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Core Concepts in Pharmacology

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-01-05
  • Publisher: Pearson
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An interdisciplinary exploration of pharmacology.

By its very nature, pharmacology is a challenging interdisciplinary subject that requires understanding concepts from a wide variety of the natural and applied sciences to predict drug action. For this reason, authors Holland, Adams, and Brice have organized Core Concepts in Pharmacology according to body systems and diseases, placing drugs in the context of their therapeutic use. This gives students easier access to the prerequisite anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology organized in the same chapter where the drugs are discussed.


The Fifth Edition continues its prototype approach of introducing, in detail, the one or two most representative drugs in each class. It also maintains a strong emphasis on safe, effective nursing care with a new chapter on preventing medication errors, features new Drug Focus boxes to cover emerging drugs, and includes many more new and updated features.

Author Biography

Leland Norman Holland, Jr., PhD (Norm), over 20 years ago, started out like many scientists, planning for a career in basic science research. Quickly he was drawn to the field of teaching in higher medical education, where he has spent most of his career since that time. Among the areas where he has been particularly effective are preparatory programs in nursing, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and allied health. Dr. Holland is both an affiliate and a supporter of nursing and allied health education nationwide. He brings to the profession a depth of knowledge in biology, chemistry, and medically related subjects such as microbiology, biological chemistry, and pharmacology. Dr. Holland’s doctoral degree is in Medical Pharmacology. He is very much dedicated to the success of students and their preparation for work—life readiness. He continues to motivate students in the lifelong pursuit of learning.


I would like to acknowledge the willful encouragement of Farrell and Norma Jean Stalcup. I dedicate this book to my beloved wife, Karen, and my three wonderful children, Alexandria Noelle, my double-deuce daughter; Caleb Jaymes, my number one son; and Joshua Nathaniel, my number three “O”!  –LNH


Michael Patrick Adams, PhD, RT(R), is an accomplished educator, author, and national speaker. The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development in Austin, Texas, named Dr. Adams a Master Teacher. He has published two other textbooks with Pearson Publishing: Pharmacology for Nurses: A Pathophysiologic Approach and Pharmacology: Connections to Nursing Practice.


Dr. Adams obtained his master’s degree in Pharmacology from Michigan State University and his Doctorate in Education at the University of South Florida. Dr. Adams was on the faculty of Lansing Community College and was Dean of Health Professions at Pasco-Hernando State College for over 15 years. He is currently Adjunct Professor of biological sciences at Pasco State College and Hillsborough Community College.


I dedicate this book to nursing educators, who contribute every day to making the world a better and more caring place. –MPA



Jeanine L. Brice, RN, MSN, has been a nurse for over 30 years, initially graduating from the registered nursing program at Charles County Community College. She then continued her nursing education, receiving a BS from the University of Maryland and an MSN from Bowie State University, specializing in nursing education and community health practice. Her clinical experience includes acute medical-surgical care, obstetrics, neonatology, and pediatric public health.


Ms. Brice has been involved in nursing/technical health education for over 26 years, formerly holding the positions of Professor of Nursing, Assistant Dean of Nursing Programs, and Coordinator of Technical Health Programs at Pasco-Hernando Community College. She currently is employed at St. Petersburg College and Hillsborough Community College as an adjunct professor of biological/health sciences.


I dedicate this book to my parents, William and Helen Davis, whom I had the privilege to care for during their final days … and to all those who will need the care of a nurse. May the information contained in this book help them receive competent and compassionate nursing care.  –JLB

Table of Contents

UNIT 1: Basic Concepts in Pharmacology

1. Introduction to Pharmacology: Drug Regulation and Approval

2. Drug Classes, Schedules, and Categories

3. Principles of Drug Administration

4. What Happens After a Drug Has Been Administered

5. The Nursing Process in Pharmacology

6. Preventing Medication Errors

7. The Role of Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Pharmacology

8. Substance Abuse


UNIT 2: The Nervous System

9. Drugs Affecting Functions of the Autonomic Nervous System

10. Drugs for Anxiety and Insomnia

11. Drugs for Emotional, Mood, and Behavioral Disorders

12. Drugs for Psychoses

13. Drugs for Degenerative Diseases and Muscles

14. Drugs for Seizures

15. Drugs for Pain Management

16. Drugs for Anesthesia


UNIT 3: The Cardiovascular and Urinary Systems

17. Drugs for Lipid Disorders

18. Drugs for Electrolyte and Acid-Base Imbalances

19. Drugs for Hypertension

20. Drugs for Heart Failure

21. Drugs for Angina Pectoris, Myocardial Infarction, and Stroke

22. Drugs for Shock and Anaphylaxis

23. Drugs for Dysrhythmias

24. Drugs for Coagulation and Hematologic Disorders


UNIT 4: The Immune System

25. Drugs for Inflammation and Fever

26. Drugs for Immune System Modulation

27. Drugs for Bacterial Infections

28. Drugs for Fungal, Viral, and Parasitic Diseases

29. Drugs for Neoplasia


UNIT 5: The Respiratory and Digestive Systems

30. Drugs for Respiratory Disorders

31. Drugs for Gastrointestinal Disorders

32. Drugs for Nutritional Disorders and Obesity


UNIT 6: The Endocrine and Reproductive Systems

33. Drugs for Endocrine Disorders

34. Drugs for Diabetes Mellitus

35. Drugs for Disorders and Conditions of the Reproductive System


UNIT 7: The Skeletal System, Integumentary System, and Eyes and Ears

36. Drugs for Bone and Joint Disorders

37. Drugs for Skin Disorders

38. Drugs for Eye and Ear Disorders


Appendix A: Complete Answers and Rationales to Review and Case Study Questions

Appendix B: Calculating Dosages

Guide to Special Features






Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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