I think I've only ever had 2 true panic attacks in my life and they scared the living daylights out of me. I feel very sorry for you if you get them often - that's awful.
It's a problem because by the time they're happening it's too late for medication, unless I guess if you took something every day to try and lower your general level of anxiety? Or maybe you could try meditation or something similar to do the same thing. How effective it would be I couldn't say for sure though.