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December 1984

Considerations in β-Adrenergic Blocker Evaluation

Author Affiliations

New York State Psychiatric Institute 722 W 168th St New York, NY 10032

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(12):1185-1186. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790230071013

To the Editor.—  Two recent articles have reported on the use of β-adrenergic blocking agents in the treatment of panic disorder. Gorman et al1 reported on the effects of intravenously (IV) administered propranolol hydrochloride in lactate-induced panic in patients with preexisting panic disorders, and Noyes et al2 compared the efficacy of diazepam with propranolol in the treatment of patients who had panic disorder and agoraphobia. Gorman et al1 found that pretreatment with IV-administered propranolol failed to prevent panic attacks in any of the six patients who received a lactate infusion, and Noyes et al reported that "propranolol did not reduce the number and severity of panic attacks."2It is our opinion that two major considerations in evaluating the efficacy of β-blocking agents in the treatment of behavioral and emotional disorders are dose and duration of treatment. Our group has been investigating the efficacy of propranolol in

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