By James Ritter, Rod Flower, Graeme Henderson, Yoon Loke, David MacEwan and Humphrey Rang
Published by Elsevier (January 2019)
I have always been a big fan of having a good knowledge base about pharmacology, after all this forms the basis of a commonly used therapeutic tool, namely the prescribing of a therapeutic drug. It is a fast moving field, continuously changing and requires prescribers to keep regularly up to date. There is no shortage of material to assist the prescriber and for some people; this excellent textbook will be a welcome addition to their personal library.
It is a British based book and importantly for a fast changing subject, it appears up to date being published this year. It is of great interest to both students and postgraduates and as a practicing GP, I found this book most interesting, very readable and highly relevant. The science found in this book is mostly relevant to clinical practice and explains the principles and practice behind many of the drugs used in clinical practice both in the UK and abroad. As well as being interesting, it does add background knowledge to enhance day to day prescribing and in turn hopefully that makes us safer and better prescribers.
It is highly readable and understandable for front line practitioners who have been away for higher education for a while. The language is clear and the book is well illustrated with useful figures and tables which help to explain the text. I would imagine for students, this would be an excellent text with a good clinical focus which would be of assistance in general medicine as well as pharmacology. Now in a mature 9th edition and uptodate in modern practice, this is a useful addition to both an interested undergraduate and postgraduate.
No matter where you are in your career, this book provides a fascinating insight into the theories and understanding which underpin the principles of rational prescribing and therapeutics. There is a huge amount of information here and sometimes it goes into considerable depth and analysis but at the same time remains clinically focussed and understandable.
At 789 pages, it is a big book which is not surprising as it has to cover a big subject area and it achieves its ambition well. It also comes bundled with the price, a digital version both available as an app or a website and either is easy to use. This makes it a very good combination at a keen price and well worth considering if you want to learn more about pharmacology. For prescribers wanting to learn more about scientific principles underlying their prescribing trends then this is a useful, informative and educational resource at a good price.
Dr Harry Brown