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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eric M. Scholar, PhD (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Description: This is a book written by students for students. It represents a different approach to pharmacology compared to other available textbooks.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an accessible, exhaustive, yet concise account of pharmacology.
Audience: The intended audience is medical students.
Features: There is a brief introduction to the basic principles of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. The remainder of the book is then divided into four parts. The main chemical transmitters, which mediate bodily processes and are the sites of much pharmacological intervention, are discussed in Part 1. A systematic account of the pharmacological treatment of major clinical conditions is provided in Part 2. Emphasis is placed primarily on the principles on which therapy is based. Part 3 is an alphabetical listing of all the drugs encountered in Parts 1 and 2, with descriptions of the major clinical uses, mechanisms of actions, and pharmacokinetic and adverse effects for each. The final part of the book is a collection of multiple-choice questions on the topics covered. The material presented in the first three parts is very complete and comprehensive. A large amount of information is presented in a very concise manner. Mechanisms which are among the most important aspects of pharmacology are described. Part 4, which consists of questions, is the weakest part of the book. It is very brief and therefore not very useful. It contains only a few questions for each area of pharmacology covered.
Assessment: I liked the book very much for the authors' ability to provide important information about each drug in a concise manner. The diagrams and tables provided throughout the text are very helpful and useful. The title is somewhat misleading in that it indicates readers can absorb the information quickly which, of course, is incorrect. There is some redundancy in that mechanisms are provided in Part 2 and then repeated in the individual drug descriptions.