The Pharmaceutical Journal - Laurence A. Goldberg
AHFS Drug Information 2014
The Pharmaceutical Journal, 2014, Volume293, Page 20
[REVIEWER'S EXPERT OPINION]
Laurence A. Goldberg
This book sets out to provide an evidence-based foundation for safe and effective drug therapy. With the publication of the current edition, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has continued to build on this foundation by providing a resource that focuses on the essential evidence-based information that will allow pharmacists, physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers to access quickly, in a straight-forward manner, the specific guidance needed to prescribe and monitor drug therapy safely and effectively.
This book is a collection of drug monographs on almost every single drug entity available in the US. Drug monographs are arranged by the AHFS Pharmacologic-Therapeutic Classification. Each easy-to-use monograph offers access to knowledge that is critical at the point of care. It contains a concise overview of the drug’s uses (both labelled and off-label) and an easily navigated list of doses specific to each use, age group, route of administration and special population (eg, patients with hepatic or renal impairment). Important cautionary information follows a structured outline with numerous subdivisions of information to help the reader in locating specific contraindications, warnings, sensitivity alerts, safety in pregnancy and in breastfeeding women, drug interactions, etc.
Subscribers to the print version of this book will have free access to ASHP’s companion website.
This text is soft backed with flimsy pages that are likely to become easily damaged with constant use. It is, however, an easy-to-use and valuable reference source. One important attribute is that it is the only remaining official drug compendium published in the US by a non-commercial professional and scientific society.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Melissa M. Ranieri, BS, PharmD (Temple University School of Pharmacy)
Description: Published yearly with accompanying electronic updates, this is one of the most comprehensive collections of drug monographs available and is highly regarded for providing evidence-based, unbiased drug information.
Purpose: The mission is to publish objective and detailed data in order to provide safe and effective drug therapy. Supported by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, this reference is well known for its independence from the pharmaceutical industry as well as for its accurate and thorough content. Drug monographs are prepared by professionals who review evidence-based information and include recommendations from experts in the field. This edition certainly maintains its high standard of excellence as a source of comparative, unbiased, and evidence-based drug information.
Audience: This resource is used routinely by physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and students. Although it is not designed as a point of care tool, it is convenient to have available when more detailed information is necessary. In particular, the dosing section is thorough, as is the material on off-label indications. This is information that is not always readily available but is often needed to make clinical decisions. This publication would make an excellent addition to the library of a medical floor in a hospital, a pharmacy, or a physician's office as a source of well-referenced, objective, and thorough drug data.
Features: The book contains drug monographs for over 100,000 drug products. Drug information is categorized by therapeutic class, which allows for fast and convenient comparison for different agents in the same class. The information on dosing and label and off-label indications is comprehensive and particularly useful in clinical practice. Another unique feature is that it provides acute toxicity in overdose as well as more conventional toxicity for chronic use. The index is designed so that drug information can be referenced by brand name, generic name, or therapeutic class. Although this is published yearly in print form, a username and password is provided for online access to evolving information. This electronic content is continually updated so the user has access to the most current, evidence-based information. Although this reference is certainly thorough, there is some repetition in the introductory section for the therapeutic class, as well as within the individual drug monographs. However, the book is fairly well organized so that this is not really a problem and that information can still be easily found.
Assessment: Also known as the "big red book," this is a comprehensive, accurate, and well-referenced compendium of drug monographs. It succeeds at providing unbiased, well-researched, and evidence-based information. While it may not be the first place a healthcare provider references for drug information, it can certainly provide more detailed or hard to find information that can be clinically necessary.