Review of Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs for Children and Adolescents, 3rd Ed., Edited by Dean Elbe, Kalyna Z. Bezchlibnyk-Butler, Adil S. Virani, and Ric M. Procyshyn

By Relja, Malgorzata Maria; Sachdev, Mira | Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, June 2016 | Go to article overview

Review of Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs for Children and Adolescents, 3rd Ed., Edited by Dean Elbe, Kalyna Z. Bezchlibnyk-Butler, Adil S. Virani, and Ric M. Procyshyn


Relja, Malgorzata Maria, Sachdev, Mira, Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology


[Author Affiliation]

Malgorzata Maria Relja. 1 Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Mira Sachdev. 2 A4 - Private Practice, Titusville, Florida.

ISBN: 0.88937.456.2. Boston, MA, Hogrefe Publishing, 2014, 362 pages.

Address Correspondence to: Malgorzata Maria Relja, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, 65 Brunswick Street, Fredericton, NB E3B 1G5, Canada, E-mail: margaret.relja@gnb.ca

Mira Sachdev, MD, Private Practice, 860 Century Medical Drive, Titusville, FL 32796, E-mail: mira.sachdev@gmail.com

For most child and adolescent psychiatrists, psychopharmacology is challenging because of the need to stay current while new information is constantly added. Psychotropic medications are powerful agents that treat many disorders, but also can impose a great risk if not used accordingly. We need to keep dry minutiae in our knowledge base and, therefore, there is a great value of a book to serve as a practical resource guide to quickly access relevant information.

Dean Elbe, PharmD, a Canadian clinical pharmacist specialist at British Columbia Children's Hospital and colleagues have written a user-friendly book about prescribing psychotropic medications for children and adolescents. This handbook contains prescribing information for the United States and Canada. It fills a void for Canadian practitioners since most other psychopharmacology books readily available in North America only contain prescribing information for the United States. This book is targeted toward multiple disciplines, including child and adolescent psychiatrists, pediatricians, and nurses. Also this book acknowledges indications for adults and is suitable as an adult reference. FDA-approved indications for children and adolescents are emphasized, but nonapproved indications are also included.

This book makes dry material more interesting and is pleasing to the eye. There are several things that make this book different from other psychopharmacology resources as opposed to an online reference. As it is spiral bound with text written in landscape format, it is easy to lay the book flat and read both pages at once. As a book, it can be left open on the table; it does not require toggling between screens as with a computerized medical record. Thus, it is easy to highlight and make notations on paper. There are online resources available, but they do not have the easy digestibility of this color-coded volume.

The majority of the book is organized into chapters per class of drugs, such as chapters on antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, anxiolytics, hypnotics/sedatives, and drugs for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are chapters dedicated to drugs/substances of abuse and its substance abuse treatment, electroconvulsive therapy, unapproved treatments of psychiatric disorders, and natural health products. In each chapter there are color-coded sections such as Indications, Dosing, Pharmacokinetics, Switching Formulations, Adverse Effects, Discontinuation Syndrome, Contraindications, Toxicity, Monitoring, Use in Pregnancy, and Nursing Implications. There is also a set of caregiver information sheets available online.

Many of the chapters function as review articles about a class of medications. Basic psychopharmacology is covered well. For example, the chapter on antipsychotics contained an excellent clinical description of dopaminergic rebound in two sentences. "If a high D2 affinity medication (e.g., risperidone) is abruptly replaced with a low D2 affinity medication or a rapid on/off fast-dissociating antipsychotic (e.g., quetiapine) or a partial D2 agonist (e.g., aripiprazole), dopaminergic rebound may result. In the mesolimbic tract, this could lead to supersensitivity psychosis; in the nigrostriatal tract, treatment-emergent EPS and TD may materialize" (p. 194).

The many tables in each chapter are one of the best features. …

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