CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Aug. 17, 2000
People with panic attacks invited to participate in
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- People who have panic attacks are
invited to participate in a University of Iowa Health Care study to test a
new medication, pagoclone, for the condition. Panic attacks, also known as
anxiety attacks, cause people to feel fear, dread or doom accompanied by physical
sensations such as a rapid heart beat, shortness of breath, wobbly legs, hot
flashes and "butterflies" in the stomach. These episodes typically last five
or fewer minutes.
Participants must be age18 or older, in good medical
health overall and experiencing recurrent panic attacks. Women must not be
pregnant or planning to get pregnant during the study period. Participation
includes nine visits to the UI over eight weeks. Blood draws for routine lab
tests and EKGs will be performed at the first and last visits. Half of the
participants will receive the test medication while the remaining participants
will receive a placebo (sugar pill).
The goal of the study is to test the effectiveness
of the medication for treating panic disorder, said Donald W. Black, M.D.,
UI professor of psychiatry and lead investigator of the study.
"Panic attacks are very common," Black said. "Nearly
15 percent of the population experiences panic attacks, and 3.5 percent have
He added that nearly two out of three people with
the condition are women and that the common age of onset is 25 years.
"People with anxiety attacks are afraid to be in certain
places and situations, such as shopping in stores, for fear of an attack,"
Black said. "Many people with the condition have depression or develop agoraphobia
-- fear of public places -- and become housebound."
The study is sponsored by Pfizer, which manufactures
pagoclone. For more information, call Black at (319) 353-4431.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership
between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the
patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.