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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Raj Tummala, MD (Wyeth Pharmaceuticals)
Description: This book is the latest practical complement to the author's Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications, 2nd Edition (Cambridge University Press, 2000). The book is a great, easy to use reference for any prescriber of psychotropic drugs.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a comprehensive, easy to read quick reference of psychotropics for the prescriber.
Audience: It is targeted towards anyone dealing with psychotropics such as students, residents, clinicians, and psychopharmacologists.
Features: Whereas Essential Psychopharmacology covered psychopharmacology from a conceptual and theoretical approach, The Prescriber's Guide details the drugs for clinical practice and offers practical guidance. The book covers 101 psychotropics including some of the recent additions to the market. All of the drugs are covered in similar format and detail, making it easy to use. Each drug is covered in adequate detail covering the most pertinent points. Information is presented in an easy to read bullet point format. Every drug is covered in five sections, each designated by a different color background. The therapeutics section covers both the FDA approved indications as well as commonly used conditions. Dr. Stahl has done a very unique job of explaining to the clinician what to look for "if it works" and covers alternative treatment strategies "if it doesn't work." He has taken the example of pharmaceutical guidelines in classifying the side effects into notable and life threatening. The section on dosing covers useful tips on dosing as well as on how to stop the drug. Special populations include both system related impairment as well the elderly, children, and pregnant patients. Dr. Stahl also presents his opinion on each drug in the section on pearls. This book extensively uses cartoon characters and icons to present the information in a fun to read format. Of special mention is the index which allows the clinician to easily find a drug based on either drug name (generic and trade names) or clinical disorder/symptom or drug class.
Assessment: "Psychopharmacology has gotten a lot more fun with this new book by Dr. Stahl. This is a very useful and easy to read update that clinicians can use in daily practice. The book is written in a very practical, user-friendly format differentiating itself from other books in this category. It is an absolute must for anyone dealing with psychopharmacology. "