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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jay P. Goldsmith, MD (Tulane University School of Medicine)
Description: This is the fourth edition of the book that has become the gold standard in pediatric pharmacology. It covers all aspects of pediatric pharmacology, including molecular and physiologic principles of pharmacokinetics and guidelines for drug therapy, and devotes chapters to specific classes of drugs, specific settings such as the NICU and emergency room, specific aspects of drug use such as medication errors, drug monitoring, and adherence to medication regimens, and the ethics of drug research on children. The previous edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: It is intended to be a comprehensive, authoritative reference in pediatric pharmacology with updated and evidence-based information for clinicians as well as scientists in this area. In this rapidly changing field, this is a worthy objective which the authors and contributors have fully met.
Audience: The audience consists of pediatric and neonatal practitioners at all levels of training or clinical responsibility. The book is more comprehensive than a drug formulary and gives much more information than just drug doses and routes of administration. Pharmacologists and researchers in this area will also find this book invaluable. The authors and contributors are world-renowned authorities in this field.
Features: The book is quite comprehensive, beginning with a section on general principles. Other sections cover drugs for special populations (including a whole section on newborns), specific drugs by class or for certain conditions, and adverse drug effects and interactions. Many of the chapters include very up-to-date discussions on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacogenomics. Special chapters on the ethics of drug research in children, medication errors, and adherence to medication regimens are unique to this book. Two extensive appendixes cover neonatal and pediatric drug formularies. I would have preferred the addition of nursing input in some chapters, such as the ones on therapeutic compliance and safety issues.
Assessment: This is truly the gold standard of pediatric and neonatal pharmacology. It is much more extensive than the standard pediatric drug formulary handbooks and its size (1,042 pages) means it is designed to be a reference in the office and not carried in one's lab coat pocket. However, it is a must-have reference for every pediatric ward and specialty unit since drug therapy is so essential and often misunderstood and misused.