, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 237-254

A study of the clinical effects of phenelzine and placebo in the treatment of phobic anxiety

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The detailed results are presented of a double-blind controlled trial of phenelzine and placebo in chronic agoraphobic and socially phobic psychiatric out-patients. Forty patients entered the trial and thirty-two of these completed the 8 weeks period of treatment, in which phenelzine or placebo were taken in flexible dosage, 30–90 mg daily. Patients were prospectively matched in pairs so that clinical response could be assessed in detail. Phenelzine was significantly superior to placebo on a number of measures, particularly for overall assessment (P<0.01). The treatment differences were not significant after 4 weeks treatment but were so at 8 weeks. The correlates of response and the results of the clinical ratings suggest that phenelzine is not acting as an antidepressant in this population.