Canadian Pharmacists Association Guide to Drugs in Canada: The Essential Home Reference to Over 2,000 Medications
Contains Illustrations, Index
David Bennett is the national director of the Department of Workplace Health, Safety and Environment at the Canadian Labour Congress in Ottawa.
The first of this book’s three parts, Understanding and Using Drugs,
explains the main concepts, such as drug actions, effects, tolerance,
dependence, and “therapeutic range” (optimum dose), and is
supplemented by a glossary of drug-related terms. Part 2 lists 13 major
drug groups, within which some 75 medical conditions and their remedies
are laid out. Part 3, an A–Z of drugs, profiles 260 generic drugs. The
A–Z is well organized, with information on adverse effects,
interactions, special precautions, etc., and cross-references to the
major drug groups; there is more information here than in the Patient
Information Leaflets (data sheets) that are available to drug purchasers
but not well publicized.
The only other readily available sources of information are the
extended profiles of controversial drugs available on the Internet. Such
profiles suggest that, in some cases, adverse effects are downplayed and
that there is more controversy than the references to standard medical
practice in this book would suggest.
This is less a criticism than a comment on the prominent role of drugs
in contemporary society—a role this guide endorses. Regular visits to
the doctor have become an invitation to prescription drug treatments,
which are used to supplement over-the-counter remedies. Some will see
this as a symptom of an unhealthy society; there are no echoes of such
dissonance in this guide.