A handful of panic attack treatment methods have long been shown to help treat the symptoms of panic disorder. Some are mainstream methods while others are alternative options. No matter the kind of treatment, the goals remains the same – eliminate, control and prevent the symptoms.
Medications are widely considered effective for symptom management during an actual attack. These are usually used for short-term uses. Although these are known to effectively reduce the severity of the symptoms as well as in preventing them from occurring. Some of panic attack medications that are best known for bringing the best and longest relief include:
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
Low risk and generally safe, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are the first choice drugs for people suffering from panic attack. These are originally antidepressant medications, but due to their effectiveness against the symptoms of panic attacks, these have become the favorite of therapists and doctors. Drugs that have been approved for treatment of panic attack and panic disorder under this class by the Food and Drug Administration are paroxetine (Paxil, Rexeva and Paxil CR), flouxetine (Prozac), and sertraline (Zoloft).
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
SNRIs is one of those drugs that were originally developed for treatment of depression, but have been found out to cure panic attack. These work by increasing the levels of brain chemicals, norepinephrine and serotonin, by way of preventing their reabsorption or reuptake into the brain cells. Although the exact mechanism still leaves researchers baffled, these medications cause improvement in mood. The approved drug for treatment of panic attack and disorder is venlafaxine or Effexor XR.
A mild sedative and an antidepressant, Benzodiazpine is a drug that basically targets the central nervous system. FDA-approved benzodiazepines for treatment of panic attack are alprazolam or Xanax and clonazepam or Klonopin. These particular drugs are best used during emergency situations.
Despite their effectiveness, most people try to prevent as much as possible using panic medications due to the nature of their side-effects. The most common side-effects of using any panic medication are dry mouth, upset stomach, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, insomnia, trouble sleeping and sleepiness, seizures, sexual dysfunction, comatose, among others.
Also commonly referred to as talk therapy or counseling, psychotherapy is a group of techniques that are known to produce better results for panic attack than medications. Exposure therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBTand psychodynamic psychotherapy are three of the most effective psychotherapeutic methods used in treatment of panic attack.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is a technique that aims to change the thinking pattern of someone with panic disorder to prevent attacks from recurring. This essentially tries to change behaviors by correcting one’s pattern of thinking.
Exposure therapy makes use of simulation techniques that recreate actual conditions that trigger panic attacks. In this method, patients are taught how to respond more appropriately to levels of anxiety, eventually allowing them to become more capable of handling the symptoms.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy focuses more on investigating the internal emotional conflicts that play significant roles in the triggering of panic attacks and avoidance behaviors that most patients use to get away from possible future attacks.
Most patients eventually resume to their normal lives after undergoing a carefully selected panic attack treatment. Consult your doctor regarding the combination of treatments for you.
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