It is thought that 12% of people will suffer from social phobia at some point during their lives. Social anxiety disorder can be remarkably debilitating and result in serious functional impairment. The usual method of treating it is with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which increase the amount of serotonin available in the brain. Substances called noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors which have a similar effect on a substance called noradrenalin have shown promise at treating social anxiety in a number of studies and a team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego looked at the effectiveness of the drug atomoxetine which has the same effect - although it is usually used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In a study of 27 people with social anxiety disorder - half of whom received atomoxetine and half of whom received a placebo - there was little difference in symptoms between the two group.
Ravindran, Lakshmi N. ... [et al] - A randomized controlled trial of atomoxetine in generalized social anxiety disorder Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology December 2009, 29(6), 561-564