A Primer of Drug Action: A Concise Nontechnical Guide to the Actions, Uses, and Side Effects of Psychoactive Drugs, Revised and Updated / Edition 9

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Overview

Since 1975, Robert Julien's A Primer of Drug Action has been the definitive guide to the effects of psychoactive drugs on the brain and on behavior. Now fully updated, this popular guide continues to lead the way through a rapidly changing field, providing readers with a clear, contemporary, and objective look at every drug and medication that either positively or adversely affects brain function. This edition includes important new information on
-Herbal medications
-Drug therapy for behavioral and anxiety disorders
-Clinical practice guidelines for treating psychological disorders
-Depression and the action of antidepressant drugs
-The use of newer anticonvulsants in the treatment of bipolar disorder, pain syndromes, and behavioral disorders
-Drug therapy for children, adolescents and the elderly
-"New generation" antipsychotic agents

Authoritative, comprehensive, and suitable for those with little background in biology, A Primer of Drug Action is an indispensable source of information for anyone interested in drug use, abuse, and education.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A complete, unbiased, and professional review of psychoactive drugs."—American Journal of Psychiatry

"A concise, easily readable guide to actions, uses, and side effects of psychoactive drugs . . . This book covers general principles of each class of psychoactive drugs and specific information about each drug within that class. It looks at mechanisms of action, theories about etiologies of major psychological disorders and rationale for drug treatment, and uses and limitations of psychopharmacology. It also includes basic explanations of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Drugs of compulsive use are emphasized. Each of the 20 chapters examines current and future directions in drug research (including drugs not yet available for clinical use). An interesting new chapter on herbal medications has been added. A brief glossary is included. This is a bold attempt to capture the explosion of knowledge about psychoactive substances . . . This is a good, comprehensive review that has organized and presented a massive amount of often disparate information into a comprehensible, easy to use book."—Nancy Schell, MD (Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center), Doody Review Services

"Since the primer's first edition 20 years ago, much has been learned about psychoactive drugs, their use in the treatment of mental disorders, and their potential for misuse. Chapters cover principles of drug action, properties of specific drugs, pharmacotherapy for various disorders, and societal issues. The primer's goal is to present information in clear language, free of jargon, for students and general readers, though scholarly syntax is the norm throughout."— Book News

"This in-depth survey of the effects of psychoactive drugs on the brain and behavior includes an expanded discussion of drug action and new discoveries in psychopharmacology since 1975. Surprisingly simple language lend insights to details on the actions, uses and side effects of these drugs. A valuable . . . reference addition."— Midwest Book Review

