Management of panic disorders

J Psychoactive Drugs. 1991 Oct-Dec;23(4):329-33. doi: 10.1080/02791072.1991.10471603.


Panic disorders are medical conditions requiring an eclectic treatment approach that often combines pharmacotherapeutics with education, cognitive-behavior therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. This article focuses on the management of medication within this framework. The medications that have been found to be effective include tricyclic antidepressants, fluoxetine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and higher potency benzodiazepines. Although alprazolam is the most studied medication and acts very rapidly, each type of medication has unique advantages and liabilities. The general treatment strategy with all the medications is to start with a low dose and increase it slowly until side effects develop or panic attacks cease. The treatment approach should be oriented toward a chronic illness that often requires long-term medication.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Panic Disorder / drug therapy
  • Panic Disorder / therapy*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / administration & dosage
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*


  • Psychotropic Drugs