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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the third edition of what has come to be recognized as one of the best books on psychopharmacology. It thoroughly reviews all aspects of psychotropic medication. The previous edition was published in 1999.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a clinical logic that incorporates contemporary knowledge about drug therapies into the overall management of the mentally ill. The book succeeds on all counts.
Audience: According to the authors, the book is targeted at residents and practicing clinicians in psychiatry and family medicine, as well as psychiatric nurses, social workers, and psychologists. Although not written in overtly technical language, the book in reality is probably better suited to residents and practicing clinicians.
Features: The book begins with a general overview of drug therapies, covering such things as diagnostic assessment, pertinent laboratory findings, a review of clinical trial design (often ignored or forgotten by the average practicing clinician), and pharmacokinetics. The book then moves on to discuss the several classes of psychotropic drugs (i.e., antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and anxiolytics), devoting a separate chapter to the indications for and treatment with each class. There are chapters on electroconvulsive therapy and special populations (e.g., treatment during pregnancy; geriatric psychiatry). An excellent appendix at the end provides a DSM-IV based diagnostic algorithm. A thorough index is also provided.
Assessment: The editor and his colleagues have managed to improve upon their already excellent book. It is written in concise, easy-to-understand prose, and is devoid of unnecessary detail. There are many good books devoted to psychopharmacology, but the thoroughness and conciseness of this new edition places it at the top of its class. It is thoroughly recommended to any clinician who uses psychotropic medication or treats the mentally ill.