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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This is a comprehensive handbook on all aspects of drug monitoring.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is twofold. The first is to provide a quick and handy technology reference for the bench technologist performing drug testing. The second is to provide a reference which clinical users of drug test results can use to interpret the results. Both of these worthy objectives are well met by this book.
Audience: This has broad appeal. Of course it would appeal to anyone actively measuring drug levels (i.e., clinical laboratory scientists, toxicologists, clinical chemists). It would also appeal to anyone interested in how such testing is performed and the pitfalls in interpreting results (students or practitioners in any medical discipline or allied health field, poison control centers, concerned parents, etc.). The editor is internationally recognized for his expertise in this area, and all authors are very credible authorities.
Features: This book packs more information than you would think possible in a 7 x 10 x 1 inch book. The 22 chapters cover pretty much anything you might ever want to know about drug monitoring. Early chapters discuss basic introductory matters (i.e., methods, when to measure free versus bound drug, etc.) followed by chapters focusing on drug classes (e.g., digoxin, antidepressants, immunosuppresives). Then a group of chapters discusses issues commonly encountered with drug testing - interferents (lipis, hemolysis, bilirubin), herb interactions, different specimen types (blood versus urine versus saliva versus hair), specimen adulterants and interpretation of results. I especially appreciated the chapter on clinical false positive drug test results, which was full of useful information. Where else could you learn that use of Vicks inhalers can potentially yield a false positive amphetamine result? Or what adulterants are frequently used to obscure evidence of drug abuse? Or what do you need to be mindful of when testifying about drug levels you measured for legal cases? You've got to buy the book to get these answers. These are exactly the questions I get most frequently, and the answers are all here in one convenient location. Of note, this book would be a nice cornerstone to a small group of specialty books collectively covering the majority of toxicology and drugs of abuse testing: Narayan and Young's Effects of Herbs and Natural Products on Clinical Laboratory Tests (AACC Press, 2007), Hammett-Stabler and DasGupta's Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Data, 3rd edition (AACC Press, 2007), Jenkins and Goldberger's On-Site Drug Testing (Humana Press, 2002), and Wong and Tse's Drugs of Abuse: Body Fluid Testing (Humana Press, 2005).
Assessment: This is a very nice addition to the field of drug testing and monitoring. If for nothing else, get it to impress your colleagues when you can definitively answer the frequent question, "How many poppy seed bagels can I eat without having my urine test positive for drugs of abuse?"