Roberto Firmino edged close to the opener for Brazil after 18 minutes, but the Liverpool forward failed to steer his effort on target before Arthur Melo flashed wide from outside the box five minutes later.
The Selecao were ahead after 32 minutes after Lucas Paqueta fired home Casemiro’s delivery at the far post for his first international goal.
The joy was short-lived as Adolfo Machado leaped high to nod home from a free-kick close the area four minutes later.
Panama made a bright start to the second half, but Ederson managed to get across to deny Alex Rodriguez on 49 minutes.
Two minutes later, Brazil were then denied by the frame of the crossbar, as Richarlison looked to increase their advantage following a first-time shot on the volley.
Tite then opted for a change and made a double one in Everton for Paqueta and Gabriel Jesus for Firmino just moments before Harold Cummings struck the crossbar for Panama from a free-kick.
Despite the resilience from the visitors, Brazil still threatened to break through as Richarlison drew a solid save from Luis Mejia with 20 minutes remaining.
A minute later, the crossbar was rattled for the third time in the match through Casemiro from Phillipe Coutinho’s corner as Selecao upped the tempo.
The five-time World Champions continued searching for the winner, but Panama hung to claim a favourable draw.