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From The CriticsReviewer: Thomas L. Pazdernik, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This is the second edition of a book that is designed to teach pharmacology to college upperclassmen who are interested in this subject. The book is divided into four parts: fundamentals of pharmacokinetics, fundamentals of pharmacodynamics and toxicodynamics, drugs that replace, cure or treat symptoms, and drug development. The book is written such that each part could stand on its own. The second edition has updated information as well new sections on cardiovascular drugs, anticancer drugs, neuroleptics, designer drugs, bioterrorism, placebos, recombinant DNA technology, apoptosis, gaseous anesthetics, vitamins, alternative medicines and the cigarette industry master settlement agreement. The first edition was published in 1997.
Purpose: The purpose is to serve as a textbook for undergraduate courses in pharmacology. This is an excellent book for such a purpose and would meet the needs for a course directed at students in either biological or social sciences. Most pharmacology textbooks are written for health professionals (i.e., medical or nursing students) or the lay public interested in a topic such as drug abuse, thus a book at this level is of great value.
Audience: This book is written to serve as a textbook for an undergraduate pharmacology course directed towards students in either the biological or social sciences.
Features: Part 1 deals with pharmacokinetics or the principles of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Part 2 deals with drug-receptor interactions and signaling pathways that account for the pharmacodynamic and toxicodynamic actions of drugs. Part 3 deals with some common drugs that have valuable clinical use. Part 4 deals with drug discovery in industry and the process of getting a new drug approved by the FDA for clinical use. The second edition has 44 new tables and 33 new figures. The figures are not of the quality found in the textbook written for health professional students, but they are more than adequate to illustrate the point and at the same time keep the book at an affordable price. Each chapter has 10 questions to assist the student in learning the basic principles. The appendix has an excellent section on the history of drug abuse laws in the United States. There is also a superb glossary at the end.
Assessment: This is a one-of-a-kind book for an undergraduate course in pharmacology. There are very few undergraduate courses taught in pharmacology, thus pharmacology textbooks are not written to teach pharmacology to nonprofessional students. This is an excellent book for an undergraduate pharmacology course. Many undergraduate students would find a course structured around this textbook to be valuable and exciting.