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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Black's Medical Dictionary by Gordon MacPherson 40th Edition (Scarecrow: Rowman & Littlefield) The fortieth edition gives over 5000 definitions and descriptions of medical terms and concepts accompanied by appendices on important subjects such as the National Health Service (including selected statistics), Health Economics, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Common Medical Tests and an address list of support and professional organizations. 

All material has been checked and updated with new or substantially revised entries on:

  • apoptosis
  • attention deficit disorder
  • autism
  • children's physical and mental he cognitive behavior therapy
  • environmental health
  • ethics
  • general practice
  • nursing occupational health
  • pregnancy and labor
  • prostheses
  • research fraud
  • suicide transfusion

Where relevant, entries contain appropriate cross references to further information.

Black's Medical Dictionary first appeared in 1906. That new century was to see health care in the United Kingdom evolve from a largely personal, paternalistic consultation between doctor and patient, based more on medical tradition than medical science, to a complex, science-based, team-oriented and managed service. Even so, the core of medical practice has survived: the face-to-face consultation between doctor and patient. But the nature of this core activity has been irreversibly altered by a shift in the `balance of power' between the participants as patients became better informed about their health, illnesses and possible treatments. A significant catalyst in the emergence of the informed patient has been the media, including publications like this dictionary, the contents of which have during its 40 editions reflected these changes in medicine.

One modest constant in this sea of change, however, has been the objective of Black's Medical Dictionary. When launching the first edition, the editor, Edinburgh physician John D. Comrie, declared his aim as producing `a work which would occupy a position somewhere between that of a Technical Dictionary of Medicine and one intended merely for the domestic treatment of common ailments . . . [giving] information in simple language upon medical subjects of importance and general interest.' That initial mission statement underpins this first edition of the 21st century.

The 40th edition embraces many subjects from the venerable, such as arthritis, the common cold, diabetes and fractures, to leading-edge technology – for example, new diagnostic imaging techniques, mini­mally invasive surgery, improved treatments for cancers and heart attacks, and exploration of those ethically fraught territories of reproductive medicine and gene therapy. Clinical practice has always been bounded by ethical guidelines: nowadays, however, political and economic imperatives intrude. New medical treatments, growing demands for health care – and its increasing expense – the growth of patient litigation and communities' attempts to fund these changes have added an economic dimension to health care that I have put into a UK context in appendices covering health economics and statistics and the National Health Service.

Dr Comrie and his publishers Adam and Charles Black would have been delighted that their dictionary has flourished into a new century. The first editor might have found some of the 2002 edition's contents familiar, some intriguing and others baffling or downright unbeliev­able. Who in 1906 would have imagined growing new tissues from artificially cultured stem cells, computer-generated `virtual organs' or manipulating the mechanisms of heredity to prevent or cure congenital disorders? Another phenomenon that might have surprised him is the flow of medical `discoveries': some enter mainstream medicine, others do not. In the time between the preparation and publication of this volume there will be several such discoveries; their inevitable omission will, no doubt, be remedied in the 41st edition. Meanwhile, I hope that this 40th edition follows its predecessors' traditions and will be of practical value to all readers, whether members of the public, students and practitioners in the health and social care professions, or lawyers, actuaries and, indeed, anyone who needs an understanding of medical terms for their professional activities.

Black's Medical Dictionary is neither a textbook of medicine nor a formulary of therapeutic drugs. The many drugs that are included are given their generic title as used in the British Pharmacopoeia. Patients are individuals who react in varying ways to injuries, diseases and their treatments. Appendix 1 explains some basic first-aid procedures, but patients' own doctors are normally the appropriate source for personal medical advice. The dictionary should, however, help readers to decide when it would be wise to seek medical advice and subsequently help them to set such advice in context. 

Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, neither the publishers nor the author can be held responsible for any consequences if readers use the book for the treatment of themselves or others.

