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Book Review

Clinical Manual of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology

Vishal Madaan, MD

Published: September 15, 2009

Clinical Manual of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology

edited by Robert L. Findling, MD. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc, Arlington, Virginia, 2008, 497 pages, $62.00.

The road to knowledge begins with the turn of the page.


This new clinical manual of child and adolescent psychopharmacology has been designed to provide updated, evidence-based, state-of-the-art information on the subject to busy clinicians. Various chapters in the handbook have been written by leading researchers in the field who attempt to interpret and translate the research into clinically relevant information. The "clinical pearls" at the end of each chapter provide a unique synopsis and highlights of the chapter.

The first chapter on developmental aspects of pediatric psychopharmacology sets the tone for a wonderful journey to learn the unique aspects of this age group. This excellent chapter is enhanced by well-compiled tables that inform the reader about salient differences in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in the pediatric age group. Another interesting table highlights the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved indications and the age group for which they are approved. The ethical and regulatory considerations pertaining to child psychopharmacological treatment along with clinical pearls further increase the reader’s knowledge. The chapter on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) details various stimulant and nonstimulant formulations and advises the reader regarding decision making while choosing a particular medication as well as guidelines regarding monitoring these children. The chapter on treating aggression provides information on the role of atypical antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. One of the assets of this chapter is an evaluation of the short- and long-term efficacy of various psychotropic agents in treating disruptive behavioral disorders and aggression.

The chapters on anxiety and depressive disorders provide an evidence-based account of the recent controversies surrounding the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in children and adolescents. Lucid discussions of combination treatment approaches in bipolar disorder and of early intervention studies in schizophrenia form the highlights of the following chapters. The target symptom approach to pharmacotherapy in pervasive developmental disorders and treatment of comorbid ADHD in children with tic disorders again point to the authors’ expertise in these clinically relevant areas. The final chapter on pharmacological treatment of disorders in general medical settings provides an exquisitely compiled synopsis for a variety of disorders including eating disorders, sleep disorders, somatoform disorders, and borderline personality disorder.

However, as with most psychopharmacology handbooks, it is difficult to keep up with recent developments. In this regard, information on the treatment of preschoolers with ADHD, for example, the Preschool ADHD Treatment Study (PATS), the recent controversy regarding stimulants and cardiovascular safety, and results of the Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS), is missing. Similarly, the recent FDA approval of risperidone and aripiprazole in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in youth 10 to 17 years old is also not mentioned.

To sum up, this practical manual combines the years of experience, clinical wisdom, and expertise of the authors and contributors to provide the clinician and the resident with excellent guidance in managing youth with behavioral and emotional disorders. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once wrote, "It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own." This volume is one such book for those of us interested in understanding and managing childhood psychiatric disorders.

Vishal Madaan, MD

Author affiliation: Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Creighton University School of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska. Financial disclosure: None reported.


© Copyright 2009 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

Volume: 70

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