UK: Pharmaceutical Press.
4142 pages.

This edition, published two years since the last, continues the tradition of previous Martindales in providing health professionals with unbiased, evaluated information on drugs used worldwide.

It follows the same format as the last two editions and is published as two volumes. Volume A contains drug monographs while Volume B contains a list of worldwide proprietary preparations, a directory of manufacturers and the indexes. The volumes have been clearly labelled on the spines to indicate their content. There are 5930 drug monographs in total – 240 are new and 171 old ones have been removed. They are grouped in chapters according to their action, for example antibacterials, cardiovascular drugs. The start of each chapter provides a review of the disease and treatment followed by the individual monographs listed alphabetically. Each monograph contains the drug name, chemical structure, information on adverse effects, drug interactions, pharmacokinetics, uses and administration, available preparations and references.

Martindale provides information and monographs on herbal medicines, diagnostic agents, radiopharmaceuticals, toxins and poisons, which is unlikely to be included in other pharmaceutical references making it a unique resource. There is a new chapter on pharmaceutical excipients which has combined and expanded on the chapters in the last edition. It covers colouring agents, non-ionic surfactants, organic solvents, paraffins, soaps and other anionic surfactants, and stabilising and suspending agents.

Volume B has expanded the list of proprietary preparations to 41 countries and regions including Ukraine, and has over 161 000 preparations. The list of manufacturers extends to over 15 000.

Martindale is also available electronically. It remains a valuable resource of current, unbiased information on pharmaceuticals for pharmacists and other health professionals.

Helen Trenerry

Director, Queensland Drug Information Centre, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, Queensland