Okay so I thought I would say a few words about medications for panic disorder. The typical medication prescribed for panic disorder are benzodiazepines (xanax, klonopin, etc) and SSRI/SNRIs (prozac, zoloft, etc). Benzos act on your brain and basically calm down your brain if it is overexcited and your neurons are firing way too much. They act pretty quickly, within minutes, and so people like to take these when they feel a panic attack coming on because it will lessen or stop the attack. When I have taken these in the past I could almost feel them slowing my brain down. SSRIs are pretty complicated so I won't get into the mechanism of action but these are antidepressants and keep you in a "happier" basal state, I guess, so that you aren't as prone to feeling anxiety on a daily basis. You take them regularly every day. SSRIs would be considered more of a long term, in-the-background sort of thing whereas a benzo is short-acting and would be taken at the onset of a panic attack to achieve instant results.
I think both of these medications are great, and they have their purposes with other medical problems. But not ours. Our problem is essentially a fear of the fear response. To get over this you need to prove to your brain that this fight-or-flight response is NOT something to be scared of. But if you are someone that pops a xanax every time you have an attack you are telling your brain "Yes, amygdala, this is a VERY scary and dangerous situation, so I am going to take this pill and make it go away". You are confirming to your amygdala that there was in fact a dangerous or scary event going on. This is the opposite of what you want to do.
Think about it: what is so scary about a panic attack? It is the fear of death, of going crazy, of having something terribly wrong with you, of passing out. If you are having an attack and you take a xanax and then your attack goes away....guess what - you just confirmed that you were having a panic attack and it is not some life threatening illness. It means that you are not going to die, you are not going crazy, you do not have anything terribly wrong with you and you are not going to pass out. This, if anything, should give you all of the confidence in the world to go out there and power through a panic attack and start to retrain your amygdala.
If you have been on medication for a while I know it will be very scary to get off of it. But if you want to get rid of this disorder for good, you have to show your amygdala that a panic attack is nothing to be afraid of. And unfortunately you can't do that with medication as a security blanket.