Reviewer: Anthony Shanks, MD (Indiana University School of Medicine)
Description: This is a very nice desktop reference for common and uncommon medications used during pregnancy. The ninth edition was published in 2011.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide information on the drugs that are used during pregnancy for a wide variety of conditions. The book also covers the fetal effects as well as implications in breast feeding.
Audience: It is written for practicing physicians, but residents and nurses also would benefit from using it.
Features: The drugs that the book covers are as common as acetaminophen and as rare as iopanoic acid. Rather than providing a simple letter category for pregnancy (as other drug guides have done), this book discusses specific fetal risks. More importantly, it provides the references and evidence-based evaluations behind these risks. Typical summaries can be as long as three pages, which provide a wealth of information. The best use of this book will be by the practitioner who cares for a patient who brings in a long list of medications that she takes. The practitioner can easily look up the medication and give the patient the information about and the rationale for continuing to take or stopping a particular medication. The breastfeeding summaries are very nice and very concise. Best of all are the short summaries that precede each in-depth evaluation. This is particularly useful when time is limited.
Assessment: This is an excellent reference and the new format does a nice job of incorporating the evidence behind the decisions. I was not able to review the online component but I look forward to trying it out.