Book Reviews/PharmaceuticaActa Helvetiae69 (1994)51-54
The Pharmaceutical Codex
The Pharmaceutical Codex, Principles and Practice of Pharmaceutics, Twelfth Edition. W. Lund (Ed.). The Pharmaceutical Press, London, 1994, 1100 pp., ISBN 0 85369 290 4, DM 362.-.
Pharmaceutical practice has changed considerably in the last decade. Drugs have become more and more complicated on all levels of hierarchy. Starting from the design process by knowledge of the detailed steps of molecular pharmacologic action through the kinetics, stability and metabolism, to side effects, storage and handling. All these different steps have increased in complexity and need explaning to the patient and other healthcare professionals. The pharmacist is the person to provide this information. Where does the pharmacist get it from? From the CODEX! This book has been made to provide the knowledge of the scientific basis of pharmacy and the recent developments in that field. How has this been achieved? The book is divided into two parts, the first one dealing with "Preparation and Presentation of Drugs as Medicines", the second one is entitled "Monographs on Drug Substances". The first part is subdivided into six sections covering dosage forms, product design, preparation and supply of medicines, pharmaceutical microbiology, sterile processing and contamination control, electrolyte replacement, nutrient fluids and dialysis solutions, as well as nomenclature. The second part presents 154 drug monographs in alphabetical order, drawn from the files of the Pharmaceutics Division of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Edinburgh, each of one page length at least. Most of these active substances are included in the WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. A typical monograph comprises all sorts of information needed for a short characterization of the respective drug. It begins with chemical information such as structure, molecular weights, formula and nomenclature. After that the pharmacopoeial status is given as a very important source of further data. This is followed
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by a listing of compendial and non-compendial preparations, containers and storage and dosage forms. This first quick profile is then continued by more detailed information in the subsections physical properties, stability, incompatibility/compatibility and formulation. At the end of each monograph a list of about ten references is given, which provide further information on details. The length of the monograph varies with the importance of the drug, probably with the fiequency of application. Thus, for Aspirin six pages are given with about 80 references. This shows the up-todate knowledge that is provided and the competence of the authors. The chapters in each section of the first part broadly encompass the pharmaceutics contents of the syllabus for pharmacy undergraduates and also provides support for the continuing education of graduates. Careful illustrations accompany the text and an extensive reference section closes every chapter. Even homoeopathic pharmacy is outlined on two and a half pages providing almost every technical instruction for homoeopathic medicines. What may be interesting to add in future editions, is some more information on the mode of action. Mostly, only one single expression is given in the monographs, as "central nervous stimulant". Known molecular pharmacology information on receptor antagonism or agonism may also be important for the practising pharmacist. Thirty-one experts have contributed to this book on more than 1100 pages of valuable, topical and relevant scientific information. Therefore, the book is really worth the money and I recommend it for the book shelf of every pharmacist.
G. Folkers Dept. of Pharmacy ETH Ziirich, Switzerland