Handbook of Pediatric Drug Therapy
Second Edition Foreword by Neil Izenberg, MD The Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children Springhouse Publishers Springhouse, PA
Handbook of Pediatric Drug Therapy, Second Edition (Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corporation, 2000), will be an extremely useful reference for any health professional who cares for infants, children, and/or adolescents. Because of its easy-to-use format and concise information on various pediatric medications, it will be a time-saving guide for busy professionals.
Several experienced pediatric health care providers, including pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists, contributed to this recent edition of Handbook of Pediatric Drug Therapy. The book begins with a chapter on principles of pediatric drug therapy that provides the reader with an overview of the pharmacokinetics (e.g., absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) and pharmacodynamics of drug therapy in children. All aspects of drug information for more than 600 generic drugs is then provided and organized in the following format: (a) the generic drug name, followed by alternative generic names and a list of current trade names; (b) the pharmacologic and therapeutic classifications, which identifies the drug's pharmacologic category and clinical uses; (c) identification of the controlled substance schedule, if applicable; (d) the pregnancy risk category; (e) preparations available (e.g., tablets, injection); (f) indications and dosage recommendations, including adjustments for certain patient groups (e.g., renal impairment); (g) pharmacodynamics; (h) pharmacokinetics; (i) contraindications and precautions; (j) interactions; (k) adverse reactions; (l) key considerations (e.g., special concerns); (m) parent and patient education; and (n) overdose and treatment.
Although some drugs used in the treatment of mental health disorders in children are included in the handbook (e.g., lithium carbonate, fluexetine), others that are being used increasingly in children and adolescents are not included (risperidone, buspirone). In addition, the book does not include information on the current mental health uses of some of the anti-seizure drugs (e.g., gabapentin, carbamazepine). Therefore, the handbook may not provide all of the needed information for professions who deal routinely with children who are receiving medications for emotional and behavioral problems.
A useful appendix also is included in the handbook that contains: (a) a table of equivalents; (b) surface area estimation in children; (c) components of analgesic combination products; (d) components of oral rehydration solutions; (e) an immunization schedule; (f) drugs for pediatric emergencies; (g) drugs of abuse, including signs and symptoms of intoxication, signs and symptoms of overdose, and long-term effects; (h) immunization practices in immuno-compromised children; and (i) recommendations for giving drugs to children at home. Finally, pediatric resources and health care organizations are listed in the appendix along with Web sites to obtain the latest drug information on the Internet.
Overall, the Handbook of Pediatric Drug Therapy contains vital, practical information on the most commonly used pediatric drugs in an easy-to-use format. Professionals who care for children will find that keeping this handbook within easy reach will assist them in safe and therapeutic drug prescribing and/or administration practices.
Editors' Choice is a bimonthly 'biased' book review on a hot new book for pediatric nurses! Each issue, a member of the Pediatric Nursing editorial board picks a recent favorite publication and offers readers a brief description of why they would recommend it for their personal or library collections.
Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN-CS, PNP, is Associate Dean for Research and Director, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program, University of Rochester School of Nursing, Rochester, NY; and Section Editor of the Evidence-Based Practice Column.