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Use of Benzodiazepines in Panic Disorder

Jonathan R. T. Davidson, M.D.

Published: May 1, 1997

Article Abstract

Over the past 15 years, benzodiazepines have been used successfully to treat panic disorder withagoraphobia, but not without some controversy. Efficacy and side effect data from the principal benzodiazepineoutcome studies of panic disorder demonstrate that alprazolam, lorazepam, and clonazepamare all clinically effective. Clonazepam has several advantages over other benzodiazepines and can beconsidered a first-line agent for panic disorder. Benzodiazepines in general are therapeutically effectivefor a broad range of panic disorder symptoms. Their effect is rapid and maintained without doseincrease over a 7- to 8-month period. Discontinuation-related difficulties can occur in a considerablenumber of patients, but these can be decreased in several ways.

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Volume: 58

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