Mental health

Pharmacological treatment of mental disorders in primary health care


Publication details

Number of pages: 68
Publication date: 2009
Languages: English, Spanish
ISBN: 978 92 4 1547697



This manual attempts to provide simple, adequate and evidence-based information to health care professionals in primary health care especially in low- and middle-income countries to be able to provide pharmacological treatment to persons with mental disorders. The manual contains basic principles of prescribing followed by chapters on medicines used in psychotic disorders; depressive disorders; bipolar disorders; generalised anxiety and sleep disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorders and panic attacks; and alcohol and opioid dependence.

This manual is a reference source to assist physicians working in the primary health care through increasing their knowledge and improving their routine clinical practice in using medicines for mental disorders. It is though a reference source about pharmacological treatments only, and does not cover the overall management of mental disorders.

It is hoped that use of this manual will enhance the knowledge and competence of those health professionals who are at the forefront of health care delivery in resource poor health systems. This will facilitate much needed scaling-up services for person with mental, neurological and substance use disorders envisaged in mental health Gap Action Programme of the World Health Organization.

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