Drugs to Treat Panic Disorder

A panic disorder refers to repeated and sudden attacks of fear. MedlinePlus indicates that these attacks can last for minutes to hours. Signs of a panic attack include nausea, stomach problems, sweating, shortness of breath and dizziness. In some instances, a panic attack can also lead to trembling, a pounding heartbeat, feelings of choking and a fear of losing control. Fortunately, drugs to treat panic disorder exist.


Alprazolam, commonly sold as Xanax or Niravam, is a benzodiazepine medication that treats panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Specifically, this drug balances chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters.

Drugs.com says that alprazolam’s less concerning side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, a dry or watery mouth, a decrease in sex drive, vomiting, constipation and nausea. In some cases, alprazolam causes slurred speech, appetite and weight changes, muscle weakness and a lack of coordination. Phone a doctor when alprazolam’s less serious effects remain for greater than 1 week.

Alprazolam’s serious side effects include yellowing of the skin or eyes, agitation, hostility, hallucinations, depression and seizures. Sometimes, alprazolam causes muscle twitching, hyperactivity, fainting, lightheadedness, suicidal thoughts and tremors. Notify a doctor when alprazolam’s serious side effects develop.

A doctor will reduce alprazolam’s dose when a person suffers from such diseases as asthma, bronchitis, kidney or liver disease, depression, suicidal thoughts or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.

Alprazolam is a tablet taken daily or as prescribed.


Fluvoxamine, commonly sold as Luvox, is another medication used to treat panic disorders. Drugs.com says that fluvoxamine belongs to a group of medicines called serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It also balances chemicals in the brain.

Fluvoxamine’s less concerning side effects include weight loss, a poor appetite, dizziness, drowsiness and dry mouth. In some instances, fluvoxamine can lead to strange dreams, trouble sleeping, constipation and weight loss. Talk to a doctor when fluvoxamine’s less serious side effects last for greater than 1 week.

Fluvoxamine’s serious side effects include a seizure, a fever, chills, anxiety, hallucinations and trouble concentrating. In some instances, fluvoxamine leads to restlessness and muscle stiffness. Go to the emergency room when this drug leads to these effects.

A change in fluvoxamine’s dose may be necessary when suffering from such diseases as bipolar disorder, seizures, epilepsy or seizures.

Fluvoxamine is a regular tablet taken daily or as indicated.


Tranylcypromine, commonly sold as Parnate, is yet another medication to treat panic disorder. MedlinePlus says that tranylcypromine is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor that also increases the chemicals in the brain so that panic disorder symptoms are decreased.

Tranlcypromine’s less serious side effects include a poor appetite, a dry mouth, chills, blurry vision, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea and trouble urinating. In some instances, this drug leads to hair loss, a rash, ringing in the ears, muscle tightening, stomach pain and weakness. Phone a physician when tranylcypromine’s less serious side effects last for greater than 5 days.

Traylcypromine’s serious side effects include a headache, light sensitivity, neck stiffness, sweating, nausea, abnormal bleeding or bruising, dizziness, cold or clammy skin, a pounding heartbeat and a headache. Call a doctor at once when tranylcypromine leads to these effects.

Medications such as amoxapine, methyldopa, citalopram or fluoxetine may interact with tranylcypromine. Tranylcypromine is a tablet taken two times daily.

About this Author

Lisabetta Divita is a physician whose love for writing flourished while she was exposed to all facets of the medical field during her training. Her writings are currently featured in prominent medical magazines and various online publications. She holds a doctorate in medicine, a master’s in biomedicine, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Boston College.