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Ethnicity and Psychopharmacology

Edited by Pedro Ruiz, M.D.
Series Editors: John M. Oldham, M.D., M.S., and Michelle B. Riba, M.D., M.S.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-274-5
  • Item #8274

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Ethnicity and Psychopharmacology addresses the most relevant theoretical and clinical aspects of ethnopsychopharmacology, with the aim of advancing this growing field well into the twenty-first century. Detailed are the pharmacogenetic, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic mechanisms involved in differing responses to drug treatment among various ethnic groups living in the United States. Readers will learn an integrative approach in which ethnic and cultural diversity and biological diversity are taken into account and treatment is tailored to specific individual characteristics.

Dr. Ruiz's extensive research experience and years of leadership in public psychiatry along with his distinguished panel of contributors combine to make this book an authoritative resource. Psychiatric practitioners, educators, and investigators, as well as other mental health professionals, primary care physicians and medical students, will gain a better understanding of treating patients from different cultures.


  • Foreword
  • Chapter 1. Psychopharmacotherapy in the context of culture and ethnicity
  • Chapter 2. Issues in pharmacotherapy for African Americans
  • Chapter 3. The Hispanic response to psychotropic medications
  • Chapter 4. Ethnopsychopharmacology for Asians
  • Chapter 5. Ethnopsychopharmacology in the public sector
  • Afterword
  • Index

About the Authors

Pedro Ruiz, M.D., is Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in Houston, Texas.

Ethnicity and Psychopharmacology will contribute greatly to correcting the barriers to obtaining adequate psychiatric treatment endured by American ethnic minority groups. This book is not about exotic syndromes found in 'non-western' cultures, nor does it contain proselytizing messages promoting social good. Rather, Pedro Ruiz has assembled papers from the best minds in this field, who write about the latest scientific discoveries with clear, understandable prose. This book is essential reading for all in the neuroscience and mental health fields.—Edward F. Foulks, M.D., Ph.D., Mary Peters Polchow Sellars Professor, Tulane University Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

This text incisively draws the clinician's attention to the crucial interplay of ethnicity/culture and the use and effects of medication. The authors have done a wonderful job of painting a clear and coherent picture of how the practice of pharmacotherapy requires culture-based knowledge about the patient's background and belief systems, as well as the patient's potential to metabolize drugs in a particular way.—Ezra E.H. Griffith, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and African-American Studies, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

This is a most interesting contribution covering the tremendous advances made in ethnicity and psychopharmacology. Dr. Pedro Ruiz is to be congratulated on the contributions he's gotten from a very distinguished group of authors. They are the American authorities in this area. The book covers in detail, with great enlightenment, the new neuroscience contributions for a better understanding of why culture and ethnicity contribute to differences in pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics. Because of the technical nature of the material covered, it was difficult, but of great interest, and shed light on complicated clinical issues, telling us how best to treat patients of diverse cultures and ethnicity.—Joe Yamamoto, M.D., Professor Emeritus, UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, Los Angeles, California

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