Cases That Test Your Skills

An unexplained exacerbation of depression, anxiety, and panic

Author and Disclosure Information



Bottom Line

Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the adrenal gland. The classic triad of symptoms of this rare condition is hypertension, sweating, and headache; approximately 30% of patients report significant anxiety and panic. Several medications, including tricyclic antidepressants, beta-blockers, and buspirone, can lead to false-positive results on the serum and urine metanephrines testing used to diagnose pheochromocytoma.

Related Resources

Drug Brand Names

Alprazolam • Xanax
Amitriptyline • Elavil
Buspirone • Buspar
Carvedilol • Coreg
Clonidine • Catapres
Doxazosin • Cardura
Hydroxyzine • Vistaril
Lisinopril • Prinivil, Zestril
Paroxetine • Paxil
Prazosin • Minipress
Propranolol • Inderal
Terazosin • Hytrin
Trazodone • Desyrel
Zolpidem • Ambien

Next Article: