Gray AH, Wright J, Bruce L, Oakley J 
London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2015. 
568 pages

The second edition of this book features a revised format from a larger range of contributing authors with a multidisciplinary background. It is pocket-sized with a small font. The book is set out in alphabetical monographs which aim to provide ready information to the pharmacists conducting medication reviews at the bedside or in ambulatory settings. There are different types of monographs including a selection of disease states, drugs, electrolytes, and clinical assessment tools.

This is a UK publication and is designed to complement, rather than replace, existing reference texts such as the British National Formulary. It is therefore not always relevant to Australian practice. For example, a monograph on enoxaparin dosing in unstable angina is present, but not one for dosing in venous thromboembolism. There is, however, a monograph for tinzaparin in venous thromboembolism, a drug not currently marketed in Australia. Similarly, there is an entry for intravenous omeprazole, but no other parenteral proton pump inhibitor. Presumably, these anomalies are intended to complement information readily available in the UK.

The monographs are concise, easy to read, and highly applicable to practice. Entries on electrolytes are very well written and feature reference ranges, signs and symptoms of high and low serum levels and supplementation for each. Other very useful entries include nil-by-mouth management in perioperative patients and pain management.

In short, the monographs are selected to complement references and practice in the UK, and Australian users may be frustrated at missing or irrelevant information. The entries that are relevant, however, are very useful for the practising pharmacist.

Daniel Guidone

Lead pharmacist, Education, Alfred Health, Melbourne

Lead clinical pharmacist, Surgery, Alfred Health, Melbourne