Treatments for Panic Disorder

Medical care can help most people with panic disorder, but treatment success varies from person to person. Most people respond well to treatment and can return to normal functioning in weeks or months. Treatment can be complicated by having another condition at the same time, such as substance abuse, depression, or other anxiety disorders.

Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and specially trained primary care providers are trained to treat panic disorder. If your healthcare provider doesn't have special training, ask for the name of a healthcare provider or counselor who does.

Treatment involves the following:

Lifestyle changes
Other treatments - Therapy
Alternative and complementary therapies

There are no surgical procedures for the treatment of panic disorder.

A recent review of over 20 clinical trials comparing psychotherapy and antidepressant medication for treatment of panic disorder in approximately 1700 adults found that a combination of the two therapies was significantly more effective than either treatment method used alone. *


National Anxiety Foundation website. Available at: .

Anxiety Disorders Association of America website. Available at: .

*Updated section on Treatment on 8/22/06 according to the following study, as cited by DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Furukawa TA, Watanabe N, Churchill R. Psychotherapy plus antidepressant for panic disorder with or without agoraphobia: systematic review. Br J Psychiatry. 2006;188:305-312.

Last reviewed February 2007 by Edward R. Rosick, DO, MPH, MS

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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