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Rev Med Suisse. 2008 Feb 13;4(144):404-6, 408-9.

[Panic disorders: differential diagnosis and care in emergencies].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de psychiatrie de laison et d'intervention de crise, HUG, Genève.


Despite the high prevalence of panic disorders in patients in primary-care settings, this condition is frequently under-recognised and under-treated. After the description of DSM-IV diagnosis criteria of panic disorders, this paper underline the importance of an adequate somatic and psychiatric differential diagnosis. Even if cognitive-behavioural therapy is the best studied psychotherapeutical approach, several efficacious psychodynamic psychotherapies were also described. High-potency benzodiazepines provide a rapid efficacy with beneficial effects during the first days of treatment. However, benzodiazepines should be avoided in the long term, because of the development of tolerance and dependence. Antidepressants (SSRI, venlafaxine) are effective in preventing panic attacks, especially in improving anticipatory anxiety and avoidance behaviour.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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