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February 16, 1994

Psychopharmacology and Psychobiology of Ethnicity

Author Affiliations

UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute Los Angeles, Calif

JAMA. 1994;271(7):561. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510310093056

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Are there differences in the responses to medication among different ethnic groups? This book gives the state-of-the-art answer and discusses the increasingly complex issues in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medications in whites, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians.

In an interesting and provocative way, the authors describe the multiple issues involved in the choice of psychotropic medication for patients of diverse ethnic backgrounds and also consider appropriate dosages for individual patients.

The first of the book's three sections is an introduction and overview, which discusses both the basic issues in psychopharmacology and psychobiology as related to ethnicity and the interface between psychobiology and ethnicity. Nonbiological issues and cultural considerations also are discussed. Chapter 3 deals with important issues like compliance and placebo effects.

The second section focuses on ethnicity and psychopharmacology. Different chapters cover tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, lithium, neuroleptics, and ethanol. For example, in chapter 4,

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