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A randomized, controlled trial of aerobic exercise in combination with paroxetine in the treatment of panic disorder.

Author(s): Wedekind D, Broocks A, Weiss N, Engel K, Neubert K, Bandelow B

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany. dwedeki1@gwdg.de

Publication date & source: 2010-10, World J Biol Psychiatry., 11(7):904-13.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

OBJECTIVES: Regular aerobic exercise (running) has been shown to be superior to a pill placebo in the treatment of panic disorder. Combined drug and exercise treatment has not been investigated in randomized controlled studies to date. METHODS: This is a randomized, 10-week, controlled, parallel group, pilot study. A total of 75 outpatients with panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (DSM-IV and ICD-10) received either (1) exercise plus paroxetine 40 mg/day (n=21), (2) relaxation plus paroxetine (n=17), (3) exercise plus pill placebo (n=20), or (4) relaxation plus pill placebo (n=17). Changes in the Panic and Agoraphobia Scale (P&A), and the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI) underwent repeated measure analysis. RESULTS: Effects sizes were large for all groups (d=1.53-3.87), however not significantly different. Paroxetine-treated patients were significantly more improved than placebo-treated patients. On the CGI, patients in the exercise groups (plus paroxetine or placebo) had a trend toward better improvement compared to relaxation (P=0.06). Response and remission rates were higher in the paroxetine compared to pill placebo groups. CONCLUSIONS: While paroxetine was superior to placebo, aerobic exercise did not differ from relaxation training in most efficacy measures.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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