Nonprescription Drug Therapy: Guiding Patient Self Care, 2nd edition edited by Timothy Covington, Julia Elenbaas, Wendy Munroe (Facts & Comparisons) Over-the-counter drug reference organized by condition. Each monograph describes the condition, its cause, how it may be treated, and appropriate OTC agents.
Condition-oriented and organized in chapters on body systems, this OTC drug reference is the only one of its kind. Now offered in a bound format, it offers the most current facts on conditions patients may choose to self-treat and appropriate nonprescription pharmacotherapy. Each monograph contains information on etiology, symptoms, treatment, and patient information and counseling. Chapters to include: CNS Conditions, Dermatologic, Gastrointestinal, Musculoskeletal, Nutritional, Ophthalmic Conditions, Oral Cavity Conditions, Podiatric, Respiratory, and Women's Health. NDT is an excellent tool for counseling patients on the appropriate use of nonprescription medications. Includes illustrations.

Nonprescription Drug Therapy (NDT): Guiding Patient Self-Care is a timely, comprehensive, and authoritative publication that is carefully designed to serve the informational needs of pharmacists, physicians, other health care provid­ers, and the self-medicating consumer. When properly utilized, NDT will foster value-based, patient-focused, pharmaceutical care that is driven toward the attainment of optimal health outcomes in patients taking nonprescription drugs.

The publisher, editors, and scores of authors and reviewers of NDT have defined the following primary goals for this publication:
Foster the safe, appropriate, effective, and economical use of nonprescription drugs in treating and mitigating symptoms of a wide variety of commonly occurring, self-treatable medical conditions.
Serve the best interests of the public health by providing pharmacists, other health care providers, and consumers with in-depth, comprehensive, current information on nonprescription drug therapy in a logical and practical format.
NDT is complementary to other Facts & Comparisons® publications but is unique among them in its exclusive focus on nonprescription drug therapy. This publication is the definitive applied reference source addressing nonprescrip­tion pharmacotherapy and is a cornerstone of drug information designed to assist in the mitigation of symptoms and management of illness.

The format of NDT fosters a logical thought process that begins with a presen­tation of the medical condition to be treated (eg, definition, etiology, inci­dence, pathophysiology, signs and symptoms). The monograph then progresses to the diagnostic process by presenting focused assessment parameters that can be determined through clinical observation and interview. Each monograph cul­minates with a thorough review of appropriate pharmacotherapeutic manage­ment (eg, drug selections, drug use, patient education, product information).

The configuration of the NDT content is similar to that of a standard medical text and supports the universal recognition that one cannot adequately treat a patient or that patients cannot appropriately treat themselves unless there is full understanding and appreciation of the medical condition the drug therapy is designed to treat. One may then assess the symptom or symptom complex and determine whether the patient should be triaged to a physician or other health care provider or if the patient should self-treat with one or more nonprescrip­tion drugs.

The tone of the work is resolute, the language is crisp, the sequencing is logical, and the content is rational and relevant, preventing readers from getting lost in extraneous and inapplicable narrative. NDT is designed to remain up-to-date with its electronic versions, loose-leaf format, and annual bound edition. The current drug information "explosion" in the information age in which we live vir­tually requires this level of currency if patient health interests are to be prop­erly served.
This unique reference book has been designed to help health care professionals assist patients with common, non-critical, medical conditions where, in certain cases, self-treat­ment with OTC agents may be appropriate. While every effort is made to ensure the data provided herein is complete and up-to-date, readers must bear in mind that this book is not intended to replace sound clinical judgment. Keep the following in mind to ease navigation through the book:

  • Nonprescription Drug Therapy: Guiding Patient Self-Care is organized into chapters that describe conditions related to particular body systems (eg, CNS, GI). Throughout each chapter, readers will encounter the sections described below. Each section plays a role in helping the health care professional identify and, when appropriate, recommend treat­ment (in the form of non-drug therapy or OTC agents) or physician referral.