Zafeer Barki
This is the eighth edition of a book describing the mechanisms of action, indications, and side effects of psychotropic medications. The book also offers a good discussion of drugs of abuse. The purpose of this book is to provide pharmacological information in a clear and concise manner. The book successfully meets its objective of providing relevant information in plain English. Intended mainly for non-physicians, such as psychologists, psychotherapists and counselors, this is also a useful book for residents and medical students. Certain chapters are well illustrated, more so than others. However, it would be nice to have more tables for a quick reference. References in the book are pertinent and up-to-date. What makes this book stand out from others is its presentation of a complex subject, particularly the discussion of the mechanisms of action of medications and drugs of abuse, in a very readable format and language. This book is a good introduction to psychopharmacology and drugs of abuse, including alcohol. It is very useful for professionals in allied health sciences. The book can also be a good quick reference for the busy physician if more tables can be added to supplement the text. The space for these tables can be created by getting rid of Appendixes I and II, which I feel do not belong in this book.
From The Critics
Reviewer: Nancy Schell, MD (Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center)
Description: This is a concise, easily readable guide to actions, uses, and side effects of psychoactive drugs.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide accurate and timely information in clear language as free as possible from technical jargon so that readers may understand it with minimal background in the biological sciences.
Audience: The book is written for anyone interested in drug use, abuse, and education. The author is an anesthesiologist with a PhD, although it is unclear what the PhD is in.
Features: This book covers general principles of each class of psychoactive drugs and specific information about each drug within that class. It looks at mechanisms of action, theories about etiologies of major psychological disorders and rationale for drug treatment, and uses and limitations of psychopharmacology. It also includes basic explanations of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Drugs of compulsive use are emphasized. Each of the 20 chapters examines current and future directions in drug research (including drugs not yet available for clinical use). An interesting new chapter on herbal medications has been added. A brief glossary is included. This is a bold attempt to capture the explosion of knowledge about psychoactive substances. Although the book updated and rewritten, as in any area of science, some information may be changed by the time of publication and distribution.
Assessment: This is a good, comprehensive review that has organized and presented a massive amount of often disparate information into a comprehensible, easy to use book.
Booknews
From his home in Portland, Oregon, physician and pharmacologist Julien has updated his guide about every three years since 1975. Over 40% of his references here are to material published since the 1998 edition. He writes for readers with little background in biology or pharmacology, though more advanced readers will also find new information. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805071580
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 498
  • Sales rank: 1,362,877
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Julien, M.D., Ph.D., is staff anesthesiologist at St. Vincent Hospital and Medical Center in Portland, Oregon.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Classification of Psychoactive Drugs 1
2 Principles of Drug Action 6
Pharmacokinetics: How Drugs Move through the Body
3 Central Nervous System Depressants: Concepts and Traditional Agents 51
General Concepts
Four Agents of Central Nervous System Depression
4 Central Nervous System Depressants: Benzodiazepines, "Second Generation" Anxiolytics, and Antiepileptic Drugs 74
Benzodiazepines
"Second Generation" Anxiolytics
Antiepileptic Drugs Used in Treating Psychological Disorders
5 Central Nervous System Depressants: Alcohol 101
6 Psychostimulants: Cocaine and the Amphetamine 124
Cocaine
Amphetamines and Related Drugs
7 Psychostimulants: Caffeine and Nicotine 158
Caffeine
Nicotine
8 Pharmacotherapy of Mood Disorders: Drugs for Treating Major Depression 186
9 Pharmacotherapy of Mood Disorders: Drugs for Treating Bipolar Disorder 216
10 Analgesics: Narcotic and Nonnarcotic Drugs 233
Opioid Analgesics
Nonnarcotic Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Drugs
11 Antipsychotic (Neuroleptic) and Antiparkinsonian Drugs 269
Antipsychotic (Neuroleptic) Drugs
Antiparkinsonian Drugs
12 Psychedelic Drugs: Mescaline, LSD, and Other "Mind Expanding" Hallucinogens 301
13 Marijuana: A Unique Sedative-Euphoriant-Psychedelic Drug 330
14 Fertility-Regulating Drugs and Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids 356
Pharmacological Regulation of Fertility
Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids
15 Drugs and Society: Priorities and Alternatives 386
Psychoactive Drugs as Behavioral Reinforcers
Drug Use and Abuse
16 Integration of Drugs and Psychotherapy in Treating Mental Disorders 415
Concept of Integrated Treatment
DSM-IV Classification of Mental Disorders
Integrated Treatment of Major Disorders
Appendix I Basic Anatomy of the Central Nervous System 443
Appendix II Physiology of the Neuron 452
Appendix III Synaptic Transmission, Neurotransmitters, and Information Transfer in the CNS 464
Glossary 489
Bibliography: A Basic Pharmacology Bookshelf 498
Index 499
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2003

    A Patient's Guide to Understanding their Medications, their Doctor and Themselves.

    Having a mental illness is frustrating enough, but when you fail to understand your medications, their mechanisms of action (and reaction), it can be very frightening and even dangerous. Even the best psychiatrist cannot explain your medication, thoroughly, in a 20-minute session, most of which is spent chatting, so that the doctor may make objective observations and form conclusions. The void between knowing a drug's stated purpose and your subjective response, inhibits compliance and can even be harmful, when ignorance of potential interactions enter the picture. Dr. Julien, presents a comprehensive overview of a wide range of psychoactive agents, that even non-medical persons can understand. This knowlege can promote a greater trust, better compliance and communication between you and your doctor. Awareness of your treatment options, enables you to negotiate with your psychiatrist, should the current treatment be failing to achieve it's goal, or producing excessive distress, from negative side effects. Subtances of abuse are discussed, as well. Understanding the negative impact of these drugs can help the 'dual-diagnosis' patient to cooperate with the treatment plan. This primer has helped me to successfully improve my conditon, Bipolar I (mixed), by enabling me to understand what my doctor is doing, what I am experiencing and how to give him concise feedback on my progress and complaints. I feel like I am a part of my treatment's direction and can understand why certain drugs help, while others may not. While some doctor's may resent their patient's knowlege of what's going on, the finest doctors encourage you to investigate your illness. I believe that this investigative process, must include your treatment plan, as well. This book has helped me and many others, with mental disorders to become proactive partners, working with our doctors and not against them, or ourselves.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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