Desipramine treatment in panic disorder.

Apart from imipramine (IMI), the efficacy of tricyclic antidepressants in panic disorder (PD) has received surprisingly little investigation. The authors report on a 6 week open trial of desipramine (DMI) preceded by a 10 day placebo lead-in, in 15 patients with PD. By week 6, 80% of the patients were globally rated as much or very much improved on a mean dose of 198 mg. Much of the improvement resulted from a reduction in non-panic attack symptomatology (i.e., psychic, somatic and phobic anxiety). Longer duration of illness, male gender and residual psychic anxiety were associated with poorer response in a subgroup of patients. DMI caused minimal intolerable side effects, suggesting possible compliance advantages in comparison to IMI. Beyond supporting the efficacy of DMI in PD, the results of the study point to a significant medication responsive non-panic illness component and caution against over-relying on panic attacks in assessing both illness severity and treatment response.
AuthorsO Kalus, G M Asnis, E Rubinson, R Kahn, J M Friedman, N Iqbal, D Grosz, H van Praag, W Cahn
JournalJournal of affective disorders (J Affect Disord) Vol. 21 Issue 4 Pg. 239-44 (Apr 1991) ISSN: 0165-0327 [Print] NETHERLANDS
PMID1829745 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Desipramine
  • Adult
  • Agoraphobia (drug therapy, psychology)
  • Anxiety Disorders (drug therapy, psychology)
  • Arousal (drug effects)
  • Desipramine (therapeutic use)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Panic (drug effects)
  • Personality Tests
  • Single-Blind Method

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