A large book, sometimes called the PDR that has information on just about any prescription drug you could imagine. It includes such useful things as the name, both generic and brand, the ingredients, the side effects and interactions with other drugs.

Since it is a reference the prose tends to be a bit dense. Probably not a good book to take with you on summer vacation. On second thought, maybe it is. I guess it all depends on what you like to do on vacation.

Commonly referred to as the PDR. The 2004 Physicians Desk Reference is the 58th edition. By Thomson PRD. New Jersey: Medical Economics C. 2003.

A typical question that would lead you to this book is “What is _____ used for? What are the side-effects? How often or when should it be taken?”

This is an annual, print, hardcover book with a sturdy binding. It is also available on CD-ROM, which comes with the purchase of the PDR, at a cost as high as $93. The PDR is also available online at www.PDR.net, but you need to register to get full access to their information.

The purpose of the Physicians Desk Reference is to compile, organize, and distribute the FDA approved labeling of the drugs listed, as well as prescription information, such as proper dosages, side effects, methods, frequency, and duration of administration. It also covers drugs that are not FDA approved under current FDA policies, and drugs that have been grandfathered.

This book has over 3,500. More than 4,000 drugs are listed. There are 2,000 full sized color pictures cross-referenced to label information. The book includes listings of names and phone numbers of Poison Control Centers and Drug Information Centers by state. This book is divided into six sections, including 3 indexes that are color coded for easy reference.

LCSH: 1. Drug—Disease. 2. ToxicologyAlternative MedicinePatient Education. 3. Drugs—Dictionaries. 4. Catalogs, Drug.

This book is meant for the scholarly or professional. It can be found in most university, college, and medical libraries. It is also often founds in physician’s offices, hospitals, and pharmacies. It is however, also often used by non-specialists and for home use.

The emphasis is on current data and research, that is why it is revised annually. This book has been used by pharmacists and physicians for 58 years. Books in Print with Review lists PDR in Italian, German, French, and Spanish versions.

Arrangement is in alphabetical order by the manufacturer’s name in most indexes except the Brand and Generic Name Index. This index is alphabetized by brand or generic names. It is best to start with the indexes. They will refer you to your drug information page number. There are three specialized indexes, as mentioned before. They are the Manufacturer’s Index (white pages, section 1), the Brand and Generic Index (pink pages, section 2), and the Product Category Index (blue pages, section 3). The Table of Contents is also very helpful.

One of the PDR’s strengths is that it is up-to-date with the most current FDA drug research and information. Another strength is that PDR is not as intimidating as it looks once you get familiar with it. It’s weaknesses include small print, hard to copy and its weight.

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