Drug treatment is only advised for severe mental conditions (Westen, 2006). There are general classes of drugs typically prescribed for mentally-disturbed patients. These include anxiolytics or tranquillizers for anxiety, antipsychotics for psychotic symptoms, anti-epileptics for epilepsy, and antidepressants for depression (WHO, 2001). The efficacy of several drugs has been tested for different types of mental and behavioral disorders in parallel with cognitive-behavioral approaches.
It is worthy to note that these drugs attack the symptoms of the illness and not the causes of or illness per se (WHO, 2001). Although, several studies reported the significant improvement of patient through drug treatment, the conclusive findings on the efficacy of the drug treatment alone in the reduction of the frequency and intensity of panic attacks were not yet reported (Westen, 2006). In line with this, drugs are primarily intended for symptoms control and prevention of relapse.
Besides, side effects of drug treatments were noted and the probability of drug dependence was also foreseen. For instance, the use of Benzodiazepines and Kava made little improvements among the patients but correlated with drowsiness, drug dependency, and cirrhosis (Westen, 2006). In drug medication, antidepressant drugs are fundamentally prescribed to patients. Specifically, positive response among patients was observed in taking selected serotonin inhibitors or SSRIs which has negligible adverse effects as compared to tricyclic antidepressants, TCAs (Bakker, van Balkom, and Stein, 2005).
Further, the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, of the United States recognized the safety of sertraline, fluoxetine, and paroxetine. The SSRIs drugs should be administered in one third to one-half of their dose as antidepressant: 5-10 mg, 25-50 mg, and 10 mg respectively for fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine (Bakker, van Balkom, and Stein, 2005). In the same way, the efficiency of monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs was also observed in treating the depression comorbidities such as overweight and hypersomnia.
However, their applications were delimited by other clinical conditions like maintenance of low-tyramine diet, orthostatic hypotension, and insomnia. Moreover, antidepressants may take effect for about 2 to 6 weeks and their doses depend mainly on the patient’s clinical response. Since the unpredicted panic attacks necessitate for immediate relief, benzodiazepines has been very effective in the early stage of treatment and at irregular interval subsequently.
For instance, alprazolam is administered at 0. 5 mg at a four times a day basis, then, adjusted to 4 mg in divides doses daily (Bakker, van Balkom, and Stein, 2005). Some patients develop dependence on this drug at high doses which eventually leads to increasing the drug dosage to elicit the desired clinical response. Likewise, clonazepam is also effective at 2-4 mg daily dosage (Bakker, van Balkom, and Stein, 2005). The dependency issue for this drug is less likely to occur for the required dose is given twice-daily as it has a longer half-life.