Preface to the first edition
The aim of this book is twofold: firstly to summarize concisely the main pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of the drugs with which the practising anaesthetist might be expected to be familiar. Secondly, it seeks to introduce the candidate for the FRCAnaes (and, in particular, for the second part of this examination) to an ordered scheme for the presentation of information, which we have found to be of value in both the written and oral sections of the examinations. Examiners are more likely to turn a blind eye to minor errors or omissions of knowledge if they are in the context of a clear and well-ordered presentation. A further advantage of this scheme of presentation is that it allows rapid access to specific information. It is our hope that this compendium will prove to be a useful rapid source of reference for clinical anaesthetists in their day-to-day endeavours, both in the theatre and intensive care unit.
This book is intended to complement, rather than to replace, the standard texts on pharmacology for anaesthetists, since it includes no discussion of the principles of pharmacology, an understanding of which is essential for the clinical use of drugs. We feel that these aspects are very satisfactorily covered elsewhere.
Although our research has been as comprehensive as possible, there will obviously remain some information that will have eluded us, or perhaps remains to be discovered. Many practitioners will disagree with our choice of 172 drugs. Any comments or suggestions will be most gratefully and humbly received in order that further editions of this book may hopefully prove to be more useful.
Finally, we should like to thank the members of the Oxford Regional Drug Information Unit, the many drug company information departments, and all our colleagues for their help and support in this venture. In particular, we should like to thank Professor Roy Spector and Drs John Sear and Tim Peto for their invaluable advice on the manuscript.