How to use this book
The layout of this book requires some explanation in order for the reader to gain the maximum benefit. The 184 drugs we have included are arranged in alphabetical order to obviate both reference to an index and the artificial categorization of some drugs. Each drug is presented in an identical format and confined to one, two, or three pages under the following headings:
Uses The main clinical uses are listed.
Chemical A brief chemical classification is given.
Presentation The formulations of the commercially available preparations are described.
Main action The fundamental pharmacological properties are briefly indicated.
Mode of action The mode of action at a cellular or molecular level (where known) is described.
Routes of administration/doses The manufacturer’s recommended dose ranges are listed in this section; alternative clinical uses are also mentioned.
Effects The pharmacodynamic properties are systematically reviewed. Where a drug has no specific or known action on a particular physiological system, the relevant section has been omitted.
The systems described are:
CVS Cardiovascular system.
RS Respiratory system.
CNS Central nervous system.
AS Alimentary system.
GU Genitourinary system.
Metabolic/other Metabolic, endocrine, and miscellaneous.
Toxicity/side effects The major side effects are listed, with particular reference to the practice of anaesthesia and intensive care.
Kinetics The available pharmacokinetic data are provided. Quantitative data are not available for all drugs, particularly the long established ones. Where information on the absorption, distribution, metabolism, or excretion is unavailable for a particular drug, the relevant section has been omitted.
Absorption Details of the absorption and bioavailability are given.
Distribution This section provides information on the volume of distribution and degree of protein binding of the drug, together with, where appropriate, details of central nervous penetration, transplacental passage, etc.
Metabolism The site and route of metabolic transformation and the nature and activity of metabolites are described.
Excretion The excretory pathways, clearance, and elimination half-life are listed. Although clearances are usually expressed in ml/min/kg, this has not always been possible due to inadequacies in the original source material.
Special points This section describes points of relevance to the practice of anaesthesia and intensive care; in particular, significant drug interactions are reviewed.
This standard format offers great advantages; it enables specific questions to be answered very rapidly. For example, the question ‘How is fentanyl metabolized?’ may be answered simply by locating the drug alphabetically and then consulting the Metabolism section of the text. This principle holds true for all possible permutations of queries.