Understanding Pharmacology for Health Professionals, 5th Edition

Susan M. Turley

Understanding Pharmacology for Health Professionals, 5th Edition

By Susan M. Turley
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Susan M. Turley
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Making Sense of Pharmacology
Understanding Pharmacology for Health Professionals
provides a well-organised, easy-to-understand introduction to the world of drugs and pharmaceuticals. The 5th Edition is structured into three broad, clear units that divide the vast subject of pharmacology into an approachable guide for students and experienced health professionals. Today’s most up-to-date drug information is enhanced with beautiful illustrations and photographs that allow students to delve into the visual world of pharmacology while deeply engaging with the text. A comprehensive drug reference glossary as well as a set of thorough appendices supplements the text to further simplify the extensive array of drug information available.

Impeccably organised and enjoyable to read, Understanding Pharmacology for Health Professionals makes a broad and difficult subject matter both graspable and interesting for both students and practicing health professionals.


Susan M. Turley is an experienced community college instructor, having taught introduction to pharmacology courses for pharmacy technician, medical assisting, and respiratory therapy students, as well as teaching medical terminology and medical transcription courses for many years. She is the author of Medical Language, Third Edition, which dominates the market. She is a current member of the Pharmacy Technician Educators Council (PTEC) and an avid reader of “Pharmacy Times” journal to stay current on pharmacy trends and new drugs. Her clinical background is extensive and broad, having worked in acute care hospitals, physicians’ offices, managed care, and long-term care. She has held clinical positions in quality management, auditing, and infection control. Her writing is well known for its accuracy and clarity in presenting technically difficult material and for a special blend that includes humor and interesting anecdotes to stimulate learning and keep students engaged. She holds a Master of Arts degree in adult education, a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, and national certification in the fields of both health information management and medical transcription.


Understanding Pharmacology for Health Professionals features:

  • easily navigable overarching structure organises the chapters into three broad units:
    • Introduction to Pharmacology builds a strong foundation of basic knowledge that facilitates learning the specifics about drugs and drug categories.
    • Drugs and Body Systems consists of 13 chapters related to drugs for specific body systems.
    • Drugs and Other Therapeutic Uses consists of six chapters related to analgesic drugs, anti-infective drugs, chemotherapy drugs, vaccines, anesthetic drugs, emergency drugs, and blood products. ¿
  • Learning Objectives preview the main concepts of each chapter and can be reviewed both beforehand as an introduction to the topic and afterwards as an assessment tool.
  • Drug Categories are organised based on therapeutic effects or the disease they are used treat. Each drug category includes:
    • A detailed description of how the drugs work in the body.
    • The drug’s therapeutic effects.
    • Any side effects, adverse effects, and drug interactions.
  • Drug Terminology key words and phrases are highlighted in bold throughout the text to easily catch the reader’s eye.

Cutting-Edge Drug Information

  • Each chapter has been updated to include the most current drug names and information available to the medical world.
  • Reliable and frequently updated websites where students can learn about new drugs as they enter the market are referenced in the Instructor’s Resource Manual.
  • Thorough A-Z Drug Reference is a comprehensive, quick-reference for verifying:
    • Generic and trade name drugs
    • Indications for use
    • Drug forms
    • Available strengths/doses
    • Includes a see-and-say pronunciation for every generic and trade name drug to ensure accurate pronunciation.

Captivating Visuals

  • Vibrant colours on the chapter opener pages and special feature box headers make for a visually enhanced learning experience.
  • Illustrations and photographs of real drugs and clinical situations include a variety of drug forms, drug packages, drug labels, and drugs being administered to patients, and provide a realistic visual learning experience for students.
  • Colour illustration support and explain the text in a captivating manne

Enhanced Chapter Contents

  • Generic and Trade Name Drugs are both comprehensively covered throughout the volume, with:
    • All generic drugs currently on the market listed in each drug category.
    • One or two of the most common trade name drugs for that generic drug listed in parentheses.
  • Special Feature Boxes provide interesting, supplemental information to each chapter.
  • The feature box Clinical Applications has been renamed as Focus on Health Care to help students relate what they have learned to actual patient and clinical situations.¿
  • A Drug Controversy feature box has been added to inform students about current controversial drug issues that are prevalent in clinical practice, pharmacology, and legislation.
  • The special Drug Alert! box appears in most chapters to call attention to:
    • Unusual and harmful drug effects.
    • Sound-alike drug names that could result in taking or administering the wrong drug.
    • Drug-drug and drug-food interactions or other areas of special interest that are currently in the news.

