New Textbook: Prescribing Psychotropics

Something was missing in my library…

Most textbooks do a pretty good job of teaching us how to choose a medication, but few get into the nitty gritty of how to prescribe it. Take lamotrigine (Lamictal). Should you give it in the morning or evening? Twice a day or once a day? Regular, XR, or the orally disintegrating tablet? Brand or generic? And what do you do about that awful chalky taste that patients complain about on it?

Things get more complicated with lithium, valproate (Depakote), and the dizzying array of patches, liquids, and stimulant formulations. Not to mention the drug interactions and genetic and laboratory tests you need to consider with carbamazepine.

“Not only useful, but engaging and entertaining”

Nassir Ghaemi, MD, MPH

Prescribing Psychotropics: From Drug Interactions to Genetics covers the ins and outs of how medications behave (or misbehave!) as they make their way from the pharmacy shelf to the blood-brain barrier, including:

  • The basics of drug metabolism 
  • Five genetic tests that are ready for practice
  • What you really need to know about drug interactions 
  • Food and drink effects on medications 
  • Recreational drug interactions 
  • Gender, ethnicity and drug metabolism
  • Prescribing for patients young and old 
  • Drug metabolism and ethnicity 
  • More than 70 quick-reference tables, charts, and figures

It’s the culmination of a three year effort with my coauthors from the Carlat Report – child psychiatrist Josh Feder and psychiatrist-at-large Daniel Carlat – two talented writers who know how to make psychiatry useful and fun.