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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gilad A. Gross, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This book on the use of drugs (medical therapeutics) during pregnancy and lactation uses a two-pronged approach, with the first being "best" choices and the second being risks secondary to exposure.
Purpose: The purpose is to facilitate a comparative risk approach, i.e. identifying the drugs of choice for a particular disease or symptom. This is an extremely important goal - assisting clinicians in making the best possible choice for their patients. The author meets the objectives admirably, employing an impressive group of contributors.
Audience: This book is intended for practicing clinicians who prescribe medicinal products and evaluate environmental and/or occupational exposures in women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are lactating. The authors are from around the world, including Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, the U.K., France, Spain, and the U.S.
Features: The best feature of this book is its thorough coverage of how medications pass into breast milk and the way it takes into consideration the differences posed by infant age and maturity. Lists of drug therapies accompanied with recommendations regarding therapy choice and safe alternatives, are especially helpful. The appendixes are a highlight of this book, providing practitioners with a wealth of listed resources. Some of these are invaluable resources.
Assessment: This is highly recommended to all clinicians working in the areas of obstetrics, pediatrics, and lactation. It offers more specific recommendations regarding treatment options than a similar book, Hale's Medications and Mothers Milk, 12th edition (Hale Publishing, 2006). Another book in this area, Schaefer et al.'s Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment, 2nd edition (Elsevier, 2007) does not list drugs under specific categories, such as general and local anesthetics, muscle relaxants, or dermatological medications, the way this book does, which makes decision making easier for the clinician. This book is a great addition to the clinician's library. This second edition contains major revisions with many sections completely rewritten, and the price is lower, making the book available to a greater readership.