Korean guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of social anxiety disorder: Initial treatment strategies

Hyungkun Yoon, Dong Jae Oh, Ho Suk Suh, Kyoung Uk Lee, Se Won Lim, Jun Yeob Lee, Jong Chul Yang, Jae Hon Lee, Juwon Ha, Bun Hee Lee, Seung Gul Kang, Ho Kyoung Yoon, Jihyun Moon, Seung Min Bae, Youngdo Kwon, Hyun Chung Kim, Kang Seob Oh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective The aim of the present study was to provide clinical consensus and evidence regarding initial treatment strategies for the pharmacological treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD) in Korea. Methods We prepared a questionnaire to derive a consensus from clinicians regarding their preference for the pharmacological treatment of SAD in Korea. Data regarding medication regimens and psychotropic drugs used during initial treatment, the doses used, and the pharmacological treatment duration were obtained. Responses were obtained from 66 SAD experts, and their opinions were classified into three categories (first-line, second-line, third-line) using a chi-square analysis. Results Clinicians agreed upon first-line regimens for SAD involving monotherapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SS-RIs) or the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) venlafaxine, or combined therapy using antidepressants with beta-blockers or benzodiazepines on a standing or as-needed basis. First-line psychotropic drug choices for initial treatment included the following: escitalopram, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, and propranolol. The medication dosage used by domestic clinicians was found to be comparable with foreign guidelines. Domestic clinicians tended to make treatment decisions in a shorter amount of time and preferred a similar duration of maintenance treatment for SAD when compared with foreign clinicians. Conclusion This study may provide significant information for developing SAD pharmacotherapy guidelines in Korea, especially in the early stage of treatment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-155
    Number of pages9
    JournalPsychiatry Investigation
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb


    • Anxiety disorder
    • Guideline
    • Initial treatment
    • Pharmacotherapy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Biological Psychiatry


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