The Dynamics of Drug Therapy

  • Eugene M. Abroms
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


It is commonly assumed that whether or not medications are effective is largely a matter of their pharmacological properties: how well they reach the site of disorder, and how proficient they are at correcting the biological abnormalities present there. When antibiotics cure cases of pneumonia and antidepressants reverse the symptoms of depression while exacerbating those of mania, the common assumptions seem to hold up. The medicines work or fail to work because of their specific biological interactions.


Drug Therapy Placebo Effect Drug Response Psychoactive Drug Psychoactive Medication 
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  1. 1.
    J. D. Frank, Persuasion and Healing, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1961, pp. 65–74.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. K. Shapiro and L. A. Morris, “The Placebo Effect In Medical and Psychological Therapies,” in S. L. Garfield and A. E. Bergin, eds., Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavioral Change, 2nd ed., New York: John Wiley, 1978, pp. 369–410.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See standard texts of psychoactive drug therapy; for example, G. W. Arana and S. E. Hyman, Handbook of Psychiatric Drug Therapy, 2nd. ed., Boston: Little, Brown, 1991.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    For a fuller discussion of the value dimension of psychoactive drug therapy, see G. L. Klerman and G. Schecter, “Ethical Aspects of Drug Treatment,” in S. Bloch and P. Chodoff, eds., Psychiatric Ethics, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1961, pp. 117-130.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene M. Abroms
    • 1
  1. 1.Private PracticeArdmoreUSA

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