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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2004 Jun;24(3):277-82.

Modulation of hyperreactivity to 35% CO2 after one week of treatment with paroxetine and reboxetine: a double-blind, randomized study.

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  • 1Anxiety Disorders Clinical and Research Unit, Department of Neuropsychiatric Sciences, Vita-Salute University, Istituto Scientifico HS Raffaele, San Raffaele Hospital, 20 via Stamira d'Ancona, 20127 Milan, Italy.


The effects of short treatments (7 days) with paroxetine and with reboxetine on the reactivity to inhalations of 35% carbon dioxide (CO2)/65% oxygen (O2) were compared in 28 patients with Panic Disorder who had positive responses to 35% CO2 inhalations. A double-blind, randomized design was applied. Each patient was given the 35% CO2 challenge on days 0 (before starting the treatment) and 7. Anxiety reactivity to CO2 decreased significantly with both drugs but the decrease was significantly stronger in the group treated with paroxetine. The rate of patients whose reactivity has reduced of at least 50% after 7 days was significantly higher in the group treated with paroxetine (10/14, 71.5%) than in the one treated with reboxetine (3/14, 21.5%). These results indicate that the modulation of the serotonergic system is more relevant for CO2 hyperreactivity than the modulation of the noradrenergic one.

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