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From The CriticsProzac and Other Antidepressants is about the class of drugs known as antidepressants. The introduction and the foreword are brief summaries of the dangers of illicit drug use and offer encouragement to stay away from illegal drugs, tobacco products, and alcohol. The first chapter, "What Is Depression?" describes the disorder very well and lists the signs of depression. This discussion is followed by a concise history of antidepressant therapy and an examination of the modern treatment for depression, using antidepressants and psychotherapy. The next chapter describes how antidepressants work, from a biochemical point of view. The reader must have some knowledge of biochemistry in order to understand this material. The monoamine oxidase inhibitors, the tricyclic antidepressants, and the selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors are all described, together with their use and potential dangers.
Chapters on psychotherapy and alternative therapies follow, with brief discussions of their applications. A small glossary of related terms is included, as is a bibliography. In addition, names, addresses, and Web sites (both in the U.S. and in Canada) are listed for additional information. The artwork is colorful and well illustrated; the photos tie in nicely to the material being presented. In sum, this series is informative, is easy to read, and should be in the libraries of junior high and high schools that are trying to educate their students about drugs and drug use. (from the Junior Drug Awareness Series.) Recommended, Grades 7-12. REVIEWER: Dr. Loyd V. Allen, Jr. (International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding)