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Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications (Essential Psychopharmacology Series) [Paperback]

Stephen M. Stahl , Nancy Muntner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications (Cambridge Medicine) Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications (Cambridge Medicine) 4.7 out of 5 stars (3)
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Book Description

17 Mar 2008 0521673763 978-0521673761 3
Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology has established itself as the preeminent source of education and information in its field. This much-expanded third edition relies on advances in neurobiology and recent clinical developments to explain the concepts underlying drug treatment of psychiatric disorders. New neurotransmitter systems; theories on schizophrenia; clinical advances in antipsychotic and antidepressant therapy; coverage of attention deficit disorder and drug abuse; and new coverage of sleep disorders, chronic pain, and disorders of impulse control. The fully revised text is complemented with many new, instructive and entertaining illustrations, their captions may be used independent of the main text for a rapid introduction to the field or for review. This edition will be indispensable for students, scientists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals, enabling them to master the complexities of psychopharmacology and to plan treatment approaches based on current knowledge. Accreditation and Credit Designation Statements The Neuroscience Education Institute is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Neuroscience Education Institute designates this educational activity for a maximum of 90.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits(tm). Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Sponsorship Information Sponsored by Neuroscience Education Institute Support This activity is supported solely by the sponsor. Neither the Neuroscience Education Institute nor Stephen M. Stahl, MD, PhD has received any funds or grants in support of this educational activity.

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Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications (Essential Psychopharmacology Series) + Shorter Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry + The Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry
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Product details

  • Paperback: 1132 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 3 edition (17 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521673763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521673761
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 17.3 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Reviews from the first edition: '… essential reading … I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who works with psychotropic drugs - or who has the task of teaching others about them!' American Journal of Psychiatry

'This book is a bedrock for basic understanding of the complex and fast moving field of psychopharmacology, and should be a part of every prescribing clinician's library. It is highly recommended and will be useful in many contexts.' Doody's Publishing

'… illustrations are highly effective in elucidating highly complex material. This book is a bedrock for basic understanding of the complex and fast moving field of psychopharmacology, and should be a part of every prescribing clinician's library. It is highly recommended and will be useful in many contexts.' Nishad J. Nadkarni, Doody's Health Scienced Book Review Journal

'Using his own extraordinary teaching style, together with the fine images we are accustomed to seeing from him, Professional Stahl, of California University, presents us with a second edition of his work. It is a great work, which should be very useful to psychiatrists, doctors in training and psychopharmacologists.' Professor a. Seva, European Journal of Psychiatry

'The clinically orientated chapters do an impressive job of bringing together the neuropathological basis and psychopharmacological approaches to psychiatric conditions. I would highly recommend this as an concise, entertaining and easily accessible source of information.' Sophie Ilson, Addiction Biology

'… the first edition was a finely crafted book with logically distinct sections on basic science, disease mechanisms, drug action, and drug classes. This second edition is now much improved again with copious colour illustrations and bang up to date scientific information about both aetiological theories and new products and their associated modes of action … a benchmark book for modern psychopharmacology teaching.' Robert Kerwin, Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry

'If there is one basic psychopharmacology text for a practitioner or teacher of psychiatric medicine to own, this is it … Cleverly illustrated with simple cartoons, this book presents complex information in an easily accessible manner … Essential Psychopharmacology is a first rate book. It is both a ready reference and an internally consistent teaching text … It will become an essential source for the information that informs the teaching and practice of psychiatric medicine over the next decade.' Stan Kutcher, The Lancet

'… an excellent basic textbook covering the key areas of psychopharmacology. its concise and structured approach made reading enjoyable … I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to all psychiatric trainees.' R. Winterhaldes, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

'As an MRC psychiatry student I have benefited enormously from studying this book. Stahl has allowed me to see the light in what I previously found to be a very complex subject, it has made a fascinating and fulfilling read.' Judy Whitely, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

'Essential Psychopharmacology offers a wide range of readers an engaging and comprehensive view of psychopharmacology. it is highly recommended to both novice and experienced researchers, who stand to gain a new or renewed appreciation for the complexity and beauty of how the nervous system mediates the behavioural effects of drugs.' Ruth E. Grahn, Contemporary Psychology

'… readers are treated to a clear and thorough overview of the complexities of managing psychiatric disorders and the otherwise bewildering array of somatic treatments. … The principal value of the book is that it provides a lucid framework for understanding pharmacotherapeutic approaches in treating mental disorders by proposing how brain circuits and their neurotransmitters can be linked to the amelioration of symptoms and includes new information on synapses, signaling, psychiatric genetics and a variety of disease models. The illustrations are superb and are excellent teaching tools. … The book is an excellent source of information for the art of prescribing psychotropic medications. This book belongs in every clinician's library and serves as a model of clarity for others.' Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica

'Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology now stands alone as the most recently updated and most comprehensive psychopharmacology textbook, written by a single author. His illustrations are extremely well-conceived, educational and informative. Dr Stahl is consistent in his approach to teaching and writing. I find his work to be extremely valuable to the practising clinician. He fosters an academic, research-based understanding of modern pharmacology and psychopharmacologic drug action. Medical students, psychiatry residents and fellows and experienced clinicians will find the style and content refreshing. … I recommend this text as an extremely useful reference work as we enter the next decade of discovery in brain neurosciences and its role in clinical psychiatry.' Psychological Medicine

'We highly recommend this book both to general practitioners who may need information on general mechanisms of psychotropic drugs and to students that would like to learn more about basic psychopharmacology and its practical applications.' Clinical Neuropsychiatry

Book Description

This revised and expanded edition illustrates the neurobiological concepts underlying the drug treatment of psychiatric disorders. For the student it provides an easily readable and highly illustrated introduction to the subject. For the physician or scientist it offers a quick review of psychopharmacology and the drug treatment of mental illness.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and accessable 7 Feb 2010
This book is perfect for anyone who needs to learn about psychopharmacology (I'm studying for mrcpsych).

It's very big, but most of it is pictures. Infact it's designed so the book can just be "read" by looking at the pictures (and the notes under them). Unlike most other books, the text seems to compliment the pictures rather than the other way around. This means that despite its size, it should be a book that's relatively easy to revise from.

The pictures are colourful, clear and often use nice analogies (eg enzymes with bow + arrows). The text is written clearly too.

I'm almost ashamed to say that I'm enjoying reading this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleasantly surprised 11 Feb 2011
When the book first arrived in the post, I was a bit worried - the book looked huge and appeared unapproachable! I was completely wrong, the book is absolutely fantastic, really easy to read and packed full of information every psychiatrist should know. Superb chapters on anti-psychotics and anti-depressants, and I like the way there were sections on the neurobiology of various psychiatric disorders so as to put the pharmacology in a sensible context. Highly highly recommended for any psychiatrist, not just those preparing for MRCPsych.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars comprehensive reading, but american 14 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was our basic text for a psychopharmacology course, in preparation for becoming a nurse prescriber. It certainly covers the most common problems, theories on causes and different medication options, including first line, second line and the if all else fails try this! It has to be remembered that despite the depth and breadthof this book, some of the material is still hypothesis and NOT fact!
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate 10 Dec 2011
Categorizes ME ("CFS") and Fibromyalgia as 'functional somatic syndromes', a type of mental disorder. For example. the book asks "Is it possible that Fibromyalgia has been as neglected as many other women's mental health issues?" (p.808). There are over 5,000 articles in peer reviewed journals proving frank physical pathology in ME according to Harvard Med School Prof. Anthony Komaroff.

Pls correct these errors. Pls see the 2011 ME International Consensus Criteria for accurate info. The authors may also contact me for free expert help. Looking forward to giving the book five stars when this is corrected, since I have had a copy for years and have found it is generally excellent. Thank you for your consideration!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overall, but unsubtle and dodges legitimate controversies 26 July 2008
By James E. OBrien - Published on Amazon.com
The biochemical illustrations are excellent but the text is lacking in nuance. (Maybe that book would require another thousand pages.) The author, in my opinion, is far too keen on a strict medical model and acceptance of DSM IV TR "disorders" and outlier conditions as diseases for which there is a pill lying in wait. The text glosses over these controversies the way that Powerpoint does at a pharma sponsored CME conference.

Nevertheless the chapter on antidepressant augmentation was excellent, though in practice I think it is foolish to use lithium for unipolar depression augmentation because it is the easiest drug to overdose on (and of course one of the big selling points of the SSRIs over TCAs to begin with was the safety factor in a suicide attempt.) One treatment that I was not aware of, and I will definitely start using in refractory cases, is MTHF supplementation which appears very safe and effective. I also learned quite a bit about alpha-2-delta ligands in the excellent chapter on ion channel blockers.

