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Posted April 27, 2009
For several years, Aronson has edited multi-authored volumes of side effects of medications. These volumes, produced annually as the "SEDA" (Side Effects of Drugs Annuals), are the basis for this volume, which is focused on psychotropics and their side effects. Other contributing material derives from recent expositions of psychotropic medication adverse reactions. Meyler was a physician who was treated for tuberculosis at the end of World War II and who developed fever and deafness from this treatment. Meyler noted that there was no single volume that clinicians could use to determine side effects of medication, and he proceeded to publish such a book. The current text is a summary of recent findings regarding effects, side effects, and drug interactions of psychotropic medications.
Meyler's Side Effects of Psychiatric Drugs is divided into 6 major sections: Antidepressants (including lithium); Neuroleptic drugs; Hypnosedatives; Drugs of Abuse; Drugs used in Alzheimer's Disease; and Psychological and Psychiatric Side Effects of Non-psychiatric Drugs. Anticonvulsant mood stabilizers are also discussed. Each section is very comprehensive regarding the clinical uses of the class of medications, the side effects to be anticipated, drug interactions, long-term effects, and effects of drug overdosage. Compounds within a class are separately noted, and medications used throughout the world are discussed. There is an excellent and useful index, and each section has an excellent and up-to-date reference list.
I looked up my favorite medications and found the descriptions quite complete. I also learned quite a bit by reading the selected chapters.
I think that Aronson has compiled a very useful and clinically important volume. The material is quite important for clinicians who use psychotropic medications, and I believe that Meyler's Side Effects of Psychiatric Drugs will be a useful addition to the libraries of practicing clinicians. Although the current tendency is to find drug side effects and interactions through an internet service, this volume, in its completeness and ease of use, provides much more information than one would find on the internet.
David L. Dunner, MD, FACPsych
Director, Center for Anxiety and Depression
Mercer Island, WA
Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington