Prevalence and management of panic attacks during infliximab infusion in psoriatic patients.


Saraceno R, Faleri S, Ruzzetti M, Centonze D, Chimenti S.


Dermatology. 2012;225(3):236-41. doi: 10.1159/000343609. Epub 2012 Nov 22.



BACKGROUND: Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease associated with anxiety and depression. Infliximab (IFX) is a human/mouse chimeric anti-TNF-α antibody effective in the treatment of psoriasis.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of panic disorders in psoriatic patients during IFX infusions.

METHODS: A retrospective study was performed on patients affected with psoriasis who were treated with IFX from 2002 to 2011 at a single center. Panic disorders were defined using the clinical criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition. A population of dermatological patients under treatment with IVG, rituximab, apheresis, intravenous corticosteroids and antibiotics was considered as the control group.

RESULTS: A total of 141 patients were evaluated. Of these, 6 (4.25%) experienced panic attacks during the infusion; 16 (11.3%) had a medical history of panic attack and of those 5/16 (31%) experienced panic attacks during IFX infusion. In the control group panic attacks were not recorded.

CONCLUSION: We describe 6 cases of patients in whom panic attacks were triggered by IFX infusion. Premedication with oral benzodiazepine and a slow rate of infusion is recommended.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.


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