Panic attacks are symptoms of anxiety disorder. The victim may feel a heart attack or that his death is imminent. Panic attacks are sudden but are for short durations mostly they last for ten minutes, victims of panic attack develop phobias that is irrational fears about something or a particular situation and begins to avoid it in eventually the level of avoidance rise to the height the even the idea of doing something that preceded the previous panic attack may trigger another panic attack, in this condition the victim is said to have panic disorder with “agoraphobia”. You can read posts about the basics of panic attacks on this link.
Several panic attack medications have been developed but generally panic attacks are treated with relaxation and reassurance techniques. Psychotherapy is very important component to help the victim of panic attacks it is often used with panic attack medications to reduce the frequency of panic attacks. Cognitive behavioral therapy is widely used to address anxiety the technique is simple identify and reduces the self defeating thoughts that causes anxiety, the patient is exposed to conditions that previously caused fretfulness.
Panic attack medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders include:
- (SSRI) selective reuptake inhibitor which include fluvoxamine (luvox), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (paxil) etc and (SSNRI) selective serotonin and noreinephrine reuptake inhibitor which include duloxetine (cymbalta) and venlafaxine (effexor) can prove to be effective in reducing the frequency of panic attacks. SSRIs if taken from three to six weeks once daily can reduce the frequency of panic attacks to 75-80%.
- Propranolol an example of beta-blocker may also be sometimes used to treat the patient.
- Benzodiazepines like clonazepam (klonopin), alprazolam (xanax) if taken daily can be effective in reducing the panic attacks; however the patient may be required to take it three to four time daily and they have substantial side effects like memory loss sedations etc.
- Tricyclic antidepressants like imipramine can also be used but their side effects are often unbearable
The patient receiving the treatment is closely monitored because of the possibility of the potential side effects that these medicines carries their effect range from minor to severe and sometimes are even life threatening. despite of all the medicines that are used physiotherapy still remains the most popular treatment for the patients of panic attack specially for pregnant woman because the medicines can have adverse effects on the fetus however the combination of the two can result in substantial improvements and the frequency of attacks may be reduced by 90%.
Remember to always consult with a doctor before taking any medication!