0
Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

1
Letter to the Editor   |    
Sibutramine and Panic Attacks
KAREN BINKLEY, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.; SANDRA R. KNOWLES, B.SC.PHM.
Am J Psychiatry 2002;159:1793-a-1794. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.159.10.1793-a

To the editor: Sibutramine, a nonamphetamine appetite suppressant, is a selective norepinephrine, serotonin, and—to a lesser extent—dopamine reuptake inhibitor (1). There have been previous reports of psychosis (2), depression, mood changes, palpitations, and chest tightness associated with sibutramine, and hypomania has been linked to the combination of sibutramine and citalopram (3). However, to our knowledge, there have been no reported exacerbations of panic attacks. We report on a patient who had a history of panic attacks and experienced a recurrence of panic symptoms shortly after starting sibutramine.

Ms. A, a 62-year-old woman, had been diagnosed as having panic attacks during her mid-20s and had been initially treated with anxiolytics. She had been panic-free without treatment since her mid-30s, except for two attacks, both of which had occurred after minor surgical procedures.

Ms. A started taking sibutramine, 10 mg/day, for weight loss. After 1½ weeks of taking sibutramine, she had two panic attacks in rapid succession. She discontinued the medication for several days and had no further attacks. She then restarted sibutramine and had another panic attack within approximately 3 days. She again discontinued sibutramine and has been asymptomatic for 5 months. Ms. A declined a third exposure to sibutramine. She was not unduly apprehensive about taking medication, and there were no obvious psychological stressors present at the time.

While it is not possible to definitively prove a causal relationship between sibutramine and panic attacks, the temporal relationship of the onset and disappearance of the panic attacks to the initiation and discontinuation of sibutramine is suggestive. With the Naranjo Adverse Drug Reactions Probability Scale (4), a high-probability relationship between sibutramine and the panic attacks was demonstrated in our patient. Although the mechanism for this reaction is unknown, physicians prescribing sibutramine should be aware of this potentially important side effect.

McNeely W, Goa KL: Sibutramine: a review of its contribution to the management of obesity. Drugs  1998; 56:1093-1124
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Taflinski T, Chojnacka J: Sibutramine-associated psychotic episode (letter). Am J Psychiatry  2000; 157:2057-2058
[CrossRef]
 
Benazzi F: Organic hypomania secondary to sibutramine-citalopram interaction (letter). J Clin Psychiatry  2002; 63:165
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Naranjo CA, Busto U, Sellers EM, Sandor P, Ruiz I, Roberts EA, Janecek E, Domecq C, Greenblatt DJ: A method for estimating the probability of adverse drug reactions. Clin Pharmacol Ther  1981; 30:239-245
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
+

References

McNeely W, Goa KL: Sibutramine: a review of its contribution to the management of obesity. Drugs  1998; 56:1093-1124
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Taflinski T, Chojnacka J: Sibutramine-associated psychotic episode (letter). Am J Psychiatry  2000; 157:2057-2058
[CrossRef]
 
Benazzi F: Organic hypomania secondary to sibutramine-citalopram interaction (letter). J Clin Psychiatry  2002; 63:165
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Naranjo CA, Busto U, Sellers EM, Sandor P, Ruiz I, Roberts EA, Janecek E, Domecq C, Greenblatt DJ: A method for estimating the probability of adverse drug reactions. Clin Pharmacol Ther  1981; 30:239-245
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
+
+

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe



Web of Science® Times Cited: 17

Related Content
Books
Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7th Edition > Chapter 2.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th Edition > Chapter 12.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th Edition > Chapter 12.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th Edition > Chapter 12.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th Edition > Chapter 12.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
PubMed Articles