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Doody ReviewsReviewer: Anthony Shanks, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of a reference for healthcare providers on the safety and effects of medications used by pregnant or lactating women.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a comprehensive, easy to use desk reference for any drug that women may use during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Audience: The intended audience includes physicians, residents, students, and nurses.
Features: Medication names are alphabetized, which makes locating one relatively easy. The authors have designed this book to be used internationally, hence the long list of international brand names under the heading of each medication. However, drugs are listed under their generic name only, making it difficult for users who may only know the trade name of a drug to find a particular medication. Included in the appendix is information on FDA pregnancy risk categories, but the lactation category is never explained in the book. The only reference to the lactation category I found was in small print at the end of the introduction section stating that the lactation category was a "code assigned by the editors." The lack of illustrations makes prolonged reading difficult, but the searchable online version is an excellent addition, given the bulk of the book.
Assessment: This book succeeds in delivering information quickly and efficiently. Its main competition is the Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk , 8th edition, Briggs et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008). The layout is similar in both books, but there is more text in the Briggs book. That can be viewed as both a positive (more info) and a negative (more reading to get to the pertinent facts). Overall, this drug reference will be helpful to healthcare providers.