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Pharmacologic Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders 

Pharmacologic Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders
Chapter:
Pharmacologic Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders
Author(s):

Osama A. Abulseoud

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190214883.003.0045
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date: 22 October 2019

Human behaviors, including thinking, feeling, and action, can be viewed as products of the interactions between brain circuits, neurotransmitters, and oscillations that are influenced to a certain extent by inherited genes, acquired values, and social norms. A psychiatric disorder reflects a dysfunctional brain, and one way to treat such a disorder is through the use of pharmacologic compounds that can help restore order in disorderly brains. This chapter reviews the 4 main classes of drugs used to treat major mental illnesses: antidepressants, mood stabilizers, sedative hypnotics, and antipsychotics, followed by brief comments on a few drugs used to treat alcohol, opiate, and nicotine dependence. A short account on the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for difficult-to-treat conditions concludes the chapter.

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