Reviewer: Cheryl Lynn Nunn-Thompson, PharmD, BCPS (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy)
Description: The 31st edition of Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia is a premier quality international medical reference that provides authoritative information about available and investigational international pharmaceutical products. The 30th edition was published in 1993.
Purpose: According to the editor, the aim of this text is to provide practicing pharmacists and physicians with unbiased, evaluated information on drugs and medicines used throughout the world. Due to a growing body of knowledge on existing drugs, the approval of new agents, and the discontinuation or reformulation of other pharmaceuticals, a simple-to-use comprehensive text such as Martindale is essential in order to provide accurate and accessible medical and disease state information to healthcare professionals. These worthwhile objectives are met by the authors and editors of this text.
Audience: This text is intended for all physicians and pharmacists, in any specialty practice, as well as students and residents. In addition, this reference may be regarded as an excellent source of international medical information for insurance companies or other health administrators who require information regarding unlabeled uses of pharmaceuticals. The authors are primarily pharmacists who are credible as experts in the medical literature and subject matter reviewed in this text.
Features: This text is organized into three major parts. Part 1contains 4,458 monographs on drugs and ancillary substances arranged in 54 chapters. In these chapters, disease state descriptions accompany reviews of treatments of choice and other agents utilized in the management of that particular disease state. Part 2 contains 784 monographs on some new drugs, drugs not easily classified, toxic compounds, or compounds no longer used clinically. The referenced monographs in Parts 1 and 2 include sections on pharmaceutical information, pharmacologic and therapeutic information (including uses and administration, doses, adverse effects, treatment of adverse effects, pharmacokinetics and precautions). Part 3 contains proprietary preparations from 17 different countries. As stated by the author, this text is based on published information and over 26,000 references (including key papers and information found in World Health Organization, government, and manufacturers literature publications) are included. The indexes are extremely useful, the general index is comprehensive and easy-to-use and the international directory of manufacturers index provides names and full addresses of pharmaceutical companies and distributors. Martindale's does not contain illustrations, and the physical appearance of this text is attractive and the text fonts/headings are easy to read.
Assessment: This reference has been published since 1883 and has obviously endured the test of time for quality and useful information. I would highly recommend this text be purchased by medical libraries, universities, bookstores, or other individuals who desire comprehensive international pharmaceutical information. Despite the high initial cost of this reference, it will serve as a valuable information source and may supplant the need for other medical reference materials and texts.