Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: panic | attacks | chronic | anxiety | drugs | medication | ativan

I Need Help With Panic Attacks

Monday, 11 Jun 2012 03:44 PM


Question: I am a 55 year old woman and have suffered from chronic anxiety and panic attacks for years. I currently take Ativan, but I still get panic attacks. Is there some other medication I could try?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
People who suffer from panic attacks often have a hard time feeling safe in any public place, especially where crowds gather. Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications are used to treat anxiety and panic symptoms. Ativan is a drug used for treating anxiety. Other similar anti-anxiety drugs include Valium and Xanax.
These drugs do carry a risk of addiction or tolerance (where higher and higher doses become necessary to achieve the same effect), so they are not as desirable for long-term use. Other possible side effects include drowsiness, poor concentration, and irritability.
Only your own doctor will be able to prescribe the right drug for you. In some cases, a combination of antidepressants may be necessary. Antidepressants can cause side effects that seem just like a panic attack, so your doctor may try a low dose at first.



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Dr-Hibberd
Besides anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants are also used to treat anxiety disorder and panic attacks.
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