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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Aaron Plattner, MD (Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services)
Description: The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Psychopharmacology was first published in 1995 and is now in its fourth edition. After its second edition was published, the editors developed this Essentials version, which draws on the textbook to present information needed in daily practice. This update is necessary, given the new research and psychiatric treatment options available since the 2006 edition.
Purpose: Understanding that the textbook provides more detailed information than is needed for busy clinicians in their daily practice, the editors strove to provide a book that presents the essential information in a succinct yet comprehensive manner.
Audience: The audience includes "psychiatric residents, primary care physicians, and other health care professionals." While psychiatrists may want to consult the more complete textbook, any healthcare providers who work with psychiatric patients would benefit from this version, particularly those who prescribe psychotropic medications. The editors draw on leading experts as contributors.
Features: The book is divided into two sections, with the first describing classes of psychiatric treatments and the second covering psychopharmacological treatment. The first section systematically reviews the available psychotropic medications in the different drug classes (e.g., antipsychotics). The second section details the treatment options for major psychiatric disorders (e.g., bipolar disorder) and for specific patient populations (e.g., pregnant patients). Throughout the book, graphics help readers better understand the information, and chapters end with helpful summaries and references.
Assessment: I have read other psychopharmacology books (e.g., Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications, 4th edition, Stahl (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Principles and Practice of Psychopharmacotherapy, 5th edition, Janicak et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011)), and smaller general handbooks, but this is the first complete psychopharmacology book I've seen that strives to present essential information about various treatment options. It is excellent in its presentation of all of the treatment options, including therapy, ECT, etc., in a way that enables readers to gather the information they need quickly. The format, with the two separate sections that examine medications by themselves and then treatment for specific psychiatric disorders, is also helpful. I highly recommend this book to any mental healthcare provider. A new edition will be necessary to reflect the DSM-V as well as new research data.