Prescribing for the first time is a nerve-wracking experience. Of all the tasks performed by new doctors, it is probably the one with greatest direct impact on the wellbeing of patients. Safe and effective practice rests on a good understanding of both clinical pharmacology and practical prescribing. Acquiring this is not easy, particularly when faced with reams of information about hundreds of unfamiliar drugs, often presented in a way that appears detached from clinical reality.
This book is your starting point. It is a direct response to requests from students for a compendium of the 100 most important drugs in the NHS. Key information about the clinical pharmacology and practical prescribing of each drug is presented side-by-side, allowing you to direct your attention as appropriate for your stage of training. Drugs can be accessed alphabetically when you need quick information on the wards and by organ system or clinical indication when you are at your desk.
Research led by Professor Emma Baker has identified the 'top 100 drugs' by their importance and prescribing frequency. She has shown that the list changes little over time, making it a stable resource upon which to base learning.
- The top 100 drugs and the five most important intravenous fluids are presented using a clear, consistent layout across double-page spreads.
- Drugs are arranged alphabetically and also listed by organ system and clinical indication, providing multiple pathways into the information.
- Clinical pharmacology is discussed under the headings: common indications; mechanisms of action; important adverse effects; warnings; and important interactions.
- Practical prescribing is discussed under the headings: prescription; administration; communication; monitoring; and cost.
- A clinical tip is presented for every drug.
- Single-best-answer questions are provided for self-assessment and to show how information from several drugs may be integrated.
Professor Emma Baker (PhD FRCP) is a clinical academic with roles in research, teaching and clinical medicine. At St George's, University of London she is the head of the Clinical Pharmacology Unit, lead for prescribing education and assessment and chair of the Drugs and Therapeutics Committee. Current external roles include respiratory specialty group lead, (London South Comprehensive Local Research Network) and executive editor of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
In research, she gained her PhD from Manchester University in 1996. She subsequently moved to St George's and developed a research programme in epithelial transport and respiratory infection, with external funding from bodies including the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council. Her research has developed from early work in molecular biology to development and implementation of investigator-led clinical trials.
In teaching, she was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2003 and has received a St George's undergraduate teaching prize in eight different years. She has co-authored a respiratory text book (Case-based respiratory medicine) and is currently leading her clinical pharmacology trainees in writing two new prescribing textbooks for publication in 2014.
In clinical practice, she has a specialist interest in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and runs an outpatient service for patients with airways disease. She shares the inpatient care of respiratory patients with four colleagues and is on the on call rota for acute medical intaking.