Can medicines help people who have panic attacks and panic disorder?
Several medicines can make panic attacks less severe or stop them altogether. Paroxetine (brand name: Paxil) and sertraline (brand name: Zoloft) are antidepressant medicines that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat panic disorder. Antidepressants are very effective in preventing anxiety and panic attacks. Often they completely stop the attacks. You don’t have to be depressed for them to help. Side effects are usually mild. Antidepressants will not make you lose control or change your personality. These medicines can be used for as long as necessary, even for years. Alprazolam (brand name: Xanax) and clonazepam (brand name: Klonopin) are also medicines approved by the FDA to treat panic disorder. These medicines give relief from fear and anxiety. They should be used only for a short period of time (a few weeks to a few months), unless you absolutely can’t function without them. Never suddenly stop taking one of these medicines. If you need to stop,