ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the drug of choice for treatment of patients with panic disorder. Most patients have a favorable response to SSRI therapy; however, 30 percent will not be able to tolerate these drugs or will have an unfavorable or incomplete response. Strategies to improve management of such patients include optimizing SSRI dosing (starting at a low dose and slowly increasing the dose to reach the target dose) and ensuring an adequate trial before switching to a different drug. Benzodiazepines should be avoided but, when necessary, may be used for a short duration or may be used long-term in patients for whom other treatments have failed. Slower-onset, longer-acting benzodiazepines are preferred. All patients should be encouraged to try cognitive behavior therapy. Augmentation therapy should be considered in patients who do not have a complete response. Drugs to consider for use in augmentation therapy include benzodiazepines, buspirone, beta blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, and valproate sodium.
Treatment of Panic Disorder - Article
ABSTRACT: Panic disorder with or without agoraphobia occurs commonly in patients in primary care settings. This article assesses multiple evidence-based reviews of effective treatments for panic disorder. Antidepressant medications successfully reduce the severity of panic symptoms and eliminate panic attacks. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants are equally effective in the treatment of panic disorder. The choice of medication is based on side effect profiles and patient preferences. Strong evidence supports the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy in treating panic disorder. Family physicians who are not trained in cognitive behavior therapy may refer patients with panic disorder to therapists with such training. Cognitive behavior therapy can be used alone or in combination with antidepressants to treat patients with panic disorder. Benzodiazepines are effective in treating panic disorder symptoms, but they are less effective than antidepressants and cognitive behavior therapy.
Diagnosing the Cause of Chest Pain - Article
ABSTRACT: Chest pain presents a diagnostic challenge in outpatient family medicine. Noncardiac causes are common, but it is important not to overlook serious conditions such as an acute coronary syndrome, pulmonary embolism, or pneumonia. In addition to a thorough history and physical examination, most patients should have a chest radiograph and an electrocardiogram. Patients with chest pain that is predictably exertional, with electrocardiogram abnormalities, or with cardiac risk factors should be evaluated further with measurement of troponin levels and cardiac stress testing. Risk of pulmonary embolism can be determined with a simple prediction rule, and a D-dimer assay can help determine whether further evaluation with helical computed tomography or venous ultrasound is needed. Fever, egophony, and dullness to percussion suggest pneumonia, which can be confirmed with chest radiograph. Although some patients with chest pain have heart failure, this is unlikely in the absence of dyspnea; a brain natriuretic peptide level measurement can clarify the diagnosis. Pain reproducible by palpation is more likely to be musculoskeletal than ischemic. Chest pain also may be associated with panic disorder, for which patients can be screened with a two-item questionnaire. Clinical prediction rules can help clarify many of these diagnoses.
ABSTRACT: Panic disorder is a distressing and debilitating condition with a familial tendency; it may be associated with situational (agoraphobic) avoidance. The diagnosis of panic disorder requires recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and at least one of the following characteristics: persistent concern about having an additional attack (anticipatory anxiety); worry about the implications of an attack or its consequences (e.g., a catastrophic medical or mental consequence) and making a significant change in behavior as a consequence of the attacks. A variety of pharmacologic interventions is available, as are non-pharmacologic cognitive or cognitive-behavioral therapies that have demonstrated safety and efficacy in the treatment of panic disorder. Early detection and thoughtful selection of appropriate first-line interventions can help these patients, who often have been impaired for years, regain their confidence and ability to function in society.
Psychological Interventions for Noncardiac Chest Pain - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Approximately 1 percent of primary care office visits are for chest pain, and 1.5 percent of these patients will have unstable angina or acute myocardial infarction. The initial goal in patients presenting with chest pain is to determine if the patient needs to be referred for further testing to rule in or out acute coronary syndrome and myocardial infarction. The physician should consider patient characteristics and risk factors to help determine initial risk. Twelve-lead electrocardiography is typically the test of choice when looking for ST segment changes, new-onset left bundle branch block, presence of Q waves, and new-onset T wave inversions. For persons in whom the suspicion for ischemia is lower, other diagnoses to consider include chest wall pain/costochondritis (localized pain reproducible by palpation), gastroesophageal reflux disease (burning retrosternal pain, acid regurgitation, and a sour or bitter taste in the mouth), and panic disorder/anxiety state. Other less common but important diagnostic considerations include pneumonia (fever, egophony, and dullness to percussion), heart failure, pulmonary embolism (consider using the Wells criteria), acute pericarditis, and acute thoracic aortic dissection (acute chest or back pain with a pulse differential in the upper extremities). Persons with a higher likelihood of acute coronary syndrome should be referred to the emergency department or hospital.