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Rosenberg and Gershon, editors: Pharmacotherapy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Disorders. 3rd edition

David R. Rosenberg and Samuel Gershon, editors: Pharmacotherapy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Disorders. Third edition. Wiley-Blackwell, United Kingdom, 2012. (453 pages).

Presented by Samuel Gershon

INFORMATION ON CONTENTS: This is the third edition of this textbook. The first edition, written by D.R. Rosenberg, J. Holttum and S. Gershon, was published in 1994 by Brunner/Mazel in New York (554 pages), and the second, edited by D.R. Rosenberg, P.R. Davanzo and S. Gershon, in 2002 by Marcel Dekker in New York (745 pages). The historical evolution of the field (1994, 2002 and 2012) is presented in these three volumes. The material in this volume is organized into seventeen chapters. In the first, a historical perspective on child and adolescent psychopharmacology is given; in the second, pharmacoepidemiology of the use of psychotropic medications in youth is reviewed; in the third, off-label prescribing of drugs in child and adolescent psychiatry is presented; in the fourth, the use of generic drugs in pediatric psychopharmacology is discussed; and in the fifth, basic concepts in clinical pharmacology in children with special reference to pharmacokinetics and dosing, are elaborated. These five introductory chapters are followed by ten chapters on the different conventionally used groups of psychotherapeutic drugs in children in the first decade of the 21st century. They include, psychostimulants (chapter 6), tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (chapter 7), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (chapter 8), novel (atypical) antidepressants (chapter 9), antipsychotics (chapter 10), lithium (chapter 11), anticonvulsants (chapter 12), anxiolytics (chapter 13), and adrenergic agents (chapter 14). There is a chapter on “atypical psychopharmacologic strategies” (chapter 15) that deals with opiate antagonists, memantine, riluzole, secretin, topiramate, herbal medications and dietary supplements, melatonin, omega -3-fatty acids,  St. John’s wort and valerian. The volume concludes with an overview of psychopharmacology in preschool children (chapter 16), and a chapter on combination pharmacotherapy for psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents (chapter 17). It is complemented with an index. The 17 chapters are contributed by 33 authors (in alphabetical order): David A. Axelson, Boris Birmaher, Heidi R. Bruty, Barbara C. Coffey, Paul Croarkin, C. Lindsay DeVane, David J. Edwards, Robert L. Findling, Graham  J. Emslie, Anna M. Georgiopoulos, Samuel Gershon, Karim  D. Ghalib, Charlotte  M. Heleniak,  John L. Herzer, Aron Janssen, Gagan Joshi, Tajal Kaur,  Joan Luby, Tushita Mayanil, Christopher - Paul Milne, Mani Pavuluri, Steven R. Pliszka, Brieana M. Rowles,  Moira A. Rynn, Daniel J.Safer, Dara Sakolsky, Lawrence David Scahill, Richard I. Shader, Jess  Shatkin,  Garrett M. Sparks, Mini Tandon, Julie Magno Zito, and Amanda L. Zwilling,      

EDITOR’S STATEMENT: These three volumes were an educational and historical experience for the editors and we hope, for the readers. The first volume was written when psychopharmacology in children and adolescents was in its infancy. This volume was the first textbook published on the topic of Pharmacotherapy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Disorders. By the time of its publication, adult psychopharmacology had developed to the point where there was already a range of therapeutic agents being prescribed for a variety of psychiatric disorders. Thus, it seemed that child psychiatry would inherit a large stock of potential therapeutic agents. For example, imipramine had been introduced as an antidepressant in adults and was established as a significant therapeutic advance. Child psychiatry approached this compound as an excellent example of the possibility of transferring it for use in children and adolescents with depression. This, of course, required dosage adjustments in keeping with weight and age of the patient. So it seemed we had all of the potential for a dramatic start in child and adolescent psychopharmacology with this agent. Imipramine was thus widely used in this new population for the treatment of depression. Its introduction was followed by a number of positive therapeutic reports in the literature. After several years, the positive reports dwindled and a new question arose…is it actually having a beneficial effect in this population? This question was put to the test of a randomized control trial by Puig Antich et al. in 1987, in Pittsburgh. The results when published caused quite a disappointment for this new field. The reason being, it was shown to be ineffective in the control study. Thus, the first edition taught us all that the stockpile of pharmaceuticals in the adult armamentarium could not necessarily be transferred to the child population. We, therefore undertook an educational update in preparing the second edition to correct this and other findings that had accrued over the intervening years. Then, with the additional information that was being discovered in related fields of drug metabolism, genetics, adverse effects etc. we undertook the third edition.

Rather than expand on our own thoughts about the third edition we are taking advantage of a review of this volume by Theodore A. Petti, M.D., M.P.H. in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, in July 2012 and will quote some excerpts from this review: “The past decade has witnessed the coming of age of child and adolescent psychopharmacology…..Each chapter provides sufficient information about basic properties, the available neuroscience, actions, indications, adverse effects and the evidence base for their use…(it) provides a developmental perspective and considers the hierarchy of responses when treating psychiatrically ill…children with regard to the critical role of psychotherapy and psychosocial interventions…and consider(s) situations when psychopharmacology may be considered as a first line, how to administer and monitor medications… and off-label prescriptions”.


Samuel Gershon

May 15, 2014