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Introduction to Psychopharmacology: A Practical Clinician's Guide - Test
by John Preston, Psy.D., ABPP

Course content © copyright 2004-2019 by John Preston, Psy.D., ABPP. All rights reserved.

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1. It is legal and ethical for non-medical therapists to do all but which one of the following? Help
Instruct patients to increase the dose of their medication.
Explain all options for treatment, given the diagnosis (however, should only mention empirically validated treatments).
Talk about side effects.
Mention the options of over-the-counter medications (e.g. St. John's Wort) if there are published studies demonstrating efficacy.
2. The dose of a drug needed to produce a clinical response is most strongly influenced by: Help
The person's body weight.
The severity of the disorder.
The rate of liver metabolism.
Whether the condition is chronic or acute.
3. Hypo-metabolizers are most likely to encounter: Help
Longer periods of time before there is symptomatic improvement.
Increased drug-drug interactions.
Low blood levels of medications on standard doses.
Significant side effects when given standard doses.
4. In treatment outcome studies with FDA approved antidepressants and major depression the general finding is: Help
Complete remission occurring in 50% of subjects.
Complete remission occurring in less than 15% of subjects.
35% of subjects are partial responders.
25% reach full remission.
5. A dysregulation of _______ in the central nervous system appears to be strongly associated with the following behaviors/symptoms: irritability, impulsivity and suicidal ideations. Help
6. Hypercortisolemia is associated with all of the following except: Help
Elevations in blood glucose.
Hippocampal atrophy.
Neurologic damage to fetuses.
Increase in carbohydrate craving.
7. BDNF is activated by all of the following except: Help
8. Atypical depressive symptoms are commonly associated with: Help
Increased suicidality.
Bipolar depression.
Weight loss.
Psychotic depressive symptoms.
9. Activation refers to: Help
Increased sense of aliveness and productive energy.
Igniting of hypomania or mania.
Increased reuptake of neurotransmitters.
An acute antidepressant side effect characterized by anxiety and agitation.
10. In group studies of very severely depressed patients, which of the following medications is most strongly recommended as a treatment of choice? Help
11. A patient with major depression has been treated with high doses of an SSRI for 8 weeks and shown no signs of improvement. Assuming that the person is adherent with treatment, which of the following would be the highest yield "next step" strategy? Help
Augment with an atypical antipsychotic
Augment with an antidepressant from a different class of antidepressants
Continue to treat on the same dose of medications for an additional 4 weeks
Switch to a different class of antidepressants
12. Which of the following statements is true? Help
For the majority of young people, treatment with antidepressants is associated with increased suicidality.
In addition to increased suicide risks with antidepressants, these medications can be habit-forming.
The use of antidepressants in treating severe depression has been shown to decrease suicide rates.
Antidepressants should generally be avoided in patients under the age of 13.
13. Rapid cycling bipolar illness is: Help
A chronic condition and highly non-responsive to treatments.
Seen in about 40% of people with bipolar illness.
Generally a short term worsening of the disorder (i.e. not chronic).
A marker for possible schizoaffective disorder.
14. Rates of pre-pubertal first episode bipolar disorder: Help
Have been significantly overestimated.
Have increased significantly during the past 20 years due to accurate assessment and diagnosis.
Are quite low in internationally conducted research and meta analyses.
Both 1 and 2
15. The most common reason for medication discontinuation of mood stabilizers (against medical advice) is: Help
Problems tolerating side effects.
Patients miss the good feelings associated with mania.
Cost of medications.
1 and 3 above.
16. Which of the following is/are at highest risk for causing switching in treating bipolar depression? Help
Calcium channel blockers
17. Which of the following may cause switching? Help
Bright light exposure
St. John's Wort
All of the above
18. Which of the following may be risky in the treatment of acute mania? Help
19. The most appropriate use of benzodiazepines in the treatment of panic disorder is: Help
Continuous 24 hour a day dosing.
Use on an as needed basis (e.g. at the first sign of a panic attack), to avoid developing tolerance to the drug.
Use at moderate to high doses combined with exposure therapy.
Use only during the day time since panic attacks do not occur during sleep.
20. Typically in the treatment of OCD with SSRIs: Help
Patients respond to low to moderate doses.
Patients generally reach full symptomatic improvement within 4 months and hit a plateau.
Patients gradually CONTINUE to improve during the first 12 months of treatment.
If there is symptomatic improvement, keep the patient on medications for 12 months and then gradually discontinue...most will continue to be symptom free.
21. Nightmares can often be successfully treated in patients with PTSD by which one of the following medications? Help
22. Which of the following is a true statement? Help
Hyperactivity, as a symptom, remains well into adult life for two thirds of those with ADHD.
Most children grow out of ADHD by late adolescence.
Unmedicated ADHD patients show abnormal maturation of white matter in the brain, while medicated subjects do not.
A significant risk in the use of stimulants in treating ADHD is stimulant abuse (or addiction).
23. Which of the following neurotransmitters is most likely implicated in the pathophysiology of ADHD? Help
24. The first FDA approved drug for postpartum depression, Brexanolone: Help
Has been studied long term and provides relief to 50% of women who take it.
Requires co-treatment with antidepressants and possibly antipsychotics.
Is reasonably inexpensive and widely available.
Is definitively known to have actions on the GABA system.



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