Derek Waller, Anthony Sampson and Andrew Hitchings
Published by Elsevier (November 21)
One of my favourite medical subjects has always been clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. Those healthcare practitioners who are prescribers do spend a fair amount of time, processing and signing and thinking about prescriptions both acute and repeat. So, it is important to know about the backgrounds, mode of actions, indications and side effects of drugs they prescribe (and much more) as well as their therapeutic necessity. Of course, there are plenty of excellent and free online resources out there which are most helpful but it is always good to have an uptodate textbook at hand which has the bonus of a web product and app built into the purchase price.
Now in a mature 6th edition, this book is aimed at medical and other healthcare professional students, but I would argue that qualified and even experienced prescribers such as GPs would find this book immensely helpful. It is detailed but understandable and clinically relevant and easy to use as a reference book and it is relatively easy to quickly read up about a drug or a group of drugs. The text is well broken up and has a good number of images and tables and is also diseased focused as well as drug and therapeutic focussed. So, this makes it a good clinical resource both for students and postgraduates. It is a decent sized paperback book with 742 pages and there is a substantial amount of material here to make this book and accompanying digital siblings, a reliable and go to reference source.
I used the book to review a number of topics and at random I chose to read around the topic of multiple sclerosis on page 336. The first section dealt with the clinical aspects which is a neat and well written section which although is short, it is a great summary. Then the next section is all about disease modifying drugs and in about 3 pages, I get a good refresh on the clinical aspects and an excellent review of the therapeutics and clinical pharmacology on this condition.
I have found the advent of biological agents such as biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs as fascinating. As a result, a profusion of drugs such as monoclonal antibodies have arisen and this book does look at them in depth. In the example of biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, on page 375, it covers this topic very well. I found I had a much better understanding after reading this section
Traditional clinical pharmacology and therapeutics is also well covered in good detail and of course being a new edition, it is currently well uptodate. Each chapter also ends with a self-assessment section that helps to enhance learning and reinforce the principles in each chapter.
The book also comes with web access which follows the publisher’s well-established template and previous users will be very familiar with the layout. New users will find it easy to navigate and search and is an excellent added on feature. The app when downloaded onto the publisher’s app is only 115.5MB and is a most useful addition to any eBooks you have on your mobile device such as a smartphone
All in all, the book is superb and brilliant reference source for both medical and appropriate health professional undergraduates as well as established prescribers such as GPs and other similar prescribers. This book will raise standards and I think is well priced for what is on offer and combined with its digital siblings makes an excellent and highly useful reference source.
Dr Harry Brown
14th February 2022