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Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder - Medications

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

Your symptoms of panic disorder should start to improve within a few weeks after you start taking medicines. If improvement is not seen within 6 to 8 weeks, a higher dose or another medicine may be needed.

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Understanding Panic Attack -- Symptoms

If you have the sudden onset of four or more of the following symptoms, you may be having a panic attack: Sudden high anxiety with or without a cause Heart palpitations Sweating Shaking A "smothering" sensation or shortness of breath A feeling of choking Chest pain or discomfort Nausea Dizziness or faintness A sense of unreality A fear of going crazy or losing control A fear of dying Numbness or tingling Chills...

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Some medicines used to treat panic attacks need to be continued for a year or longer and then may be decreased gradually over several weeks. If you have panic attacks again while medicines are being stopped, the medicines may be continued for at least a few months more. Some people may need to stay on medicines for a long time to keep symptoms under control.

Taking medicines for panic disorder during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor. You may need to keep taking medicines if your panic disorder is severe. Your doctor can help weigh the risks of treatment against the risk of harm to your pregnancy.

Medicine choices

Medicines used most often to treat panic attacks include:

Medicines sometimes used to treat panic disorder include:

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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