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Brief Reports   |    
Protective effects of imipramine maintenance treatment in panic disorder with agoraphobia
Am J Psychiatry 1992;149:1053-1057.
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OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to assess and compare the differential relapse rates of patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia after discontinuation of acute treatment (6 months) or acute plus maintenance treatment (18 months) with imipramine. METHOD: Sixteen patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia who had shown marked and stable response to 6 months of acute imipramine treatment and a comparable group of 14 patients who had been in remission during an additional year of half-dose imipramine maintenance treatment entered a 3-month, double-blind discontinuation study followed by a 3- month drug-free period. Assessments of the patients were made according to operationalized response/relapse criteria, and plasma drug concentrations were monitored. RESULTS: Survival analysis revealed significantly different cumulative probabilities of continued response 6 months after discontinuation of imipramine treatment between the patients who had received only acute treatment and those who had received acute and maintenance treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The results support the hypothesis that successful imipramine maintenance treatment of patients with panic and agoraphobia can have protective effects against relapse, at least in the first 6 months after the maintenance treatment period.

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