Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: Nursing 2013 Drug Handbook

I will begin this review with the disclosure that Publisher Wolters Kluwer contacted me through a marketing agent and requested that I post a review of their new Nursing 2013 Drug Handbook here on Digital Doorway. I did not receive financial compensation of any kind for this review, but did receive a free copy of the guide in order to facilitate the review process. I previously reviewed the Nursing 2012 Drug Handbook, and you can find that very popular review here.
As with the Nursing 2012 Drug Handbook, the 2013 edition includes black box warnings, new FDA-approved drugs, and route, dose, onset, half-life and peak duration listed for each medication. I also appreciate the continuation of the "look alike" and "sound alike" warnings utilized in the 2012 version. Another nice feature is that only evidence-based off-label uses are included in any of the medication monographs.

As with the 2012 handbook, a color photo guide to commonly prescribed medications is included, and the list has now been expanded from 396 tablets and capsules to 431 total medications. These are listed alphabetically by generic name, and the photos are shown in actual size and color, with cross-referencing to drug information in other portions of the book. This is an invaluable tool for any nurse.

For those with a bent towards mobile technology, a new Android and Apple-compatible mobile app is now available, including 1,500 generic drugs and 3,300 brand name drugs.

And for institutions, the Nursing Drug Handbook is also now available for facilities to integrate into their electronic systems for all to share and use.

As for appendices, these appear to be almost the same as the 2012 edition, with the noticeable (and lamentable) absence of the herbal supplements appendix, and the addition of a "less commonly used drugs" section. Current appendices include:
  • Pregnancy risk categories
  • Controlled substance schedules
  • Quick guide to combination drugs
  • Common combination drugs
  • Vaccines and toxoids: indications and dosages
  • Vitamins and minerals: indications and dosages
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring guidelines
  • Cytochrome P-450 enzymes and common drug interactions
  • Drugs that prolong QTc intervals
  • Dialyzable drugs
  • Abbreviations to avoid
  • Drugs that shouldn't be crushed or chewed
  • Avoiding common drug errors: best practices and prevention
  • Pediatric drugs commonly involved in drug errors
  • Elder care medication tips
  • Less commonly used drugs: indications and dosages
  • Additional new drugs: indications and dosages
Over all, the quality of the Nursing 2013 Drug Handbook has been maintained since the last edition, with new electronic versions and apps that appear to be keeping up with the times. My only disappointment is the removal of the herbal supplement appendix, an action which flies in the face of the nursing profession's holistic and all-inclusive spirit and goals.

If you'd like to a chance to win a copy of the Nursing 2013 Drug Handbook (or even an iPad Mini!) , please listen live to RN.FM Radio on Monday, May 6th during our Nurse's Week broadcast, or tune into our giveaway announcements on our Facebook page or via our special Twitter hashtag, #nursesgive.

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