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

Button Group. All currently active

All Medications for Panic disorder

  • Antidepressant > Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)

    • Effexor
      (Venlafaxine)
      Prescription only

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

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release
  • Antidepressant > Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

    • 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.Will Paxil work for you?

      • 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.Will Prozac work for you?

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Delayed release capsule
      • 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.Will Zoloft work for you?

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Liquid
    • 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.Will Celexa work for you?

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Oral solution
    • Lexapro
      (Escitalopram)
      Prescription only

      Lexapro (Escitalopram) 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.Will Lexapro work for you?

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Liquid
  • Antidepressant > Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)

  • Anti-anxiety > Benzodiazepine

    • 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
    • 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

Medication side effects for Panic disorder

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

  • Klonopin: 5%
  • Prozac: 15%
  • Zoloft: 26%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have constipation

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have constipation

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Panic disorder

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • 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.
  • 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.
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • Remember when you feel like you can't breathe, it's actually that your getting too much oxygen
  • Breathe deep for 7 seconds, hold for 4 seconds than let it out and repeat
  • 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.
  • Stay in house with pets
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Exercise, watching a funny movie or tv show. Anything to divert your attention away from the attack
  • Would like to her from other about yoga, excise, counseling, etc.
  • Counseling
  • Stay in house with pets