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July 14, 1962

Newer Drugh for Mental Illness: A Review

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1962;181(2):126-133. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050280056005h

IN SPITE OF the array of drugs promoted for the therapy of nervous and mental disorders, the physician need not be unduly confused. These many compounds have only a few distinct pharmacological actions. By becoming thoroughly familiar with 1 or 2 drugs of each pharmacological type, the physician will develop a base of reference. In most instances, he will be able to rely on the compounds he knows best. Other drugs within specific groups, whose action varies only slightly from that of the "standard" drug, will be needed only for special indications.

It frequently is difficult to decide from which pharmacological category the drug for a specific patient should be chosen. Unfortunately, formal differential diagnosis, even when made by the most capable and experienced psychiatrist, often does not lead to differential therapy. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that complex and various behavioral phenomena are not