The Side Effect Burden Associated With Drug Treatment of Panic Disorder

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This article reviews the incidences of side effects in placebo-controlled clinical trials of drug therapy in patients with panic disorder. We performed a MEDLINE search for placebo-controlled studies in panic disorder that reported the incidences of side effects, published in English language, peer-reviewed journals between 1992 and 1997. We discuss the side effects experienced by patients receiving tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors, and benzodiazepines, the drug classes most commonly prescribed for the treatment of panic disorder. Available evidence suggests that, with respect to tolerability, serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors are the most favorable treatment choice for patients with panic disorder.

J Clin Psychiatry 1998;59(suppl 8):39–44