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Instant Pharmacology.
  1. C D M DREW
  1. Richmond, Surrey, UK

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    Instant Pharmacology. By Kourosh Saeb-Parsy, Ravi G Assomull, Fakhar Z Khan, Kasra Saeb-Parsy, Eamonn Kelly. (Pp 349; £19.99.) John Wiley & Sons, 1999. ISBN 0-471-97639-3.***

    This ready reference written by students for students is enthusiastic and contains attractively arranged information on chemical transmitters, pharmacological treatment of clinical conditions, a drug directory, and self assessment. The subject matter has been carefully chosen in such a way that the reader is directed to appropriate sources of further reading.

    However it is not an instant formula for examination success in itself for several reasons. The length of the book has limited its scope and necessarily eliminated important subject matter. A courageous attempt to cover basic principles has overshadowed mention of relative efficacy, while adverse reaction sections are sketchy and no indication is given of their incidence. It is therefore not possible to form a view of the balance between efficacy and safety, between relative risk and clinical usefulness.

    Although the book has significant limitations, the authors may already have made plans to improve it in the next edition. Other short sections could also be usefully added on pharmacognosy, principles used in the conduct of clinical trials, ethics of drug treatment, drug interaction, and incompatibility and pharmacoepidemiology.

    Provided that this book is used as a ready reference in pharmacological information terms, it will be appreciated by students as a good place to start gathering information on an individual topic. It is attractively written and presented and may also be useful to those engaged in other disciplines such as nursing and complementary medicine.

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