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Ever wondered what the side-effects are of particular medicines or when you should phone your doctor if a perscribed or over the counter medicine has an ill effect on you? Well then you need this book. Its called ‘The British Medical Association New Guide to Medicines and Drugs’. It is printed by Dorling Kindersley (see www.dk.com)and I would seriously not be without it. It is totally invaluable. A complete home reference to over 2,500 medications ranging from Paracetamol for a headache to Cytotoxic drugs to cure certain types of cancer and everything in between. I’ll start at the beginning when l was looking through an offer booklet for softcover books and trying to decide which ones to choose. I saw this book at £1 (believe it or not) and thought that it may be useful. (see www.eTSP.co.uk) I used to have a copy years ago but it was outdated now so for a measly £1 l would replace it. I have used, obviously, information from the book in various parts of this op. The book tells you:- 1. Understanding and Using Drugs: Which includes, what are drugs, how are they classified, how do they work, methods of administration, drug treatment in special risk groups, drug tolerance and dependance and managing your drug treatment. 2. Drug Finder Index: With a Colour Identification guide, which gives you 14 pages of pictures of drugs and their names and the Drug Finder, giving an a-z of drugs and where they are found in the main pages of the book starting at abacavir (an antiviral drug for HIV/Aids) to Zymomet (a brand name for metronidazole, an antibacterial). This makes cruising the book much easier as you can simply and with great ease find what you are looking for. 3. Major Drug Groups: Self explanatory pages on the major drugs groups like Drugs used in Diabetes or Oral contraceptives. All go into great detail as to why the drug is used and how they work. 4. A-Z of Drugs. This is the main sector of the book with individual pages covering a-z of Medical drugs, a-z of vitamins and minerals, Drugs of Abuse, Alternative medicine, Drugs in Sport and Medicines and travel. Now you must agree that’s pretty comprehensive. Each page contains information about a particular drug, for example Terfenadine is a drug used for Hay fever and is a long acting anti-histamine. The book tells you its brand names, what it is used for, how it is taken, (orally or injected, etc) That you should not take this medication with grapefruit juice because it blocks the breakdown of the drug. Possible adverse effects from indigestion to fainting and palpatations and when you should call your doctor if you experience any of these effects. There is an area for ‘Special precautions’ ie. In pregnancy or whether infants can take this medicine. This is the major part of the book and takes up 250 out of the 496 pages, covering everything you can think of. 5. Glossary and Index, which is self explanatory. At the end of the book is a Drug Poisoning Emergency Guide telling you what to do in emergencies like a fit or anaphylactic shock. Very useful if someone visits and you think they may be a bit dodgy and at risk of causing an emergency keep the book close by, you never know ;-). The section on Vitamins is very useful as you never really know what the contraindications are, you just assume them to be safe but this book tells you everything you need to know. Also fascinating is the homeopathic section, for a minor ailment if you don’t want to take a traditional drug you can look up the homeopathic option (obviously not for a serious condition). For example, for hayfever you could take, Alium, Aresen. Alb, Euphrasia or Nat. Mur. I don’t know what these are but isn’t Alium from the onion family, so if you have hayfever eat loads of onions. You’ll have no friends cos you’ll stink of onions but then you w ouldn’t anyway as you’d be sneezing all over them (the last two sentences are not to be taken seriously just in case some of you are rushing to the greengrocers for 10lb of (A,A,A,Aichoo) onions. They also have a page of useful names, addresses, phone and fax numbers and web site addresses for lots of medical societies to provide general information on medicines. Like NHS direct or The Addiction Recovery Foundation (now that’s one l may need for this addiction l have, Dooyoo know what l mean? Its reassuring to know its there for serious dooyoo’ers, you can get help!) I don’t take any medications now without checking them out in my little book. Its like having a pharmacist in your house (l prefer the book, my pharmacist is not very good looking). The really great thing it gives you is peace of mind as you know that if you get a reaction to a medication you can get information on how serious it may or may not be and what to do about it. Its great. Sorry if this op has been a bit over-informative compared to my normal ones but there’s only so much you can say about a book on medicines and drugs and anyone reading this hoping it is a book giving information as to where you can aquire medicines and drugs, TOUGH!!!!
Gives important information about perscription and over the counter drugs including vitamins.