Saunders Nursing Drug Handbook 2003 / Edition 1

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This accessible and reliable drug handbook is an easy-to-use source of the current drug information needed by the busy health care provider. What separates this book from others is that it guides the user through clinical priorities in the practice setting to promote better patient care. Its main objective is to provide essential information for 1000s of medications in a user-friendly format. This edition of the Saunders Nursing Drug Handbook utilizes a functional order of headings that follows a logical clinical progression answering these questions:
  • What is the drug?
  • How is the drug classified?
  • What does the drug do?
  • What is the drug used for?
  • Under what conditions should you NOT use the drug?
  • How do you administer the drug?
  • How do you store the drug?
  • What is the dose of the drug?
  • What should you monitor the patient for once he's received the drug?
  • What do you assess the patient for?
  • What interventions should you perform?
  • What should you teach the patient?
Drug entries are in alphabetical order by generic drug name, with A-Z tabs, for quick and easy access. Each full entry is formatted with the following headings: ·
  • generic drug name (includes pronunciation)
  • · trade name (includes Canadian availability indicated with maple leaf) · fixed combinations (where applicable)
  • · classification (both clinical and pharmacotherapeutic; includes cross references to the classification section of the handbook)
  • · action/therapeutic effect
  • · pharmacokinetics
  • · uses/unlabeled uses
  • · precautions (includes contraindications, cautions, and lifespan considerations)
  • · interactions (includes food, drug, altered lab values, and herbal)
  • · availability
  • · administration/handling (with a subheading for each route; includes reconstitution information, maximum concentration, and rates of IV infusion.)
  • · IV incompatibilities
  • · IV compatibilities (NEW)
  • · indications/dosage/route (includes IV flow rates and dosages in renal/hepatic compromised individuals)
  • · side effects (listed by percentage of frequency, when available)
  • · adverse reactions/toxic effects
  • · nursing implications (assessment, intervention, and patient teaching)
Selected drug entries will also have a "Do Not Confuse With" heading after the trade name to discuss drugs that look or sound like the given drug's generic and/or brand names.

Interspersed with the alphabetized drug entries will be new herb monographs for 19 of the most-commonly used herbs. Each herb monograph contains headings similar to those in the drug entries.

Abbreviated monographs are included for those drugs (about 10%) that are administered less commonly but with important precautions or side effects to be aware of. Pharmacokinetics, availability, and lifespan considerations will be omitted in the abbreviated entries. Full entries for many of these drugs are included on the SIMON web site

Also included is a completely re-designed section that describes 57 drug classification categories. For each classification category, the actions and uses are discussed. Also, unique to this handbook, a listing of generic drugs - including recently FDA-approved drugs -- that fit in a particular classification are listed along with each classification entry. If a generic drug in this listing is contained in the A-Z or New Drug Supplement portions of the handbook it will be cross-referenced to the drug entry by page number.

This handbook highlights the most essential information: drug name, classification, IV administration, IV incompatibilities, IV compatibilities, and adverse reactions. A new icon points out the top 100 brand name drugs prescribed in 2002 to help the user focus on those drugs that are administered most frequently. The content is updated throughout with the latest information and FDA-approved drugs.

The very latest FDA-approved drugs released in late spring (February to April) 2002 are featured in a newly-designed abbreviated new drug supplement.

The appendixes of the book act as a mini-pharmacologic reference. The appendixes included are (Poison) Antidote Chart, Calculation of Doses, Controlled Drugs (United States), Drugs of Abuse, FDA Pregnancy Categories, Herbal Therapies, Normal Laboratory Values, Signs & Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalance, and Techniques of Medication Administration.

The fully updated and conveniently located foldout IV Compatibility Chart in the front of the book gives compatibility information for over 100 intravenous drugs.

A PC-compatible mini CD-ROM with 60 formatted and printable drug cards is included. A SIMON web site will include drug information updates.

A flow chart on how to best navigate the handbook is printed on the inside front cover. Color tabs differentiate among each distinct section of the handbook enhancing its use as a clinical reference.


