Alpidem, an imidazopyridine that acts at the gamma-aminobutyric acid/benzodiazepine receptor complex, has been reported to be an effective anxiolytic with a more favorable side effect profile than benzodiazepines. The effect of alpidem was investigated in an 8-week, open, clinical trial in 13 patients with panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia. Three patients were responders (much improved or very much improved), five patients were nonresponders, and five patients dropped out after less than 6 weeks of treatment. Significant improvement was seen in the sample as a whole for spontaneous panic attacks, phobic avoidance, and anticipatory anxiety. Most improvement occurred during the first 4 weeks of treatment, and responders had milder panic disorder at baseline. Adverse effects were generally mild. After 8 weeks of treatment, taper of medication over 2 weeks occurred without significant worsening of panic disorder symptoms. The efficacy of alpidem in the treatment of panic disorder remains uncertain and requires assessment in a controlled trial.