Moclobemide and fluoxetine for panic disorder

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An international, multicentre, double blind parallel group study compared the tolerability and efficacy of moclobemide with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine for panic disorder. SSRIs have been shown effective for panic. The target dose of moclobemide was 450 mg and of fluoxetine was 20 mg. There were two consecutive studies. An eight week study of acute adverse events, tolerability and efficacy was followed by a long-term extension study to 1 year. The efficacy data showed no significant difference between moclobemide and fluoxetine. Both had acute efficacy, with 63 % moclobemide and 70 % fluoxetine patients (ns) panic free at 8 weeks. Both agents were well tolerated to 8 weeks, but noclobemide had fewer severe adverse events (5) that fluoxetine (9). There were no severe adverse events in the extension phase with either drug, and almost all patients completing 1 year extension treatment (moclobemide 61 patients, fluoxetine 65) were much or very much improved. These data suggest moclobemide and fluoxetine are tolerated and effective for both acute panic treatment and maintenance therapy.