Mental health disorders

Panic disorder

About Panic disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It causes panic attacks, which are sudden feelings of terror when there is no real danger. You may feel as if you are losing control. You may also have physical symptoms, such as

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Chest or stomach pain
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Feeling hot or a cold chill
  • Tingly or numb hands

Panic attacks can happen anytime, anywhere, and without warning. You may live in fear of another attack and may avoid places where you have had an attack. For some people, fear takes over their lives and they cannot leave their homes.

Panic disorder is more common in women than men. It usually starts when people are young adults. Sometimes it starts when a person is under a lot of stress. Most people get better with treatment. Therapy can show you how to recognize and change your thinking patterns before they lead to panic. Medicines can also help.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Top Medications for Panic disorder according to our users

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All Medications for Panic disorder

  • Effexor
    (venlafaxine)
    Prescription only

    Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It may work when other antidepressants haven't, but it's more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
  • Klonopin
    (clonazepam)
    Prescription only

    Klonopin (Clonazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety, and to treat seizures. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Dissolving tablet
  • Paxil
    (paroxetine)
    Prescription only

    Paxil (Paroxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety but it causes more weight gain, sleepiness, and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release tablet
    • Liquid
  • Prozac
    (fluoxetine)
    Prescription only

    Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Delayed release capsule
    • Liquid
  • Xanax
    (alprazolam)
    Prescription only

    Xanax (Alprazolam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety, and longer-term for panic attacks. More likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
    • Dissolving tablet
    • Liquid
  • Zoloft
    (sertraline)
    Prescription only

    Zoloft (Sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more likely to cause insomnia and diarrhea than other antidepressants.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Liquid
  • Anafranil
    (clomipramine)
    Prescription only

    Anafranil (Clomipramine) is helpful in treating OCD, but it can have a lot of side effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Celexa
    (citalopram)
    Prescription only

    Celexa (Citalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Oral solution
  • fluvoxamine
    Prescription only

    Luvox CR (fluvoxamine) is a first choice treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it can lower your sex drive.

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    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
  • Lexapro
    (escitalopram)
    Prescription only

    Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions. However, it might not be a good choice if you have liver or heart problems.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Liquid
  • Tofranil-PM
    (imipramine pamoate)
    Prescription only

    Tofranil-PM (imipramine pamoate) is one of the first choice medicines used to treat depression, but it can cause weight gain and sleepiness.

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    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Tofranil
    (imipramine hydrochloride)
    Prescription only

    Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is one of the first choice medicines used to treat depression, but it can cause weight gain and sleepiness.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill

Medication side effects for Panic disorder

These are some of the most common side effects from clinical trials for Drowsiness.

  • Prozac: 12%
  • Zoloft: 23%
  • Effexor: 50%
  • Paxil: 76%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have Drowsiness

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have Drowsiness

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Panic disorder

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Paxil, lexapro, prozac will take time to get into your system and start to work. I took xanax for a couple of weeks until the medication began to build up in my system and work. Eventually I did begin to feel much better and the attacks did stop. I have a very stressful job and high performace is a must so the paxil, prozac, etc. left me with a clear head to think and perform as I should without any type of problems. When you work in a very stressful enviroment and people lifes are in the balance you have to have clear head and be able to think and react quickly so I would highly recommend one of these drugs.
  • Knowing that this is more of a chemical imbalance I try to tell myself that I'm ok and it will pass. Daily exercise of any type really seems to help.
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • Stay in house with pets
  • Reconize when you are having an attack. Realize what is happening and focus on breathing normally. The focus on breathing will help you to relax and calm down. Get out in the sunshine as much as possible. Work in the yard, spend the day at the lake, go to the ball park all of these activities can help you to focus on other issues.
  • Breathe deep for 7 seconds, hold for 4 seconds than let it out and repeat
  • Remember when you feel like you can't breathe, it's actually that your getting too much oxygen
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Stay in house with pets
  • Counseling
  • Would like to her from other about yoga, excise, counseling, etc.
  • Exercise, watching a funny movie or tv show. Anything to divert your attention away from the attack