Instant Pharmacology is a title that will make some tutors wince, but this is a good and rather scholarly book, not the "Drugs for Dummies" that the title might imply.
The book is well structured. An introductory section illustrating basic principles of pharmacology precedes a survey of chemical transmission, with detailed discussion of drug actions on specific transmitter systems. Then follows an excellent "systematic pharmacology" section, with surveys of clinical topics from hypertension and asthma to cancer chemotherapy. The fourth section is a "dictionary of drugs": a catalogue of the actions, clinical applications and adverse effects of common drugs.
The book has some very good features. It makes extensive use of tables and diagrams to summarise drug actions. Each topic ends with one or two references to recent literature reviews. The topic surveys are short but well balanced and up to date, with common or important drug names highlighted.
Teachers of specialist pharmacology degree courses will find the book a little superficial, but for medical students and clinicians alike it is ideal.
Paul Dennis is tutor in pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Oxford.
Instant Pharmacology. First Edition
Author - Kourosh Saeb-Parsy, Ravi G. Assomull, Fakhar Z. Khan, Kasra Saeb-Parsy and Eamonn Kelly
ISBN - 0 471 97639 3
Publisher - Wiley
Price - £19.99
Pages - 349