Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
There are no contraindications (bad interactions between these two drugs.
These are both antidepressants of the same family (SSRIs) and evidently do not work for your anxiety.
There are antianxiety medications that are very effective (benzodiazepine class such as clonazepam (Klonopin) and alprazolam (Xanax).
However, if you take too much you can get addicted.
If you more or less can feel your panic attack building and take some Xanax, for example, as needed, the panic attack will not materialize and you will not suffer ill effects. It is rarely addictive.
Paxil and citalopram, however, cannot be quit cold turkey as you will suffer withdrawal (discontinuation) symptoms.
There are other antidepressants that work well for anxiety and are not SSRIs.
The "best" of these, in my opinion, is bupropion (Wellbutrin) which does NOT cause weight gain or sexual side effects.
Ativan is also a benzodiazepine, better for general anxiety disorder (GAD) rather than panic, but will help for both. I am glad that you are aware of the possible dangers.
Give me a moment to confirm something about citalopram.
I would ask them to wean off it VERY VERY slowly, and monitor you. Citalopram can INCREASE anxiety, cause mood changes, cause NAUSEA, drowsiness, and INSOMNIA.
Withdrawal can be severe and can sometimes be reduced (commonly done) by switching to fluoxetine (Prozac) while tapering because Prozac has a very long half life.
Each med has its own half life, which means after a certain fixed time (half-life), then half the dose still remains.
Discontinuation symptoms are not due to that but to the body readjusting its own chemistry even after the drug is gone.
For your information the half life of citalopram is 35 hours.
If you taper slowly then you will not get the discontinuation symptoms and it will be out of your system within a week or less after your last dose, which will be a very small dose.
You are very welcome.