Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Bruce, T. J. and Alahi, P. 2010. Psychopharmacology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Psychopharmacology, from the Greek psyche meaning soul, pharmakon meaning drug, and logos meaning knowledge, is the study of drugs that affect mood, cognition, and behavior. The field encompasses a range of topics including drug composition, properties, effects, interactions, toxicity, and therapeutic application (Stahl & Muntner, 2008). Two fundamental divisions of basic research in psychopharmacology are pharmacokinetics, what the body does to medication, and pharmacodynamics, what medication does to the body (Tozer & Rowland, 2006). Understanding these actions and the functions controlled by the affected neurotransmitter systems has advanced the field of psychopharmacotherapy, the clinical application of psychopharmacology for the treatment of mental and emotional problems (Janicak, Davis, Preskorn, Ayd, & Pavuluri, 2006).
Keywords: psychopharmacology; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; psychoactive medications; psychopharmacotherapy