Laurence Brunton, Randa Hilal-Dandan and Bjorn Knollman
Print ISBN 978 12595 84732
eBook ISBN: 978 12595 84749
Published by McGraw Hill
Price £186.99 for the book
A good working knowledge of clinical pharmacology is a hugely important part of any prescribing activity for any healthcare professional who has the rights of a prescriber. There are some good resources out there and this is one of the heavy weight contributors. I use the word resources because although books are important, there is an increasing contribution from digital resources and hence the interest in this excellent eBook. Having access to an electronic text like this either on a computer, via an app on a smartphone or a tablet can be a significant support to a prescriber.
This book is not a summary or a quick look up resource but a hugely detailed text that allows the reader to deep dive into a topic and learn a lot about clinically relevant pharmacology, as the title suggests from a therapeutic point of view. This is to read round a subject, learn and understand more and apply this learning to clinical practice. There is a lot of text here and there are some figures which are beautifully constructed and help to visualise the issue being explained. There is a lot of detailed science here but the vast majority of it is understandable and relevant to a clinician’s practice. In turn this can lead to more rational, error free and evidence-based prescribing. There is no doubt, this is a scholarly and deeply detailed work but at the same time, highly educational and interesting to read. For example, the small section about the mechanisms of resistance to anti-microbial agents on page 965 is a fascinating read. Yet it makes me think and reflect about rational antibiotic prescribing.
Another excellent example of how useful this book was illustrated when I came across the use the cytotoxic agent Bleomycin used in a chemotherapy and I need to know more about it. Using the in-house search engine of the eBook, I easily found the entry on page 1193. There was a significant amount of detail here but not voluminous and it was easy and understandable to read and clinically relevant. Importantly the area of detail, I was specifically interested was amply covered and I had the answers to the questions I needed. Practically and intellectually, I was happy I had all the information I needed.
For a standard clinician in most specialities, this book will probably represent a one stop shop for all the clinical pharmacology you are likely to need to know or require. If any additional material was needed this would result in consulting more specialised texts or research papers.
In addition to the computer based offering there is also an app which is easy to use and like it’s digital sibling easy to search. I used the app both in an iPhone and iPad and it was easy to use. Specifically, it was relatively simple to quickly drill down to the information required. So ease of use from a digital perspective combined with a trusted and in depth review of textbook of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics makes this a potent combination. I enjoyed reading random sections of this excellent resource and continually amazed at how much pharmacology knowledge there is out there, especially around clinically orientated topics. Since practical prescribing is key tool of most clinicians who are allowed to prescribe; having access to a text like this, I am would sure would improve the quality and safety of our prescribing. This offering is not cheap but it is certainly a high quality publication available in a user friendly digital format.
Dr Harry Brown