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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Raj Tummala, MD (Wyeth Pharmaceuticals)
Description: This is an up-to-date quick reference on the major classes of psychotherapeutics used in clinical practice. The eighth edition has been expanded to include sections on geriatric and pediatric psychopharmacotherapy and updates to other sections.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a comprehensive, easy to use reference of psychotherapeutic drugs that are commonly used in clinical practice.
Audience: It is targeted at anyone dealing with psychiatric disorders including students, residents, clinicians, and nurses.
Features: This is essentially a handbook/pocket reference of vital clinical information on the major classes of psychotherapeutic drugs. In addition to the new sections on pediatric and geriatric pharmacotherapy, the chapters on antipsychotics, anti-anxiety agents, ECT, and drug dependencies have been supplemented with evidence-based references. Information on each class of drugs is presented in a consistent format covering indications, efficacy, dosage, pharmacokinetics, and adverse effects. The information on adverse effects is based on body systems. Unlike most reference books, most of the information is in narrative text form, making it almost seem like a small textbook. The clinical information is up to date and cross-referenced with evidence-based primary references. For a handbook, the reference section for each chapter is very extensive. However, the information can be confusing to find and will require multiple searches for the same drug. In contrast to most drug-based references, this book is more focused on class and body systems. There are fewer reference tables and graphs than most pocket handbooks, which could have helped in finding information quickly. The chapters on drug interactions and ECT and the "Rational Prescribing" section deserve special mention. The appendixes are user friendly; new to this edition are appendixes on pharmacokinetics, safety, and drug interactions.
Assessment: This is a useful reference for the different classes of psychotropics, presenting a lot of evidence-based information in a handbook format.