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Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Jun;157(6):1014-6.

Is placebo response the same as drug response in panic disorder?

Author information

  • 1Psychopharmacology Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92037, USA.



The authors used seven definitions of response in panic disorder to compare patient-rated improvements in quality of life between patients with panic disorder who responded to sertraline and those who responded to placebo.


They combined and examined data from two multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, flexible-dose studies of panic disorder (N=302).


Significant differences in quality of life between patients who responded to sertraline and those who responded to placebo were apparent across all the definitions of clinical response.


Patients who respond to placebo in panic disorder treatment studies may show symptom relief but may not experience improvement in quality of life. Determinations of quality of life should be included as components of both standard clinical assessment and clinical treatment studies of patients with panic disorder.

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