Laboratory Testing in Psychiatry

August, 2007 | Vol: 5 Issue: 8

In this issue


Screening Labs for New Patients: Are they Useful?

In psychiatry, we typically order screening labs on new patients for a variety of purposes, including to rule out medical causes of psychiatric symptoms, to record baseline data before prescribing medications that may lead to lab abnormalities, and to screen for general medical problems. What labs should we order for new patients? A literature review yields very little hard data to guide decisions, so what follows is a combination of research based recommendations and common clinical sense.

Laboratory Monitoring When Prescribing Psychotropics

When you are planning to start a patient on medications, what labs should you order at baseline, and what should you order over time? This is quite a different question from whether to do a set of labs at the start of treatment to screen for disease etiology, and it’s an area where I believe we should be much more proactive.

Expert QA

Research Update