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Expert Rev Neurother. 2004 Mar;4(2):191-8.

Paroxetine in panic disorder: clinical management and long-term follow-up.

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Rehovot Community Mental Health & Rehabilitation Center, Remez Street 80, Rehovot, 76449, Israel.


Panic disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders and has a lifetime prevalence of 3-5%. Panic attacks can begin at any age, but commonly have their onset in early adulthood between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Naturalistic data has shown that panic disorder has a chronic and relapsing course. Panic disorder is reported to be associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior and comorbid psychiatric diagnoses such as depression and substance abuse. Currently, recommended treatment modalities for panic disorder include the use of antidepressant pharmacotherapy and/or cognitive behavioral therapy. Paroxetine is unique among the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors since, in addition to its effect on the CNS serotonergic neurotransmission, it also has mild noradrenergic properties demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression. Paroxetine treatment has the potential to cause weight gain and sexual dysfunction, primarily anorgasmia and ejaculatory dysfunction for the long term. In the short-term, treatment causes nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, irritability, headaches and eating and sleeping difficulties. Paroxetine is an example of an selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor agent, which has been well studied in the treatment of panic disorder and is efficacious and well-tolerated. Paroxetine pharmacotherapy has been recommended to be continued for 1 year as specified in the treatment guidelines set by the American Psychiatric Association in the treatment of panic disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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