  • Definition: Explains what the condition is and provides commonly used names. Etiology: Describes the origin of the condition.

  • Incidence: Presents incidence and prevalence data, when known. Pathophysiology: Describes how the condition develops and affects the body. Signs/Symptoms: Lists physical or psychological symptoms.

  • Diagnostic Parameters/Physical Assessment: Describes additional clues to the nature of disease. Also includes an "Interview" section, which provides discussion topics to help ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment. 

  • "Non-Drug Therapy" and "Pharmaco­therapy" subsections provide details of treatment options; the "Pharmacotherapy" sec­tion indicates when physician or specialist referral is warranted and includes complete drug monographs for appropriate OTC agents. Product listings, which follow each drug monograph, include a representative group of products that are available OTC.
    In addition to the condition-related monographs, Nonprescription Drug Therapy includes the following:Appendices - Includes Treatment of Acute Hypersensitivity Reactions and Treatment of Acute Overdosage, Administration Techniques, and common abbreviations and calcu­lations.
    Index - Includes names of conditions, drug agents, and trade names.

Drug Facts and Comparisons 2003: Pocket Version (Facts & Comparisons) Is the indispensable portable drug reference for busy professionals. Derived from Drug Facts and Comparisons°, the premier source of unbiased drug information for more than 55 years, its abridged monographs include the information you most often need "on the move'‑ an ideal compact reference for rounds and use in the clinic. Revised annually, this new edition features...

  • 14 new drugs, including Galantamine (Reminyl, Valganciclovir (valcyte), Ziprasidone (Geodon), Nateglinide (Starlix)
  • New combinations, including Glyburide I Metformin combination (Glucovance)
  • 8 updated group monographs, including: Agents for Migraine, CNS Stimulants, Smoking Deterrents, Sex Hormones, and Immune Globulins
  • Up‑to‑date information on more than 600 generic drugs, with 2,000+ representative trade names
  • Organization by 13 therapeutic divisions, making it easy to identify and compare similar agents
  • Indications and Administration and Dosage sections at the beginning of the monographs
  • Drugs most likely to require quick, on‑the‑spot confirmation of dosing recommendations, warnings interactions, adverse reactions, etc.
  • Abbreviated monographs that provide just the information needed at the point‑of‑care

Charts and tables that facilitate quick comparisons of drugs, classes, and dose forms

 Pocket ImmunoFacts: Vaccines & Immunologics (Facts & Comparisons) provides concise information on the most frequently used immunologics. Abbreviated 2‑color graphs use icons for quick and simple access to the information.

2001 Physicians Desk Reference Companion Guide, Keyed to PDR 55th Edition edited by Mukesh Mehta, (Medical Economics Company) This is the perfect addition to your 2001 PDR drug reference library. This unique, timesaving, all-in-one clinical reference assures safe and appropriate drug selection with ten critical checkpoints:  Imprint Identification Guide enables you to quickly identify thousands of drugs by imprint alone. You can obtain information such as strength, color, form, shape, etc.  Interactions Index identifies pharmaceuticals and foods capable of interacting with a given medication.  Food Interactions Cross-Reference lists drugs that may interact with a dietary item.  Side Effects Index pinpoints the pharmaceuticals associated with each of 3,600 distinct adverse reactions.  Indications Index presents the full range of therapeutic options approved for a given diagnosis. Contraindications Index alerts you to conflicts between the patient's condition and a proposed course of drug therapy.  Off-Label Treatment Guide lists medications routinely used - but never officially approved - for treatment of nearly 1,000 specific disorders.  Cost of Drug Therapy Guide provides a quick overview of the relative expense of leading therapeutic options for a variety of common indications. International Drug Guide names the U.S. equivalents of some 14,000 foreign medications. Generic Availability Table shows which forms and strengths of a brand-name drug can be dispensed generically and what the relative difference in unit cost might be. Cross-referenced to the 2001 PDR, this comprehensive guide is certain to become your most frequently used clinical reference.

