PYB 710: AdvSem-Clinical Psychopharmacology


77999 (for web registration)




Jennifer Lexington






Fall 2011

Meeting Schedule:

Mondays 9/12 - 12/19 (4:30PM-6:59PM)


Competency Area: Biological Bases of Behavior
Restricted to Year III and Year IV students.
Restricted to Year IV students from July 12 – 19; open to Year III students on July 20.
Prerequisite: PY 710, Biological Foundations of Clinical Psychology

This course is designed to provide an in-depth survey of current theory and practice of clinical psychopharmacology. Pharmacotherapy has become increasingly important in the practice of clinical psychology, and all clinicians need to know and understand drug actions and reactions. The growing movement for prescribing privileges for appropriately trained clinical psychologists is a reflection of this trend. We begin in this course with the principles of pharmacology, which consist of pharmacokinetics (the absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs) and pharmacodynamics (drug-receptor interactions). After study of the principles of pharmacology, the class will review individual classes of drugs, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety agents, drugs for the treatment of movement disorders, and drugs for the treatment of cognitive disorders in the elderly. For each drug class, the basic biology of the disorder and the mechanisms of drug action are discussed, followed by a review of current clinical practice and potential new drugs. Other topics in the drug literature are addressed, including the use of medication with different age groups, sources of drug information, the FDA drug review process, drug-drug interactions, and pharmacoepideniology.