Purpose of review: The aim of this article is to provide an updated review of studies and recommendations published from August 2003 to August 2004 on the treatment of panic disorder.
Recent findings: Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy remains the treatment of choice for panic disorder. Recent studies confirm selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors as the first-choice drugs in treating panic disorder. Recommendations for (adjunctive) high-potency benzodiazepines have been published. Psychoeducation and combined pharmacotherapy/psychotherapy improve treatment response. Optimal long-term treatment of panic disorder involves adequate medication and duration of treatment, since relapse is frequent.
Summary: Recent studies confirm that cognitive-behavioral therapy, alone or in combination with drug therapy, remains the treatment of choice for panic disorder. Long-term treatment is often necessary due to the chronicity of the illness.
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