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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John F. Moran, MD (Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine)
Description: This is a pocket sized manual of cardiovascular drugs listed alphabetically from alpha blockers and ACE inhibitors to thrombolytic therapy agents and vasoactive drugs.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a convenient, concise, handbook of drug use in the care of cardiovascular patients.
Audience: The book is written for practitioners, but I think house officers and medical residents would find it most useful.
Features: All cardiovascular drugs are grouped into 16 categories. Each chapter or category starts with a paragraph that has an overview of all drugs in that class. Each drug has the indications, contraindications, dosage, administration, including preparation of the medications in some instances, and important drug reactions. A few references are provided for each drug. The authors list dosages used, but recommend that the package insert on the individual medications be consulted when needed. All of the statin medications, for example, are listed as causing myopathy at the rate of 0.2 percent or less, except Pravachol, which is listed as causing myopathies at a rate of less than 0.1 percent. Some older vasoactive drugs such as Aramine are listed, although it's probably not used much anymore, while newer medications such as Welchol are not included. By virtue of its size, the manual gives a drug overview and includes important points such as adverse reactions. The disclaimer is that only FDA approved indications are recommended and referral to a cardiovascular text is suggested when more information is needed.
Assessment: This handbook provides basic information about cardiovascular medications. In addition, seven appendixes list information such as emergency care and advanced cardiac life support, algorithms for the management of ventricular tachycardia, shock, and cholesterol education program guidelines. Overall, this book can be helpful, but only supplies basic information needed for the moment. It would be a definite help for medical residents.