Best Medication for Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks

Medicines for panic disorder are used to control the symptoms of panic attacks, reduce their number and severity, and reduce the stress and anxiety and fear linked with having another attack.

Your symptoms of panic disorder must begin to enhance within a few weeks after you start taking medications. If improvement is not seen within 6 to 8 weeks, a greater dosage or another medication may be required.

Best Medications for Panic Attacks

Medications can help reduce symptoms related to panic attacks along with anxiety if that’s an issue for you. Numerous types of medication have actually been revealed to be efficient in handling symptoms of panic attacks, including:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Generally safe with a low risk of major side effects, SSRI antidepressants are generally recommended as the first option of medications to treat panic attacks. SSRIs authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of panic disorder include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) and sertraline (Zoloft).
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These medications are another class of antidepressants. The SNRI drug called venlafaxine hydrochloride (Effexor XR) is FDA authorized for the treatment of panic disorder.
  • Benzodiazepines. These sedatives are central nervous system depressants. Benzodiazepines might be habit-forming, triggering mental or physical reliance, specifically when considered a long time or in high dosages. Benzodiazepines approved by the FDA for the treatment of panic disorder include alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin). If you seek care in an emergency room for a panic attack, you might be provided a benzodiazepine to assist stop the attack. Benzodiazepines are usually used only on a short-term basis. Because they can be habit-forming, these medications aren’t an excellent choice if you’ve had problems with alcohol or drug abuse. They can likewise communicate with other medications, triggering hazardous side effects.

If one medication does not work well for you, your doctor might recommend changing to another or combining particular medications to increase effectiveness. Bear in mind that it can take a number of weeks after first starting a medication to notice an improvement in symptoms.

Side Effects of Medication for Panic Attacks

All medications have a risk of side effects, and some might not be recommended in specific scenarios, such as pregnancy. Talk with your doctor about possible side effects and risks.

Some medications used to treat panic attacks have to be continued for a year or longer and then may be reduced slowly over a number of weeks. If you have panic attacks again while medicines are being stopped, the medicines might be continued for a minimum of a couple of months more. Some people may have to remain on medicines for a long time to keep symptoms under control.

Taking medications for panic disorder during pregnancy might increase the risk of birth defects. If you are pregnant or thinking of conceiving, speak to your doctor. You may need to keep taking medicines if your panic disorder is severe. Your doctor can assist weigh the risks of treatment versus the risk of damage to your pregnancy.

What Are the Treatments for Panic Attacks?

The reason for a lot of panic attacks is unclear, so treatment may be different for each individual. Medication is used for avoidance and/or instant alleviation of symptoms and is normally the main line of treatment. In addition, psychotherapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation, and/or meditation are frequently used to assist unwind the body and alleviate stress and anxiety.

If you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack, immediate relief of stress and anxiety symptoms can come from taking a sedative type anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan. These drugs are provided a minimum of in the start of medical therapy, but are not for long-term use.

Certain antidepressants can help prevent anxiety and lower the frequency and severity of panic attacks, however are not used for instant relief during an attack. Frequently used antidepressants are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, and Zoloft. This group of medications is typically thought about the first line of treatment for panic attack.

Some more recent anticonvulsant drugs, such as Lyrica and Neurontin, have actually also started to reveal worth in research studies as speculative treatments for some stress and anxiety disorders, consisting of panic disorder.

Essential note regarding medications: Some of these drugs can actually produce the stress and anxiety symptoms of a panic attack. It is typically best to start with a low dosage and gradually increase medication as suggested by your healthcare supplier.


Last Update - October 20, 2017

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The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures. Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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