This chapter divides the history of Psychopharmacology into three different eras. The first, Empiric Psychopharmacology, was that of the serendipitous discovery of diverse molecules in the 1950s, in which the main current classes of compounds were roughly created. A second era, Scientific Psychopharmacology, was defined by the purposeful design of agents based on pathophysiological hypothesis developed from the identified mechanisms of action of the first psychiatric drugs. A third, modern era, of disenchantment, is marked by a growing criticism of Psychopharmacology and its commercial dimension. Finally, some remarks are made on the possible future of Psychopharmacology.
Keywords: Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, Antipsychotics, Anxiolytics, Ataractics, Benzodiazepines, Berger, Frank, Cade, John, Catecholamine hypothesis of depression, D. Jean, D. Pierre, Discontinuation syndrome, Dopaminergic hypothesis of schizophrenia, Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), Kühn, Roland, Laborit, Henri, MAOI antidepressants, Meprobamate, Me-too, Mood stabilizers, Neuroleptics, Nootropics, Schou, Mogens, Supersensitivity psychosis, Tranquillizers, Tricyclic antidepressants.