Objective: Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent panic attacks, persistent concerns about additional attacks, and worry about the implications of the attack or significant changes in behavior related to the attacks. We examined the efficacy of 24-week naturalistic, open-label escitalopram treatment in terms of the response and remission rates and functional disability in 119 adult Korean patients with panic disorder from 6 clinical centers in South Korea.
Methods: Clinical severity and functional impairment were assessed at baseline and at 4, 12, and 24 weeks after the treatment using the Panic Disorder Severity Scale and Sheehan Disability Scale. Ninety-six patients (80.7%) showed a treatment response, and 87 patients (73.1%) had attained remission after 24 weeks of escitalopram treatment.
Results: Continuous improvement in the Panic Disorder Severity Scale and Sheehan Disability Scale scores was found over the 24 weeks of treatment.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that escitalopram treatment is very effective for panic disorder in terms of both response and remission rates and that long-term pharmacotherapy with escitalopram continuously improved panic symptoms and functional disability in Korean patients with panic disorder.
Keywords: Antidepressants; Anxiety, psychopharmacology; Escitalopram; Panic disorder.