What are the potential adverse effects of benzodiazepines in the management of panic disorder?

Updated: Mar 21, 2018
  • Author: Mohammed A Memon, MD; Chief Editor: Randon S Welton, MD  more...
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Answer

Because panic disorder is usually a chronic disorder, sole reliance on habituating drugs is discouraged. Benzodiazepine dependence can occur in 30% of patients who are on therapy that lasts longer than 8 weeks. [30] It is less likely to occur in patients without a history of chemical or emotional dependence. Benzodiazepine abuse is suggested by escalating dose consumption over time.

Note that benzodiazepine withdrawal can precipitate panic. The primary physician should gradually taper doses over several weeks or months.


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