Comprehensive Chapter Review
Chapter Review Questions
provide all-inclusive review material at the end of each chapter. Questions include:

  • NEW! Quiz Yourself Questions test how well a student has retained the chapter’s content.
  • NEW! Spelling Tips help students avoid unusual spellings of drug names and correctly use internal capitalisation.
  • REVISED! Clinical Applications relate the text to actual patient and clinical situations, by:
    • NEW! Asking about real drug photographs and prescriptions.
    • Teaching how to administer pediatric immunisations.
    • Explaining how genetic makeup influences drug action.
    • Teaching how to avoid prescription theft.
    • Explaining the effects of drug advertising on consumers.
    • Featuring the following types of job-skill exercises:
      • Handwritten prescriptions challenge students’ ability to read, decipher, and interpret written drug prescriptions.
      • Drug forms quiz readers on ability to identify the pictured drug form.
      • Drug labels question about the specific information on the label.
      • Patient photographs prompt students to link the pictured disease to a particular drug category from that chapter.
      • Clinical scenarios pose questions about excerpts from medical case histories.
  • REVISED! Critical-Thinking Questions have been rewritten as more in-depth analyses requiring careful thinking and discrimination.

Informative Appendices
New appendices at the conclusion of the textbook comprehensively supplement text material:

  • NEW! Appendix A: Top 50 Drugs by Dollar Amount, Top 50 Drugs by Number of Prescriptions provides a quick reference to identify the most common generic and trade name drugs.
  • REVISED! Appendix B: Glossary of Key Words with Definitions defines bolded drug words and phrases from each chapter to provide a quick reference for students as they study on the job.
  • NEW! Appendix C: Glossary of Abbreviations, Short Forms, Symbols, and Their Meanings is a comprehensive list of drug abbreviations and symbols commonly seen in medical documents, drug journal articles, and reference books, including dangerous abbreviations as identified by JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organisations) and ISMP (Institute for Safe Medication Practices).
  • NEW! Appendix D: Sound-Alike Drug Names helps students avoid errors by clearly differentiating between drug names that sound similar.
  • NEW! Appendix E ISMP: List of Error-Prone Abbreviations, Symbols, and Dose Designations has been compiled by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices to help students identify national agencies and their functioning in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • NEW! Appendix F: Drugs Recently Taken Off the Market is a list of common generic and trade name drugs that have been discontinued.
  • NEW! Appendix G: Endings Common to Generic Drugs Names and Their Related Drug Categories; Drug Categories and Endings Common to Their Related Generic Drug Names is an alphabetised list of similar drug endings for generic drugs that belong to specific drug categories, as well as an alphabetised list of drug categories and the endings for related generic drug names.
Table of contents

UNIT 1 Introduction to Pharmacology: Understanding the Past History, Present Uses, and Future of Drugs
1. Introduction to Pharmacology and the History of Drugs
2. Drug Design, Testing, Manufacturing, and Marketing
3. Drug Forms
4. Routes of Administration and the Drug Cycle
5. Using Drugs Therapeutically
6. The Prescription

UNIT 2 Understanding Drugs and Drug Categories by Body Systems
7. Urinary Drugs
8. Gastrointestinal Drugs
9. Musculoskeletal Drugs
10. Respiratory Drugs
11. Cardiovascular Drugs
12. Hematologic Drugs
13. Gynecologic and Obstetric Drugs
14. Endocrine Drugs
15. Neurologic Drugs
16. Psychiatric Drugs
17. Dermatologic Drugs
18. Ophthalmic Drugs
19. Ears, Nose, and Throat Drugs

UNIT 3 Understanding Other Drugs and Drug Categories
20. Analgesic Drugs
21. Anti-Infective Drugs
22. Chemotherapy Drugs
23. Vaccines
24. Anesthetic Drugs
25. Emergency Drugs, Intravenous Fluids, and Blood Products

Appendix A
Top 50 Prescription Drugs 2010-2013
Top 50 Prescription Drugs by Sales
Top 50 Prescription Drugs by Number of Prescriptions
Appendix B Glossary of Key Words with Definitions
Appendix C Glossary of Abbreviations, Short Forms, Symbols, and Their Meanings
Appendix D Sound-Alike Drug Names
Appendix E ISMP List of Error-Prone Abbreviations, Symbols, and Dose Designations
Appendix F Drugs Recently Taken Off the Market
Appendix G Endings Common to Generic Drug Names and their Drug Categories