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Mens Sana Monogr. 2010 Jan;8(1):6-16.

Psychopharmacology Today: Where are We and Where Do We Go From Here?

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1
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA.

Abstract

Since the 1950s we have had the same three neurotransmitters to work with to treat depression, one transmitter for psychoses, three for anxiety. We have developed newer drugs that are more tolerable, but we have not developed drugs that are better in efficacy. The last 50-60 years should be considered the decades that allowed us to treat a greater number of patients with safer and more tolerable drugs. We have also decreased stigma and allowed primary care clinicians to become more comfortable treating the mentally ill. We clearly treat more patients than before, and sometimes are now accused of over-prescribing wantonly as our drugs are safer. Without any clear blockbuster new drug ready to be added to our armamentarium, what can we do as psychopharmacologists today, and tomorrow, to obtain better results? This introductory manuscript will attempt to provide an overview of ideas so that an adept, well-rounded clinician might be able to obtain better outcomes despite using neurotransmitter pharmacodynamics that have been around since the 1950s. Finally, I will comment on the psychotropic pipeline, which may be added to our armamentarium in the future.

KEYWORDS:

Pharmacodynamics; Prescribing practices; Psychiatric outcomes; Psychopharmacology

PMID:
21327167
PMCID:
PMC3031936
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