  • Side effects are listed by frequency -- frequent, occasional, rare -- with percentage of occurrence (when known). Allows the nurse to identify the most likely side effects during assessment, and also helps with patient teaching.
  • Comprehensive foldout IV Compatibility Chart gives compatibility information for over 100 intravenous drugs. This chart provides easy access to this information and is bound into the book so it can't be misplaced.
  • The classification section provides an overview - actions and uses for 57 drug families. Each classification includes a unique table comparing drugs in the family and listing dosages and routes of administration.
  • A new therapeutic treatment index organized alphabetically by disorder with the drugs used to treat each disorder listed beneath each disorder entry.
  • Extensively expanded IV content with a new heading for IV compatibilities, and expanded rates of infusion, reconstitutions, drip rates, test doses, flushing, and incompatibilities.
  • Expanded pediatric drug information, including FDA-approved dosages and nursing implications.
  • 2 new classifications in this edition -- ACE inhibitors II and proton pump inhibitors.
  • 19 new herb monographs in the A-Z portion of the book.
  • Percentages of side effects are expanded and documented for every drug where this information is available.
  • A new subheading defining protein-binding percentages under Pharmacokinetics for all full drug entries.
  • Therapeutic and toxic blood level information are incorporated into the Interactions section and under Nursing Implications.
  • A new drug supplement contains abbreviated monographs on the latest FDA-approved drugs released in late spring (February to April) 2002.
  • Updated throughout with the latest information and new FDA-approved drugs.
  • A PC-compatible mini CD-ROM with 60 searchable and printable color drug cards derived from the SAUNDERS ELECTRONIC NURSING DRUG CARDS 2002 is included free.
  • Identifies top 100 prescribed drugs with a new icon to help the user focus on those drugs that are administered most frequently.
  • Provides one appendix new to this edition: drugs of abuse.
  • Expanded herbal therapies appendix includes over 50 of the most commonly used herbs.
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Linda D. Gerson, PhD, RN (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This is the 2003 edition of a nursing drug handbook published annually since 1993. The book is written for nurses, nursing students, and other healthcare providers to guide their practice and provision of patient care. The alphabetical listing of drugs by generic name is preceded by an extensive section which includes IV incompatibility charts and a four-color medication atlas. There is a useful appendix.
Purpose: According to the authors, the purpose is to provide essential drug information in a user-friendly format. This is a worthy objective and a needed book, which meets the author's objectives.
Audience: The book is written for nurses, nursing students, and other healthcare professionals. This book is suited to the audience it is intended to target. The book is written by a nurse, who has authored drug handbooks since 1987, and by a pharmacist with 32 years of experience in his field. Both are credible authorities on the subject matter.
Features: This handbook covers current medications through the use of color, a bold, easy to read format, and a CD-ROM. There are useful general and therapeutic indexes, a new drug supplement, and available internet updates. An additional strength is nursing implications for each drug, including patient teaching pointers. The only identifiable limitation is in format. It is hard to determine where each new drug begins on a page.
Assessment: This is a valuable drug reference for nurses and nursing students. Key information is included in a practical format. In particular, it succinctly addresses the nursing process, focusing on assessment, intervention, and evaluation and highlights the area of patient teaching. Compared with other books in the field (Deglin and Vallerand, Davis's Drug Guide for Nurses, 7th edition (F.A. Davis, 2001) and Karch, 2003 Lippincott's Nursing Drug Guide (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003)), this book is a worthwhile resource. This edition is needed as it incorporates the latest new drug information.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780721695655
  • Publisher: Elsevier Health Sciences
  • Publication date: 6/1/2002
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1305
  • Product dimensions: 4.32 (w) x 7.68 (h) x 1.65 (d)

Table of Contents

I. IV Compatibility Chart

II. Color Pill Atlas

III. Classifications

IV. A-Z Drug Entries

V. Appendixes

A. (Poison) Antidote Chart
B. Calculation of Doses
C. Commonly Used Abbreviations
D. Controlled Drugs
E. Drugs of Abuse
F. FDA Pregnancy Categories
G. Herbal Therapies
H. Normal Laboratory Values
I. Signs and Symptoms of Toxic Effects/Adverse Reactions
J. Techniques of Medication Administration

VI. New Drug Supplement

VII. Therapeutic Treatment Index

VIII. General Index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2002

    Drug cards for nursing school,

    If your are in nursing school and part of your studies includes drug cards for familiarity of drug properties and general info, this is the book you want. Vocational schools will give a book that is contradictory in the books format to what the drug card information requires. This book covers every aspect of each drug. For example lippincott's, and davis's drug manuals do not list toxic effects IE what happens when you overdose a patient with a particular drug and what signs and symptoms to look out for that show overdoses. For drug carding, this book is a MUST!!

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