L A. Gottschalk and S. Merits, editors PHARMACOKINETICS OF PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS: BLOOD LEVELS AND CLINICAL RESPONSE New York: Halsted Press. 1976, 255 pp., $20.
The clinical implications of determining whether or not there is a blood level-efficacy correlation for a given psychoactive drug are obvious. This volume presents an excellent overview of the state of the art in psychopharmacokinetics.
Part I deals with the development of precise and financially available assay methods for psychoactive drugs. In this section, viable solutions are offered. The problems of correlating psychoactive drug blood levels to behavioral and psychologic changes are shown with particular clarity in Chapter 6, where a comparison is made of various psychologic measures utilizing different means of data collection. It is evident, in reading this section, that the researcher must be fully aware of the limitations of his measurement tools, both in the area of psychoactive-drug blood levels and in that of psychologic and behavioral assessments, in order to interpret data cautiously and scientifically.
Part II provides the reader with a wealth of information on the pharmacokinetics of neuroleptics, minor tranquilizers, antidepressants, and psychomotor stimulants as related to clinical response and behavioral changes. As can be expected after careful perusal of Part I, the results are not always in agreement with other studies reported in the literature, since they depend on the measuring instruments used.
This book has many merits: It shows clearly the vast amount of work to be done in this area; it sharply delineates the problems confronted by the researcher; it provides the informed reader with a wealth of well-organized information; and, most of all, in so doing, it generates more questions than it provides answers. I believe this volume to be a must for any serious student of psychopharmacokinetics. I recommend it to anybody who likes to keep well informed and up to date in the field of psychopharmacology.