Anxiety Home > Panic Disorder: Treatment and Statistics
Panic disorder is one of the most treatable of the anxiety disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy, medications, or a combination of both are generally used to treat the condition.
Medication can include high-potency anti-anxiety drugs like alprazolam. Several classes of antidepressants (such as paroxetine, one of the newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and the older tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO inhibitors) are considered "gold standards" for treating panic disorder. Sometimes, a combination of therapy and medication is the most effective approach to helping people manage their symptoms.
Proper treatment helps 70 to 90 percent of people with panic disorder, usually within six to eight weeks.
(Click Panic Attack Medication for more information on medicines used to treat panic disorder.)
Approximately 2.4 million American adults ages 18 to 54, or about 1.7 percent of people in this age group, have panic disorder in a given year.
Panic disorder typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood.
About one in three people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia, a condition in which they become afraid of being in any place or situation where escape might be difficult or help unavailable in the event of a panic attack.