The 2011 Delmar Nurse's Drug Handbook, as the title implies, primarily intended for nursing students. However, it is an excellent resource for the lay person to consult. Especially at two in the morning when the only other real option is an expensive ER trip.
Chapter One titled “A-Z Listing of Drugs” is the main focus of the book and is over 180 pages in length. As explained in the quick reference section preceding the chapter, each drug is listed by its generic name, phonetic pronunciation, classification, its pregnancy category (risks, etc.), the trade names of the drug, whether or not it is classified as a controlled substance by the FDA, and how it acts on the body. Also covered is important information regarding when the drug is not to be used (something I found out the hard way last winter and spring about a certain anti-cholesterol drug despite my asking lots of questions), drug interactions, side effects, and other helpful information.
“Therapeutic Drug Classification” is the topic of the second chapter that begins on page 1859. Here the drugs are arranged by class such as ACE Inhibitors (pages 1869-1872), estrogen (pages 1963-1968), penicillin (pages 2021 – 2024) and others. This section leads off with a warning, stressed frequently throughout the book, that the information is subject to change and to consult the FDA website for current info. After the chapter ends on page 2063 with a very informative section on vitamins that includes food sources and what the symptoms of various vitamin deficiencies are, the book moves into the appendices.
The appendices are primarily going to be of use to the intended audience of nursing students and nursing professionals as they cover common abbreviations, the issue of medication errors and how important it is to report them (something stunningly obvious to this reader who found it appalling folks had to be told), controlled substance lists for the USA and Canada, how to calculate body mass and body surface, the elements of a prescription label, and other helpful information.
The average reader should also take a look at Appendix Nine titled “Drug/Food Interactions” as it helpfully explains what drugs should be taken on an empty stomach as well as what drugs should be taken with food. It also includes info on what foods to avoid with various drugs. This leads into Appendix Ten covering “Drugs Whose Effects Are Modified by Grapefruit Juice.” The list is quite extensive and covers four pages showing both positive and negative effects.
Several more appendices follow on common Spanish phrases in health care, drugs that should not be crushed, etc., before the 2011 Delmar Nurse’s Handbook concludes with a forty-eight page index. There are also directions for those who purchase the book on how to obtain free additional benefits by logging into the community section of the publisher website. As noted below, this material was obtained through my local library system and therefore, I was unable to explore this possibility. One of the benefits listed is a free iPhone/iPod application which would clearly be very helpful.
At 2190 pages there is a lot of very helpful information contained in the 2011 20th Anniversary Edition. Designed to be a resource guide for nursing students, it is best not to make any decision based solely on the information found here. Be sure to consult medical professionals, as well as the FDA website for current information as stressed throughout the 2011 Delmar Nurse’s Drug Handbook. This excellent resource will allow you to either rest easy knowing it agrees with what you have been told, or help you raise questions and discuss treatment options.
2011 Delmar Nurse’s Drug Handbook: 20th Anniversary Edition
George R. Spratto and Adrienne L. Woods
Delmar Cengage Learning
Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System. Online they can be found at http://www.plano.gov/Departments/Libraries/Pages/default.aspx which features links to information in a wide range of venues for locals and others.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2010