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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Rahmat M. Talukder, PhD, RPh (West Coast University School of Pharmacy)
Description: Besides outlining the fundamental concepts and methods involved in performing calculations in a pharmacy, this clearly written textbook covers a full range of topics in pharmaceutical calculations. This 14th edition comes with a number of new features, including a comprehensive review section at the end of the book as well as end of chapter quiz sections, called "CalcQuiz," which offer problems without solutions to help readers practice and refine their understanding of the concepts discussed in the chapter.
Purpose: Healthcare professionals, especially pharmacists, who are involved with direct patient care, must have the ability to perform accurate calculations. This book is expected to help its readers to develop the skill set necessary for carrying out pharmaceutical and clinical calculations. For over 60 years, it has been the gold standard in pharmacy education.
Audience: For many years, this book has been the required text in pharmacy schools for pharmaceutical calculations courses. Additionally, it covers topics such as radiopharmaceuticals, IV admixtures, dosing guidelines, selected clinical calculations, etc., that are useful for practicing pharmacists who want to refine their skills. The author is an internationally known educator.
Features: This clearly written book covers a full range of topics in pharmaceutical calculations. The concepts and contents are the essence of the foundational skills necessary for delivering patient-centered pharmaceutical care. Among the useful features are "A Case in Point" sections illustrating possible real-life situations that bring home key points and "Answers to Case in Point and Practice Problems" where students can verify their calculations. Several chapters, however, could have used more examples — dosing considerations in cancer chemotherapy, calculations involving veterinary pharmaceuticals, and calculations associated with plant extractives. At the end of the book, a set of comprehensive review problems with solutions helps students evaluate their comprehension. More review problems and case studies are provided on the accompanying website.
Assessment: A similar book, Pharmaceutical and Clinical Calculations, 2nd edition, Khan and Reddy (Technomic Publishing Company, 2000), does not differ much in content and quality from the Ansel. Nevertheless, I prefer the latter. I used it while I was a student and now I require my students to use it. I consider this the gold standard for pharmaceutical calculations courses and I will recommend that my colleagues adopt it.