Continuing treatment of panic disorder after acute response: randomised, placebo-controlled trial with fluoxetine. The Fluoxetine Panic Disorder Study Group.
D Michelson, M Pollack, R B Lydiard, R Tamura, R Tepner, G Tollefson


BACKGROUND Data concerning appropriate treatment in panic disorder following an initial response to acute therapy are limited.

AIMS To assess the safety and efficacy of continued fluoxetine treatment following successful acute therapy of panic disorder.

METHOD Patients who responded to acute fluoxetine treatment were randomised to 24 weeks of continued fluoxetine or placebo.

RESULTS Fluoxetine responders randomised to continue on their acute-phase fluoxetine dose experienced statistically significant improvement in panic attack frequency and phobia rating scale score over 24 weeks of therapy, while those switched to placebo experienced statistically significant worsening in Hamilton Anxiety (HAM-A), Hamilton Depression (HAM-D) and SCL-90-R rating scores.

CONCLUSIONS Fluoxetine was associated with improved clinical outcomes compared with placebo during continuation therapy.