The Effect of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Treatment of Panic Disorder on Emergency Room and Laboratory Resource Utilization
J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62:678-682
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: While it has been well documented
that patients with untreated panic disorder frequently utilize
emergency room (ER) and laboratory services, no published data
evaluate whether selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
treatment of patients with panic disorder is associated with
decreased use of these services in the managed care organization
Method: A medical and pharmacy claims database
representing individuals from several managed care organizations
was used to analyze ER and laboratory resource utilization and
cost for 120 patients with panic disorder (ICD-9-CM criteria) who
received SSRI treatment.
Results: SSRI treatment was associated with a
reduction in the mean number of ER and laboratory visits and
costs in the 6-month period following therapy initiation compared
with the 6-month period prior to therapy initiation (sertraline:
visits, -79.5%; costs, -85.2%; p < .05; fluoxetine: visits,
-25.0%; costs, -69.5%; p = NS; and paroxetine: visits, -8.6%;
costs, -30.8%; p = NS).
Conclusion: The results of the current study
suggest that appropriate treatment of panic disorder may decrease
unnecessary resource utilization for the medical symptoms
associated with panic disorder.