The book is organized around two major sections of the Textbook. The first section, “Classes of Psychiatric Treatments,” presents information by classes of drugs. For each drug within a class, data are reviewed on preclinical and clinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, indications, dosages, side effects and toxicology, and drug-drug interactions. Included are data on currently available drugs in the United States and medications that will almost certainly become available in the near future. New chapters or subsections on electroconvulsive therapy, new antipsychotics, new antidepressants (e.g., dual reuptake inhibitors), and nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytics were added to the second edition of the Textbook and are included in the Essentials. The second section, “Psychopharmacological Treatment,” reviews state-of-the-art therapeutic approaches to the treatment of patients with major psychiatric disorders. Also reviewed are pharmacotherapeutic approaches for special populations, such as children and adolescents, medically ill patients, and the elderly. Chapters are devoted to pharmacotherapy in special situations, such as during pregnancy and lactation and in psychiatric emergencies. This section provides the reader with specific information about drug selection and prescribing practices.
In addition to the clinical focus of the Essentials, the authors have provided new information based on more recent literature available since publication of the Textbook. Included are updates on the effectiveness and availability of specific drugs and therapeutic approaches.