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Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2012 Apr;15(3):403-15. doi: 10.1017/S1461145711000800. Epub 2011 Jun 9.

Evidence-based pharmacotherapy of panic disorder: an update.

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Department of Psychiatry and EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam and GGZ inGeest, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa.


The evidence-based pharmacotherapy of panic disorder continues to evolve. This paper reviews data on first-line pharmacotherapy, evidence for maintenance treatment, and management options for treatment-refractory patients. A Medline search of research on pharmacotherapy was undertaken, and a previous systematic review on the evidence-based pharmacotherapy of panic disorder was updated. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors remain a first-line pharmacotherapy of panic disorder, with the serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor venlafaxine also an acceptable early option. Temporary co-administration of benzodiazepines can be considered. Maintenance treatment reduces relapse rates, but further research to determine optimal duration is needed. For patients not responding to first-line agents several pharmacotherapy options are available, but there is a notable paucity of data on the optimal choice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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