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February 1983

Treatment of Agoraphobia and Panic Attacks

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(2):220-222. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790020118013

A number of double-blind placebo-controlled studies have demonstrated the efficacy of imipramine hydrochloride1-4 and phenelzine sulfate4-7 in the treatment of phobic disorders, particularly agoraphobia associated with panic attacks. Uncontrolled clinical observations suggest that other "antidepressants" may also be effective. In this issue of the Archives, Zitrin and her New York colleagues present the final results of a study of the treatment of patients with phobic disorders (see p 125). Their study was started in 1972 and described in a preliminary report in this journal.2 Marks and his British colleagues also present in this issue results of a similar investigation, but they arrive at quite different conclusions (see p 153). Briefly, the New York group concludes that imipramine is effective in the treatment of phobic patients with panic attacks. Furthermore, dynamically oriented supportive psychotherapy is as effective as behavior therapy, as long as both lead to confrontation with

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