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Comprehensive reference on psychotropic medicines

In this new edition, readers can expect information on third-generation antipsychotics and new antidepressants.

Book cover of ‘Clinical Handbook of psychotropic drugs 22nd edition’

Clinical handbook of psychotropic drugs, 22nd ed, edited by Ric M Procyshyn, Kalyna Z Bezchlibnyk-Butler and J Joel Jeffries. Pp 432. Price £64. Boston: Hogrefe; 2017. ISBN 978 0 88937 496 6

The 22nd edition of the Clinical handbook of psychotropic drugs follows the same format as previous versions with an easy-to-use ring-bound design. This is a specialist resource providing information on medicines used in psychiatry. It is mainly aimed at people working in psychiatric settings or dealing with psychiatric medication queries.

Unlike most other psychiatric medicine books, this one goes through each section via drug class rather than by disease, which is useful given that most psychiatric medicines are used for multiple conditions. The new edition includes detailed information on third-generation antipsychotics, adding cariprazine and brexpiprazole to aripiprazole and the new antidepressants vilazodone and vortioxetine.

The section on switching antidepressants has been updated, adding to the guidance available in other resources. However, the antipsychotic switching section is less useful and an area where guidance is limited. There is a detailed pharmacogenomics section, considering the effect of metabolism status on the major cytochrome p450 enzymes involved in psychotropic metabolism.

The book also considers non-pharmacological approaches. Treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation have been updated, providing information on the way they are given, the procedures, possible modes of action and interactions with other medicines. Extrapyramidal symptoms have also been extended providing detailed information on the management and treatment if these symptoms occur.

The numerous tables providing detailed information on areas such as equivalent doses, receptor profiles and rates of adverse effects are particularly useful. Readers should take into account that the book is published in North America, so some of the medicines are not yet available in the UK and many of the licensed indications and formulations differ. The content and extent of the information covered does provide good value for money, although it is slightly more expensive than other similar resources.

Nicola Greenhalgh

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203271

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