Imipramine and alprazolam effects on stress test reactivity in panic disorder

Walton T. Roth, Jürgen Margraf, Anke Ehlers, John M. Haddad, Richard J Maddock, W. Stewart Agras, C. Barr Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The reactivity of 40 panic disorder patients on mental arithmetic, cold pressor, and 5% CO2 inhalation stressors was tested before and after 8 weeks of treatment with imipramine, alprazolam, or placebo. Mean levels of subjective and physiological stress measures were compared during a baseline before any stressors were given, and at anticipation, stressor, and recovery periods for each stressor. After treatment, imipramine patients differed from the other two treatment groups on the prestressor baseline in showing higher systolic blood pressure (mean difference about 10 mm Hg), higher diastolic blood pressure (10 mm Hg), higher heart rate (15 bpm), less respiratory sinus arrhythmia, shorter pulse transit time, and lower T-wave amplitude. Respiratory measures, electrodermal measures, body movement, and self-reported anxiety and excitement did not distinguish the groups. Reactivity to the stress tests was unaffected by the medications, but tonic differences present in the baseline persisted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-51
Number of pages17
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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