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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jill Suzanne Bates, PharmD, MS (University of North Carolina Hospitals)
Description: This is a comprehensive tertiary reference that compiles monographs describing well-documented drug interactions. The previous edition was published in 2008.
Purpose: The aim is to provide healthcare professionals important information about drug interactions so they don't have to do the time-consuming literature searches and full assessment of the papers themselves. This is a very comprehensive compilation of information on drug interactions without subjective ratings, thereby letting readers place their own value on the information.
Audience: The book is written with practitioners in mind and covers a broad base of medication classes. A majority of the editorial staff are pharmacists, which is appropriate. This is a U.K. publication, which means different education and training standards than the U.S., but the preface notes that the editorial team includes clinical pharmacists whose specialties range from community pharmacy to infectious diseases and HIV.
Features: The first chapter is an excellent overview of general drug interaction mechanisms and safety data. Subsequent chapters are categorized by pharmaceutical class or, in instances of numerous documented interactions, by drug, e.g. alcohol. Each chapter includes monographs outlining recognized drug interactions in a standardized format of abstract or summary, clinical evidence, mechanism, importance and management, and references. The book is effectively organized and delivers the content in an objective manner, a departure from most of these references, which assign a subjective rating to interactions. Overall, the book avoids using animal studies or in vitro data. However, in some instances, as in the antineoplastic chapter, these data are used and the authors provide a compelling rationale for their inclusion. Because it is a U.K. publication, readers from other countries with different regulatory bodies must keep this in mind. Some drugs may have a different name and/or spelling than the U.S. terminology for the same active ingredient. Thus, interpretation must be done to account for these nomenclature differences.
Assessment: This is a very useful, high quality reference. However, it does not contain the most up-to-date pharmacogenomic data. In recent years, there has been a great deal of growth in this area of pharmacology, with well-documented pharmacogenomic drug interaction data. This is briefly discussed in the introductory chapter and referenced with older citations. A chapter dedicated specifically to pharmacogenomic drug interactions would likely add value to this book. Since the body of evidence about drug interactions continues to grow and new drugs are continually introduced to the market, this update is justified.