One chapter I had a lot of problems with was sleep disorders. In my opinion, the author is too cavalier about using benzo hypnotics, despite the fact that most evidence based treatment guidelines (i.e ACOEM) specifically warn against this except as a very short-term solution. I am disappointed that he failed to mention that these a history of alcohol or drug dependence changes the whole treatment paradigm. He seems enthusiastic about the "Z" hypnotics despite the scandalous promotion of Ambien as nonaddictive, a claim the manufacturer Aventis was forced to rescind. Not to mention the literature on sleepwalking and sleep driving with this drug (the Patrick Kennedy incident may have been related to this). I was also surprised to see Ambien CR (zolpidem CR) listed as a first line drug in the "hypnotic pharmacy" on page 849, under the premise of being nonaddictive. I say, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. In actual practice, the best move is to ditch all forms of Ambien, and go with Lunesta or even better yet, Rozerem, and only after trying a sedative antidepressant. The avoidance of these issues was curious to me, because the author did not flinch from addressing the problems and controversies with antispsychotics in that excellent chapter.

I also believe that the TCAs were given too little attention for their effectiveness in pain syndromes.

The following complaint is mostly about DSM-IV-TR which is obviously not the author's fault, but I wish he hadn't gotten so drunk on Bob Spitzer's Kool-Aid. Garbage in, garbage out, and if you are medicating a questionable diagnosis you will get questionable results or the condition will get better on its own, as it would have anyway. Many would argue that the lowering of the bar for psychiatric diagnosis in DSM (i.e. autism, ADD, Major Depression, PTSD) has been a benefit as these conditions are now more reliably diagnosed and more people are getting help. That may be true, but this has come at the expense of phenomenological validity. If you and I have dysphoria and 4 other completely different symptoms, guess what, we have the same diagnosis, so what are we really dealing with? If I "hear about" a tragic event and have some anxiety symptoms I can qualify for PTSD according to the DSM. I guess Mohammed Atta caused mental disorder in 300 million Americans. Does anyone believe that? Thirty years ago, if someone told me their kid had ADD or autism, I knew exactly what to expect. Today that child may be a moderately misbehaving child with poor social skills. As Tony Soprano once sarcastically asked a school psychologist diagnosing ADD, "What constitutes a fidget?"

All of this inclusiveness, whether the motive is compassionate or monetary, creates enormous problems in psychopharmacological comparisons. Older antidepressant and other psychopharm studies were done with severely ill patients with pure pathology. Today, the subjects may have a self-limited condition thanks to the changes in DSM. The success numbers for most of the SSRI studies are as inflated as today's home run totals in baseball and cannot be compared to the data from 25-30 years ago on TCAs and MAOIs. In other words, I don't buy a lot of the head to head comparisons and ratings in the text based on incomparable studies. Data is emerging that these are actually much more efficacious than the SSRI's which the author considers (along with the majority of psychiatrists) to be first line treatment. But let's be honest--the reason for this is defensive medicine, not because the new drugs are better. In fact, every senior psychopharmacologist knows that short of ECT, nothing works for refractory cases like Parnate, which is hardly ever used anymore. However, I do give the author of coming to the defense of MAOIs with some great illustrations about how the dietary problems with this group are completely overblown.

Despite these problems, I credit the author for a monumental undertaking. Obviously anything this prolific and robust will contain material with which some practitioners disagree. That would be no different if I had written it myself.

James O'Brien, M.D.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, informative, and utterly lacking in a few places 24 Oct 2008
By Anna M. Vamvakias - Published on Amazon.com
Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology is an excellent,informative tome on current medications.
That being said, the book utterly lacks any information on the differences in responses to these drugs along ethnic diversity lines, or gender differences, or interactions with commonly used herbs or supplements.
The topic of diversity and supplement usage is extremely relevant in today's world and knowledge of the these subjects will only increase our clients' comfort.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars impressive 26 July 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Essential Pharmacology is comprehensive and most informative. Diagnostic subjects range from mood disorders to ADHD to Fibromyalgia. The text elucidates genetics and mechanism of action through the liberal use of cartoons which are for the most part illuminating but are at times trivial. My only complaint is the lack of information on eating disorders. Which has more to do with the general ignorance of the subject vs. an editorial neglect.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge is Power! 17 Jan 2013
By Jogoholic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Understanding the human brain and its multitude of complexities is not easy, but this book not only explained everything well, it also included numerous pictures, diagrams and drawings to help one clearly see how the nervous system works. Now it's easier to explain to patients and families that their mental illness is based on how this complex machine can sometimes go awry, and how certain medications and therapies can help readjust the imbalance at its cause. How nice it is to explain that it's not any will power issue or poor character development, which gives hope and promise of better times ahead.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stahl's Psychopharmacology" Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications 28 Dec 2011
By BestGeorge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tone is conversational yet it presents very important information on every page. The tone makes it easier to understand the complex information. There are numerous tables and figures to assist in presenting the information. The diagrams reinforce the text.
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