Red Book 2002 edited by Medical Economics Staff (Drug Topics Red Book, 2002: Medical Economics) Celebrating 106 years of service, Red Book remains the pharmacy's most reliable source for accurate product information and prices on prescription drugs, OTC items and reimbursable medical supplies. Full color photos. 800 pages With valuable clinical and pharmaceutical reference information, Red Book is the essential resource healthcare professionals reach for every day. The new 2002 Red Book contains extensive updates and additions and provides the latest pricing and product information on over 100,000 Rx and OTC items but also includes the broad spectrum of healthcare information in one volume, to cope with pharmacy's changing role in the medical, pharmaceutical and retail marketplace. Sections include: Nationally recognized Average Wholesale Prices (AWPs), Direct Prices, and Federal Upper Limit prices for prescription drugs; Suggested Retail prices for OTC products; NDC numbers for all FDA-approved drugs; Complete package information including dosage form, route of administration, strength and size; "Orange Book" codes-FDA's Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalent Evaluations; Vitamin Comparison Table: Amounts of vitamins and minerals in over 50 popular multivitamin products; Common Laboratory Values: Answers to the most common patient questions about urine sugar level, cholesterol, blood pressure and more; Guide to Leading Alternative Medicines; Pharmacy Buying Groups- Group Purchasing Organizations in the pharmaceutical marketplace; NCPDP Billing Standards; Controlled Substance Inventory Sheet..

USP DI 2002 (USP DI. Vol 3 : Approved Drug Products and Legal Requirements, 22nd Ed) by Medical Economics Staff (Editor), (Micromedex, Thomson Healthcare) has all of the information healthcare professionals need on federal guidelines affecting drug prescribing and dispensing. No more searching through multiple resources for drug information—with this one guide, you'll have a cost-effective and timesaving tool designed to speed your research for accepted substitutes and other important drug data.

This valuable reference includes the complete contents of the FDA's "Orange Book": Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations. It also features excerpts from USP-NF regarding quality, packaging, storing and labeling requirements. Help your patients make cost-effective decisions—quickly determine which generic drugs can be safely substituted for brand name drugs, as opposed to those that are B-rated drugs. Assist patients with rare diseases or conditions—Volume III contains a list of orphan drugs and contact information for the manufacturers. Ensure safety—important information used for compounding and generic substitution can be accessed quickly through Volume III. Identify unknown pills—color pill charts in the book can help you quickly identify pills and capsules.

Managing Clinically Important Drug Interactions edited by Philip D. Hansten, John R. Horn, (Facts & Comparisons) Hansten and Horn Managing Clinically Important Drug Interactions is derived from our more comprehensive book, Drug Interactions Analysis and Management. Given that the latter book has more than 1000 pages, users have requested a smaller book with a focus on those drug interactions that have the most potential for causing harm. Accordingly, Managing Clinically Important Drug Interactions  does not contain Class 4 or Class 5 interactions. To save addi­tional space, we have also removed the "Mechanism" and "Clinical Evaluation" sec­tions from the monographs.
The management of drug interactions is emphasized in this book. Unlike adverse drug reactions to individual drugs, adverse drug interactions are almost completely preventable. Managing Clinically Important Drug Interactions has devoted considerable space to providing management options for each interaction. These options allow the health care provider to select one or more courses of action that are designed to reduce the likelihood that the patient will suffer an adverse consequence from the interaction.

 Managing Clinically Important Drug Interactions  was designed to be used by health care providers who prescribe, dispense, or administer medications. We have included prescription and non-prescrip­tion medications, as well as herbal remedies. Nonetheless, there are a few types of drug interactions that one is not likely to find in this book: drugs used primarily in the practice of anesthesiology, drugs of abuse, and some well-known and predictable pharmacodynamic interactions such as combinations of CNS depressants.

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