APR 14, 2018 5:45 PM PDT

A Digitalized Drug-Free Treatment for Panic Disorders

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A drug-free treatment known as Freespira® was developed by a digitalized therapeutic company, Palo Alto Health Sciences, Inc. (PAHS), for the treatment of a variety of panic disorders including panic attacks.

According to the Mayo Clinic, panic attacks are a “sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause”. When panic attacks occur, they can be very frightening and many individuals experiencing a panic attack might feel like they’re a losing control, going through a heart attack or even dying. Clinical symptoms vary but may include: a rapid, pounding heart rate, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath or tightness in the throat, hot flashes, nausea, and abdominal cramping.

Treating panic attacks ranges from all forms of psychotherapy to medications. But with the development of Freespira, panic attacks may have the potential to be effectively treated at home without the need of therapy or drugs. With a recent clinical study, Freespira was shown to be effective in treating symptoms of a panic attack in about 80% of the patients. These patients were found to be panic-attack free a year after the treatment.

Additionally, two studies also showed a success in the reduction of clinical symptoms in nearly 80% of Freespira-treated patients, who were free from panic attacks at 12 months post-treatment. "Studies of the Freespira treatment have shown that this innovative approach to treating patients suffering from panic symptoms and panic attacks not only significantly reduces or eliminates these symptoms in approximately 80% of patients, but also results in meaningful reduction in health costs,” explains David Tolin, Ph.D., Director of Anxiety Disorders Center, The Institute of Living, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. Furthermore, Debra Reisenthel, CEO of Palo Alto Health Sciences, also added that "Patients with panic symptoms and panic attacks have 3-5 times higher medical costs than patients without panic due to higher utilization of medical resources, including ED visits, physician visits and prescription drugs."

Freespira is an FDA-approved, drug-free, and an effective easy–to-administer treatment. Once prescribed, the patient can undergo a training session and then administer the treatment themselves at the comfort of their own home. An individual prescribed Freespira at home, must perform two 17-minute breathing sessions per day over a four-week period, after which the treatment is complete.

Freespira was shown to greatly decrease or eliminate symptoms of panic attacks or panic disorders. Since a hallmark of a panic disorder includes chronic hyperventilation, Freespira works stabilize the rate of respiration and exhaled carbon dioxide levels, which decreases or eliminates panic attacks.

Sources: PR Newswire, Mayo Clinic, Freespira

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
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