Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Paroxetine Beat Placebo for Anxiety Remission. (Three Separate Analyses)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Paroxetine Beat Placebo for Anxiety Remission. (Three Separate Analyses)

Article excerpt

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- Paroxetine is more effective than placebo in helping patients with panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or social anxiety disorder achieve remission, three separate analyses of data from multiple randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials found.

Results of the analyses were presented in poster presentations at the 12th World Congress of Psychiatry. GlaxoSmithKline, which makes paroxetine (Paxil), funded the analyses as well as the studies upon which they were based.

All three analyses used remission as the criterion for success, rather than the more traditional, less rigorous measures of treatment response, which typically look for a 50% or greater reduction in symptoms as a sign of efficacy.

In the treatment of panic disorder analysis, four short-term studies randomized 966 patients to paroxetine or placebo or--in two of the studies--the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine (Anafranil) or the benzodiazepine alprazolam (Xanax) for 10 or 12 weeks. Two of the trials evolved into long-term extension studies involving 269 patients, some of whom continued therapy for 9 more months while others continued therapy for 12 weeks and then were randomized to the same treatment or placebo for 12 additional weeks of maintenance therapy.

At the end of the short-term trials, the proportion of patients reporting no panic attacks in the previous 2-3 weeks reached 44% on alprazolam, 35% on paroxetine, and 27% on clomipramine, rates significantly higher than the 22% remission rate on placebo. In one of the long-term trials, 68% of patients maintained on paroxetine and 48% taking placebo reported no panic attacks. In the other long-term trial, 72% of patients on paroxetine, 64% on clomipramine, and 33% on placebo reported no panic attacks, said Dr. Yves Lecrubier of Salpetiere Hospital, Paris. …

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