Effect of fluvoxamine on panic disorder.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21287-7144.
Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.76). 11/1993; 13(5):321-6. DOI: 10.1097/00004714-199310000-00004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Several reports suggest that selective serotonin reuptake blockers are helpful in the treatment of panic disorder. The aim of the study was to compare fluvoxamine with placebo in 50 panic disorder patients by using an 8-week, double-blind, parallel-groups design. Weekly assessment included a panic attack diary (frequency and severity), the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Scale, the Clinical Anxiety Scale, and the Sheehan Disability Scale. Although both groups improved on all measures, the fluvoxamine group experienced significantly less frequent major panic attacks from the third week on and significantly lower ratings on anxiety, depression, and disability from the sixth week on. Mean ratings of the severity of major and the severity and frequency of minor attacks were not affected differently by fluvoxamine and placebo. At the end of the study, significantly more patients on fluvoxamine were free of major and minor panic attacks. The results indicate that: (1) the administration of fluvoxamine, as compared with placebo, led to a significant reduction in the number of panic attacks. (2) The severity of panic attacks was not affected by fluvoxamine. (3) The effect of fluvoxamine on anxiety, depressive mood, and disability differed from placebo only after 6 weeks of treatment, after which the placebo group showed either no further improvement or a reversal of symptoms. (4) Participation in a drug study, even without additional psychotherapy, led to significant improvement in all patients.

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