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Book Forum: MOOD DISORDERS   |    
Pharmacotherapy of Depression
DAVID L. DUNNER, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2004;161:2146-a-2147. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.161.11.2146-a
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Edited by Domenic A. Ciraulo, M.D., and Richard I. Shader, M.D. Totowa, N.J., Humana Press, 2004, 400 pp., $125.00.

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I like this book and found it quite useful. It is somewhat different in that it is not as clinically specific as many "how to" books about treatment of depression. It covers more theory and gives the basis of treatment for both bipolar and unipolar depression, as well as specific targeted areas, such as geriatrics and children. The book also has a "value added E-book/PDA": there is a CD-ROM that has an electronic book version of the volume, which could be viewed on the purchaser’s computer or synchronized to a hand-held personal data assistant (PDA) for viewing.

This is a multiauthored text. Most of the chapters are written by colleagues of Drs. Ciraulo and Shader from Boston, although individuals outside of that area contributed. Among the difficulties with multiauthored textbooks is the fact that some chapters come in early and some late. Thus, there often is disparity in how current the information is from chapter to chapter. I did not find this to be the case with Pharmacotherapy of Depression. The references go through 2003, and the discussion includes aspects of the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration concern regarding antidepressant use in children. Topics such as the use of reboxetine, an antidepressant that is approved in the United Kingdom but not in the United States, are included in the volume. The use of atypical neuroleptics for augmentation of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor nonresponse is also mentioned, although briefly.

There are 10 chapters in this volume: "Biological Theories of Depression," "Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics," "Antidepressant Treatment of Geriatric Depression," "Treatment of Bipolar Depression," "Treatment of Depression Occurring During Psychotic Disorders," "Substance Abuse and Depression," "Depressive Disorders in the Context of HIV/AIDS," "Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression During Pregnancy and Lactation," "Antidepressant Treatments in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder," and "Antidepressant Therapy in Children and Adolescents."

This is a useful volume for clinicians and psychiatric residents. It is up-to-date, easy to read, and thoughtfully put together.

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