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Encyclopedia of Prescription Drugs: a “Comprehensive” and “Very Useful” Resource

Posted on March 2, 2016

Looking for consumer friendly information on the most commonly used prescription drugs? For all your questions regarding prescription drugs, turn to The Gale Encyclopedia of Prescription Drugs. Organized alphabetically and by drug class, this “comprehensive” resource includes in-depth information about each drug, such as classification, purpose, recommended dosage, side effects, and interactions.

In February, Booklist reviewed the Encyclopedia. Read what they had to say!

This article was published in Booklist‘s February 15, 2016 issue; bBarbara Bibel

CONTENT With prescription-drug commercials all over the media and many Americans taking multiple medications, it is no surprise that people often come to the library for drug information. Although the Physicians’ Desk Reference is well known and often requested, it can be hard to understand and contains only information provided in drug-company package inserts.

This new resource from Gale offers accessible information on about 300 commonly prescribed drugs. The articles are written by medical writers, pharmacists, physicians, and nurses. The entries are arranged alphabetically by generic drug name, with cross-references for alternate names, including U.S., Canadian, and international brand names. Each entry includes a photograph of the drug; a definition with information on the drug class; its purpose (approved FDA usage) and off-label usage; description (classification and conditions it treats); recommended dosage; precautions (which includes information about usage during pregnancy and by seniors); side effects; and interactions with other drugs, foods, herbs, and supplements. Colored text boxes contain definitions of key terms. A resource list includes print and electronic sources of further information as well as contact information for relevant organizations.

Appendixes provide questions to ask a pharmacist, a list of confused drug names, a list of organizations, and a glossary. A detailed index will help users find their drug quickly if they do not know the generic name or drug class. Although there are less expensive drug guides available, this is a comprehensive and very useful resource for public and consumer-health libraries with healthy budgets.


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