Cardiovascular and symptomatic reduction effects of alprazolam and imipramine in patients with panic disorder: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Taylor CB., Hayward C., King R., Ehlers A., Margraf J., Maddock R., Clark D., Roth WT., Agras WS.
Seventy-nine patients with panic disorder were randomized to an 8-week double-blind treatment with alprazolam, imipramine, or placebo. Patients kept daily records of panic attacks, activity, anxiety, sleep, and medication use. Weekly measures of anxiety, depression, somatic symptoms, fears, avoidance, disability, and improvement were obtained. All patients underwent a symptom-limited exercise treadmill and other cardiovascular measures. By physician and patient global assessment, patients receiving alprazolam or imipramine were significantly better than patients on placebo. The alprazolam effects were apparent by week 1; the imipramine effects by week 4. All groups showed significant reductions in anxiety, depression, somatic measures, and panic attack frequency. At 8 weeks, patients in the alprazolam group reported significantly less fear than patients in the other two groups. Subjects in the imipramine group showed a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure.