Volume 46, Issue 3 (May 2001)
Review of: Drug Effects on Psychomotor Performance
The first book reached for by most forensic toxicologists practicing in the postmortem drug testing arena is Baselt's Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man, currently in its fourth edition. Baselt has, with this new volume, provided those toxicologists practicing in the impaired driving arena with a similarly valuable resource. Covering most of the commonly prescribed, centrally acting drugs, and a wide range of illicit drugs, the book contains 140 monographs. The format will be familiar to users of Baselt's original work. Each section succinctly reviews the pharmacology of each drug, considering publications of clinical trial data, recommended doses and associated plasma concentrations of both the parent and metabolites, when they are known, the drug's metabolism, and the warnings contained in the Physicians Desk Reference for the drug with respect to its potential effects on driving, or psychomotor skills. This is followed by a review of laboratory studies, which have included assessment of psychomotor effects from the use of the drug. Review of these studies is made more intelligible by the inclusion of a glossary of technical terms. Further sections are included on driving studies (where they exist) and epidemiology. Finally, Baselt summarizes all the material in terms of whether, and in what circumstances, there is evidence of psychomotor impairment. He is careful, however, to stress when these conclusions are based on specific driving studies and when they are inferred from more primary effects.