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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Thomas L. Pazdernik, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This eighth edition provides current updates to a resource on the clinical use of drugs that has become well known by practitioners of medicine in the United Kingdom and elsewhere over the last 30 years.
Purpose: From its inception, the overall aim of this book has been to describe with brevity and clarity the scientific background of rational prescribing while giving insight into practical aspects of therapeutics. Each edition has improved towards this ultimate goal. This latest edition again has made a significant step forward in achievement of the ultimate goal of the authors.
Audience: This book is more appropriate for practitioners of medicine than for the students who are learning about the use of drugs for the management of patients in their courses of study.
Features: The first of the book's three parts very concisely explains the principles of clinical pharmacology including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and clinical trials. In 18 chapters, part 2 covers aspects of therapeutics, highlighting the drugs used in the management of specific diseases such as gastrointestinal disease, respiratory disease, cancer, etc. Most chapters have been significantly updated or rewritten and two new ones have been added on urological diseases and human immunodeficiency virus. Each chapter gives a clinical scenario usually followed by a key points box that identifies important aspects of diagnosing and managing diseases covered in the chapter. A few table and figures complement the text discussion. The eight chapters in part 3 discuss the practical aspects of prescribing drugs, dealing with topics such as individual dosing, prescribing for patients at the extreme ends of the age spectrum, use of drugs during pregnancy or breastfeeding, pharmacoeconomics, and drug poisonings. The last two chapters, "Drugs You Need in a Hurry" and "Prescribing and its Pitfalls" provide very useful information for practitioners.
Assessment: This is a very useful resource for practitioners, but would be less valuable for students learning about drugs during their training to become practitioners. The book is more valuable to a European than an American audience because of some differences in approved drugs and prescribing guidelines between the two countries.