Introduction

This is the online version of the popular Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs, currently in its 22nd print edition.

The Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs is a user-friendly and practical resource guide for health care practitioners working in any setting where psychotropic drugs are utilized. Its content is derived from various forms of published literature (including randomized controlled trials, scientific data such as pharmacokinetic trials, cohort trials, case series, and case reports) as well as from leading clinical experts. We endeavor to continually update this handbook as the scientific literature evolves, so we can provide current evidence-based and clinically relevant information to optimize patient care. New sections, periodically added, reflect changes in therapy and in current practice.

As part of the latest revisions, we have reworked the table outlining antidepressant switching recommendations and added a table summarizing unapproved treatments under investigation for treatment of substance use disorders. The chapter on pharmacogenomic information for common psychotropic medications has been restructured and expanded.

Instantly recognizable icons and color coding, search and browse features, charts and column-selector enhanced tables of comparisons are employed to enable the reader to have quick access to information.

Both American and Canadian trade names are used in the text. Though plasma levels are given in SI units, conversion rates to Imperial US units are available in the text.

Given that changes may occur in a medication’s indications, and differences are seen among countries, specific “indications” listed in this text as “approved” should be viewed in conjunction with product monographs approved in your jurisdiction of interest.

Dose comparisons and plasma levels are based on scientific data. However, it is important to note that some patients will respond to doses outside the reported ranges. Age, sex, and the medical condition of the patient must always be taken into consideration when prescribing any psychotropic agent.

Patient Information Sheets for most drug categories are provided as printable pdf files to facilitate education/counseling of patients receiving these medications. For details, please see the Patient Information Sheets section in the menu on the left.

Over the years, many readers have asked challenging questions and provided useful feedback regarding the content and format of the handbook. This input is critical to keeping the handbook in both its online and print editions current, accurate, and relevant. Please feel free to e-mail me at the address below with your comments and questions.

Ric M. Procyshyn
E-mail: rprocyshyn@bcmhs.bc.ca