390 subjects. After an initial 12 weeks, there was the option of continuing for an additional 6 months of treatment. The primary efficacy parameter chosen was responder status as defined by the Clinical Global Impression scale change item. From week 4 onwards, there was a significantly higher response rate on moclobemide than on placebo. Superiority of medication over placebo was similar in patients with comorbid anxiety disorders (33% of subjects) and without, as well as in patients with different subtypes of social anxiety disorder; indeed, treatment with moclobemide rather than placebo was the strongest predictor of response. Adverse events were similar across treatment groups, and were typically mild and transient. In the extension phase, response rates remained higher in the moclobemide group, and ratings of tolerability were equally high in both groups. Thus, in a large sample of social anxiety disorder patients with and without comorbid anxiety disorders, moclobemide was both effective and well-tolerated in the short as well as long-term. These data confirm and extend previous findings on the value of moclobemide in the treatment of social anxiety disorder, and strengthen the range of therapeutic options for managing this important disorder. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.