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January 22, 1992

Pharmacotherapy of Depression: Applications for the Outpatient Practitioner

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Md

JAMA. 1992;267(4):579. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480040131048

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The editor describes this book as a discussion of antidepressant treatment strategies intended for office-based physicians, apparently both psychiatrists and nonpsychiatrists. He cautions that the book is not a "how-to" manual for treating depression.

Generally, multiauthored compendia on treatment of particular disorders are fraught with problems. They tend to be obsolete by publication time, chapters may overlap and present contradictory messages, and the quality of the writing may vary enormously. With rare exceptions, the editor of this volume has cleared the high hurdles and, in doing so, provides a book of substance and even some style.

The best of the chapters give brief overviews of particular empirical treatment strategies and discuss their methodological and mechanistic implications. The chapters on neurotransmitter receptor sensitivity, anticonvulsants, and thyroid augmentation provide enlightening discussion of how medications with apparently opposite effects on thyroid function might have similar clinical effects on affective disorders. The issue is