The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2004

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-11-13
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
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For more than twenty-five years, The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs has helped families make sense of the overwhelming and often contradictory flood of information about their prescriptions. Filled with critical health information, this fully revised and updated edition provides more detailed and comprehensive profiles on the most important drugs in current use than any other reference source. Book jacket.

Author Biography

James J. Rybacki, Pharm. D., is president of The Clearwater Group; a clinical assistant professor at the University of Maryland; and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association's "Get with the Guidelines" program. He lives in Maryland

Table of Contents

Author's Note for the 2004 Editionp. vii
Points for the Patientp. xi
Points for the Pharmacistp. xxi
Points for the Physicianp. xxvii
How to Use This Bookp. 1
Guidelines for Safe and Effective Drug Use or How to Become a Powerful Patientp. 15
Medicines and Pharmacy on the Internetp. 15
Powerful Patients Do Notp. 16
Powerful Patients Dop. 18
Preventing Adverse Drug Reactionsp. 20
Medicines and People Over 65p. 22
Measuring Drug Levels in Blood (Therapeutic Drug Monitoring)p. 25
True Breakthroughs in Medicinesp. 28
Drug Profilesp. 33
The Leading Edgep. 1217
Drug Classesp. 1225
A Glossary of Drug-Related Termsp. 1251
Tables of Drug Informationp. 1271
Medicines That May Adversely Affect the Fetus and Newborn Infantp. 1273
Medicines That May Increase Sensitivity to the Sun (Photosensitivity)p. 1274
Medicines That May Adversely Affect Behaviorp. 1275
Medicines That May Adversely Affect Visionp. 1278
Medicines That May Cause Blood Cell Dysfunction or Damagep. 1280
Medicines That May Cause Heart Dysfunction or Damagep. 1283
Medicines That May Cause Lung Dysfunction or Damagep. 1285
Medicines That May Cause Liver Dysfunction or Damagep. 1287
Medicines That May Cause Kidney Dysfunction or Damagep. 1289
Medicines That May Cause Nerve Dysfunction or Damagep. 1291
Medicines That May Adversely Affect Sexualityp. 1293
Medicines That May Interact with Alcoholp. 1300
High-Potassium Foodsp. 1304
Your Personal Drug Profilep. 1305
The Medication Mapp. 1306
Medicines Removed from the Marketp. 1307
Helpful, Balanced, and Objective Web Sitesp. 1309
Powerful Patients and Home Test Kitsp. 1313
Running a Risk: Recognizing and Regaining Control of Heart Disease Risk Factorsp. 1314
Living Longer (Longevity) with Therapeutic Lifestyle Changesp. 1315
How to Get Your Family Help with the Cost of Medicines (Programs and Web Sites)p. 1316
Sourcesp. 1319
Indexp. 1339
Controlled Drug Schedulesp. 1377
Pregnancy Risk Categoriesp. 1379
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.


The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2004
Everything You Need To Know For Safe Drug Use

Chapter One

How to Use This Book

When you're sick and finally make that decision to see your doctor, it'sprobably one of the worst times for you to think about the medicines youtake now or even that new prescription. A visit to your physician's officecan be a disconcerting experience. The reality of health care is that timehas been contracted, patients may only be considered covered lives, andhealth care providers face severe time constraints. I think that the Instituteof Medicine (IOM) report on medical errors will serve to increaseawareness of systems problems in health care, but the reality will stillremain that most patients will have the sense of their doctor needing -- not wanting -- to hurry out of the exam room to see the next patient. Youmay be left with a prescription for yourself or a loved one that no onetold you anything -- and certainly not everything -- about.

Becoming a powerful patient means being well informed about themedicines you take and the goals of treatment. I can help you become apartner in your health care and will always try to supplement the directionand guidance your doctor will offer about your medicines. This principleis also ascribed to on my Web site (www.medicineinfo.com) via theHealth On the Net Principles. Just like the site, this Guide seeks to augment,NOT to replace, the role of your doctor.

Your new book is arranged into six sections. The first section offersinsight into modern drug therapy and gives you helpful tips on becoming apowerful patient. "True Breakthroughs in Medicines" will help identifynew medicines that have gained FDA approval or that are the first newagents to treat an existing disease or condition. Section Two gives youdetailed Drug Profiles covering more than 2,000 brand-name prescriptiondrugs and nearly 400 widely used generic medicines. Selection of eachdrug is based on three criteria: the extent of its use, the urgency of the conditionsit treats, and the volume and complexity of information essential toits proper use. You'll find that profiles are arranged alphabetically by generic name. Read carefully to be sure you have the correct medicine.This section can really build up your medicine muscles (perhaps "brain"might be a better choice) and give you a basis for being a powerful patient.

Each profile is presented in the same way, and once you becomefamiliar with the format, you'll be able to quickly find specific informationon any drug. Unlike other imitators, each Essential Drug Profile containsup to 45 helpful categories of information. Let me introduce you tothe other parts of your new book:

Herbal Medicines or Minerals

Because herbal medicines are so widely used, I developed a new sectionthat included (where appropriate) important possible interactions betweenherbal and prescription medicines. Please remember that herbal productsare not regulated by the FDA as medicines. They fall under the DietarySupplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. Powerfulpatients then understand that this may mean that specific products havenot been well studied -- others rely on borrowed science -- and certainlythat these products can interact with prescription medicines. For example,ephedra (see www.fda.gov) has had a new warning label proposed,and found the American Heart Association recommending that it beremoved from nonprescription products. Accordingly, I've broadened thedata in your new Guide. You'll find that I'll tell you where combinationsbetween herbs and prescription drugs may make sense, where they donot, and of course how to talk to your doctor before you move forward.This is a very dynamic area, and I'll update this section every year! Theremay also be information at www.medicineinfo.com that can help.

Year Introduced

At first glance, this may seem trivial, but remember, the longer the drughas been in general use, the more likely all of its actions are known andthe less likely ongoing use will produce new problems. This will help youidentify those medicines that are more likely to be more fully understoodboth because they have been used for a longer time period and becausethey have been widely used.

Drug Class

Drug classes are like families -- in fact, some of the profiles giving informationabout medicines from the same class have been arranged intoMedication Family Profiles. Many actions, reactions, and interactionswith other drugs are often shared by drugs of the same class. For example,if you are allergic to one member of the cephalosporin family, you mostlikely will be allergic to a second cephalosporin. By the same logic, if a medicinein a certain class has not helped you, it is likely that a second one fromthe same class will do you little good. Pay close attention to this aspect ofmedicines, since this is an area that often leads to problems or lack ofresults.

Prescription Required

Just because a medicine does not require a prescription (over-the-counter)does not mean the medicine is weak or is free from possible drug interactions.Remember, over the last 15 years there has been a great shift inmedicines from prescription to nonprescription. Current examples includemedicines for yeast infections, patches and gum to help you stop smoking,as well as ulcer medicines (histamine H2 blockers) that can also beused to prevent or treat heartburn. Virtually all of these medicines werepreviously available only by prescription. Always mention nonprescriptionmedicine use when asked about the "medicines" you take.

The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2004
Everything You Need To Know For Safe Drug Use
. Copyright © by James Rybacki. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2004: Everything You Need to Know for Safe Drug Use by James J. Rybacki
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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