An up-to-date, comprehensive consumer guide to the most commonly prescribed drugs for mind and mood disorders
For the one in two Americans who will develop a mind or mood disorder, here is an indispensable reference focused specifically on the drugs most often prescribed for their condition.
Official FDA-approved information plus guidelines from nationally esteemed psychiatrists and pharmacists provide trustworthy information about these medications. Special concerns for women, children, and seniors make this reference an essential addition to your home medical library.
Complete drug profiles include:
• Brand and generic names for each drug
• What the drug is for and how it works in the body
• Information on dosage, including the best times to take each drug
• Common side effects, risk factors, and when to call your doctor
• Interactions with other drugs
• Interactions with foods and beverages
• Medical conditions that may affect the choice of a particular drug
• Popular herbal remedies
• A comprehensive listing of resources for additional information about specific mind/mood disorders
• Color photographs of the twenty-five most commonly prescribed mind/mood drugs
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Praise for The MindMood Pill Book:
“An excellent handbook to psychiatric drugs and a much-needed resource for the public at large. It offers the kind of straightforward information that empowers patients to be partners — and watchdogs — in their own health care.”
— H. Keith H. Brodie, M.D., President Emeritus and James B. Duke Professor of Psychiatry at Duke University, past president of the American Psychiatric Association
“Easily readable, helpfully organized, and spanning everything from the latest mood stabilizer to herbal remedies, this book is vital reading for anyone who plans to talk to a doctor about anxiety, depression, or any other emotional problem.”
— Robert Michels, M.D., Walsh McDermott Professor of Psychiatry and University Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Medical College, Cornell University
“A practical, authoritative, and comprehensive reference guide to the medications used to treat mental disorders. It includes the information that people need and answers the questions most frequently asked.”
— Carol C. Nadelson, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director, Partners Office for Women’s Careers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
How to Use This Book
Nearly 1 in every 2 Americans will develop a mental disorder in the course of their lifetimes. Approximately 25 percent of these men, women, and children will take medication as part of their treatment. This book provides concise and easily accessible information about the major mind/mood medications used in the United States.
To get the most benefit from this book, begin with Chapter 1, which provides essential information about the drugs described in Chapters 2 through 9. Chapter 1 also discusses the concepts and terms used both in the book and by physicians who prescribe mind/mood medications.
Chapters 2 through 9 cover the major categories of psychiatric medications in use today: antidepressants (Chapter 2); medications to treat anxiety (Chapter 3); mood stabilizers, called anti-manic agents (Chapter 4); medications to treat sleep disorders (Chapter 5); antipsychotic medications (Chapter 6); medications for attention deficit disorders (Chapter 7); cognitive-enhancing agents (Chapter 8); and herbal medications with mind/mood effects (Chapter 9). Each chapter begins with a brief introduction about the mental disorders that the medications are designed to treat and provides a general overview of the drugs discussed in the chapter.
After reading Chapter 1, turn to the chapter that focuses on the particular category of medication of interest to you. We encourage you to read the chapter introduction first, since this will give you an overview of all medications in the same category. About half of all patients have difficulty tolerating the initial medication prescribed for their problem; about a third find that the medication does not work for them. An overview of the range of medications available may be helpful in evaluating alternatives if they should be needed. Each medication is presented in a uniform format, with an icon that identifies each category of information:
Generic name: The chemical or pharmaceutical name of the medication. (The generic names of the drugs profiled in this book are accurate for both the United States and Canada. However, some of these drugs may be marketed under different brand names in Canada, so readers there should check with their physicians for the names of Canadian equivalents.)
Available in generic form: Whether or not the medication is available in a generic form.
Brand name: The trade name the manufacturer has given the medication for marketing to the consumer. (Source: In Chapter 9, the origin of an herbal medication or “natural” mind/mood pill. These substances are usually sold in health-food stores and are not regulated by the FDA.
Drug class: The classification of the drug (for example, tricyclic antidepressant), applicable to a group of drugs similar in chemical formulation, mode of action, and uses.
Prescribed for: Indications — reasons to take the medication — approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as other accepted “off-label” uses by physicians.
General information: An overview of the medication, including how it works, why it was developed, and its general advantages and disadvantages.
Dosing information: Concise information concerning how the medication is prescribed, including dosage forms and strengths, when it should be taken, and how the dose should be increased. Many mind/mood drugs are initially given in low doses and then gradually increased.
Common side effects: The most common side effects noted during clinical trials and in clinical practice. These listings do not include every side effect listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR), a comprehensive summary of the manufacturers’ package inserts of most prescription medications approved by the FDA. It is also possible that you may experience additional side effects; if so, you should report these to your physician.
Precautions: Cautionary advice concerning the medication you are taking and other drugs you should avoid while taking this medication. The information in this section does not necessarily imply that you should not take the medication; its purpose is to make you aware of these risks when taking a particular drug or class of drug.
Warnings: Medical conditions for which the drug is contraindicated — should not be taken — or other medications that should not be taken with this drug.
Alcohol: Whether or not you can drink alcohol while taking the medication, and interactions with the medication if you do drink.
Food and beverages: Whether or not you should take this medication with food and beverages and whether doing so may either lessen some of the side effects or decrease or increase the amount of medication absorbed into your blood. This section also lists any foods or beverages that should not be taken with a specific medication.
Possible drug interactions: Mind/mood medications can interact with other drugs you are taking, increasing or decreasing their effectiveness or possibly causing dangerous reactions. This section alerts you to other drugs that may be of concern or that should be avoided altogether when taking a medication.
Use in pregnancy and breast-feeding: Whether or not the medication should be taken if you are contemplating pregnancy or are pregnant, and whether you should take it while breast-feeding. As an indication of pregnancy-related risks, the FDA has categorized medications on a scale from A to D, and X. Mind/mood medications are almost never systematically studied in pregnant women. Potential effects on humans are usually drawn from research conducted in mice or other animals. Category A means that controlled studies show no risk to humans. Most mind/mood pills have been classified by the FDA as Category B — “No evidence of risk in humans but adequate human studies have not been performed” — or Category C — “Risk cannot be ruled out.” Category D is used when there has been proven risk to humans but the risk of potential harm to the fetus may be outweighed by the potential benefit to the mother. Category X signifies that the medication should not be used during pregnancy. See Chapter 10, page 406 and Table 10-1, for more information.
Use in children: Whether or not the medication should be used in children and, if so, the conditions for which it is prescribed and the customary doses, if known.
Use in seniors: Whether the medication needs to be taken in lower doses by adults over the age of sixty-five. This entry also notes whether some side effects of certain medications may be more bothersome or potentially harmful to seniors, or whether the drug should be avoided altogether. Because the capacity to metabolize and excrete medications declines with age, certain medications may need to be taken in lower doses. See Chapter 10, page 428, for more information.
Overdosage: General information concerning the signs and symptoms of overdose, and what to do if someone you know takes too much of a prescribed medication.
Special considerations: A concise review of the medication discussed and a summary of some of its unique advantages and disadvantages.
Because of widespread interest in alternative preparations to treat mood/mind symptoms, Chapter 9 reviews the more common herbal agents used in the United States today. Chapter 10 discusses special considerations for women, children, and seniors.
The book also includes color photographs of the twenty-five most commonly prescribed mind/mood medications. The majority are antidepressants, anti-anxiety agents, or medications for sleep. At the back of the book are an index of all the medications discussed in the book, a concise glossary of terms and phrases used in the text, and a resource directory with addresses and phone numbers of organizations you may turn to for more information concerning a particular mental disorder or to obtain more information about mental illness and mental-health professionals.
Mind, Mood, and Medications
Why do I feel this way? Why am I so moody? Is there anything I can do to feel better? Can anyone help?
At some point in life, almost everyone asks these questions. We all experience sadness, worry, rage, self-doubt, even despair. Often these feelings are short-lived, but sometimes they continue for days or weeks, coloring the way we view ourselves and the world. A life crisis — an accident or illness, a huge financial setback, the loss of someone dear — may be responsible. In other cases, gloom or anxiety may descend for no apparent reason.
Like physical problems, persistent emotional aches and pains can affect every aspect of life. More than 1 in every 4 Americans suffer from a mind/mood problem so severe that it interferes with their ability to keep up with their daily routines, do their jobs, care for their families, or relate to others as they once did. No one, regardless of age, gender, education, or income, is immune.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) landmark Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) Survey, about 27 million adults and 7.5 million children in the United States have a diagnosable mental disorder; this is more than the combined total of individuals with cancer, heart disease, and lung disorders. In another major study, the National Comorbidity Survey (see Table 1-1), almost half of those queried reported having at least one mental disorder over the course of their lifetimes; almost 30 percent had been troubled by a disorder in the previous twelve months. Adults are not the only ones affected. According to some reports, the number of troubled children has increased to as many as 11 to 14 million youngsters.
Table 1-1: How Common Are Mind/Mood Disorders?
Anxiety disorders (panic disorde...
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