This edition of AHFS Drug Information marks 60 years of continuous publication of the title. Its roots are in the American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) and it is the longest running official drug compendium published in the United States by a scientific and professional society.
The book sets out to provide an evidence-based foundation for safe and effective drug therapy. It is widely trusted for its established record in refuting unfounded efficacy claims, for its rigorous science-based editorial process and for its independence from the influence of the pharmaceutical industry.
More than 500 professionals are involved in the review process and the information is derived from over 90,000 references. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has continued to build on this foundation, and this edition offers essential evidence-based information that allows pharmacists, physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers to quickly and easily access the specific guidance needed to prescribe and monitor drug therapy safely and effectively.
AHFS Drug Information 2018 is a collection of drug monographs, expanded and revised from the previous edition, on almost every single drug entity available in the United States. The monographs and references relate to current therapeutic guidelines, including revised recommendations for treatment of fungal infections and chronic hepatitis C. Newly published information on breakthrough oncology drugs approved as part of the US Food and Drug Administration’s accelerated approval programme is also included. An important revision addresses opioid safety issues and their role in pain management.
Drug monographs are arranged by the AHFS pharmacologic-therapeutic classification, and each one provides information that is critical at the point of care. Monographs contain a concise overview of the drug’s uses (both labelled and off-label) and an easily navigated list of doses specific to each use, age group, route of administration and special population (such as patients with hepatic or renal impairment). Stuctured outlines of important cautionary information are provided, and numerous subdivisions help the reader to locate specific contraindications, warnings, sensitivity alerts, age and condition specific precautions, safety in pregnancy and in breast-feeding women, and the most common and serious adverse effects and drug interactions. An overview of the drug’s pharmacological actions and effects, as well as key pharmacokinetic characteristics, is also included.
Each monograph is organised so that the most clinically relevant and frequently sought information appears at the beginning.
AHFS Drug Information 2018 is soft-backed with flimsy pages. It is very easy to use and is an extremely valuable reference source.
Laurence A Goldberg
AHFS Drug Information 2018, by editor-in-chief Gerald K. McEvoy. Pp xvi+3824. $415: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (Maryland), 2018. ISBN 978-1-58528-579-2