Treatment for anxiety-related panic attacks includes cognitive behavior therapy and medication, according to the National Institute on Mental Health. Some patients do best with medication or therapy alone, while others do best with a combination of the two.
Cognitive behavior therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is particularly effective for panic attacks, according to the National Institute on Mental Health. The process helps the patient think, behave and react in new ways in response to situations. The goal is to reduce fear and anxiety.
Doctors commonly prescribe anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants for patients with panic attacks. Beta blockers are another option but are not as commonly prescribed as the first two medications. Many anti-anxiety medications are quick acting; however, patients should not use them for long-term control of the condition, warns the National Institute on Mental Health.
While antidepressants treat depression, they are also useful with panic attacks caused by anxiety. Some of these medications take several weeks to work and cause undesirable side effects, such as headaches. These medications cause suicidal thoughts in some users, and children, teens and young adults require careful monitoring when starting their use, notes the National Institute on Mental Health
Doctors prescribe beta blockers because they control some of the physical symptoms of panic attacks, reports the National Institute on Mental Health. These medications help to reduce excessive perspiration, pounding heartbeat and dizziness during the panic attack.