Best Books for Pharmacology

Best Books for Pharmacology

Commonly known as the branch of medical science that deals with drugs and medicines, Pharmacology as a discipline has a deeper aspect than it usually appears to people. In fact, the subject of pharmacology begins at the molecular level and reaches right up to the social and political sphere. It is an area of high responsibility with multiple economic, social, and legal pressures associated with it. It requires you to understand both the pathomechanism of a given disease and how a drug can prevent, limit, or cure the disease. If you are considering pursuing a degree in this discipline then you will require a comprehensive list of books on pharmacology that will help you excel in your academic career. We are here to help you in your quest of finding the best books which will help you outshine your medical curriculum. 

List of Pharmacology Books

Remember that subjects are taught differently between universities. Thus, you should consult your university’s book recommendations. Even so, the books listed here should cover everything required for the average medical pharmacology course. Here are some of the best books for Pharmacology that you must check out:

Lippincott Illustrated Review: Pharmacology Book

Lippincott’s illustrated review is a well-known, and highly appreciated book series among medical students. known for its selection of well-organized, easily read extensive review textbooks. Its take on pharmacology is no different. Following the same recipe, it presents the material with its student-friendly, and digestible organization, style, and diagrams. At the same time, it’s short and concise enough to enable students to use it for basic comprehension as well as test prep review, including the USMLE.  Whether used as a stand-alone textbook or complementary review book, this book will deliver. In addition, the attractive price makes it no less desirable.

Lange Katzung & Trevor’s Pharmacology Examination and Board Review

Prof. Katzung has done his best in this 600-paged book to include the major concepts that underlie basic principles or specific drug groups of pharmacology. It consists of hundreds of USMLE-style questions and 100 comprehensive questions for exam practices, along with answers and explanations. If your course allows it, this might be the only book you will need for the subject. Not only is it a practical option, but it will also save you money. 

Rang & Dale’s Pharmacology Book

One of the clear student favourites, Rang & Dale’s Pharmacology is an excellent textbook for covering the basics of Pharmacology. It is well-written for medical students and clinicians. Coming in at around 800 pages it is a student-friendly textbook that features more than 100 brand multiple-choice questions, which are great for USMLE review. In terms of layout, it features a colour-coded layout for fast navigation and cross-referencing. For greater student yield, it also clarifies complex concepts with key points boxes, clinical uses boxes, and full-colour illustrations throughout the book. In essence, this is your one-stop-shop for pharmacology.

Lange: Katzung Basic & Clinical Pharmacology

This is an extensive full-size textbook spanning almost 1200 pages. It contains everything you need for your pharmacology course while being able to remain an easily read book that most students find to be clear-cut and user-friendly. The textual information is supplemented with intuitive graphics and diagrams for better visual understanding. The book also got you covered for the crucial for memorization of drugs that are laid out on clean and readable tables. The book has an almost lecture-like organization that takes a systems-based approach to the subject. Under each organ system (e.g. CNS, endocrine system) all groups of drugs acting on that system are systematically presented in an orderly fashion.

Goodman and Gilman’s Manual of Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Also considered as the ‘Bible of Pharmacology’ by many, this book is a heavyweight both in terms of in-depth material and the actual weight. While the book itself is amazing, it assumes a pretty solid understanding of a lot of concepts. It is the type of book that professors love but for the average student, not so much. If you enjoy, heavy, in-depth textbooks, you would definitely find this book worth a read. 

BRS Pharmacology Book

Similar to Lippincotts, The BRS review book series from Wolters Kluwer is a student favourite. Following the well-known format, the BRS take on pharmacology results in a strong review book of almost 400 pages. While the material is trimmed and compressed, it still includes lots of useful tables and diagrams to increase student comprehension. Resembling other books in the series, this one also contains collections of USMLE-style questions at the end of each chapter.

The clean BRS layout makes it really easy to use, either as an addition to lecture material or as a test prep review book. For such a decent price level, this book offers a lot of value.

Clinical Pharmacology Made Ridiculously Simple

Another equally helpful book excerpted from the ‘made ridiculously simple series. Although pharmacology is a complex discipline that isn’t possible to break down into simpler terms, this book comes pretty close to doing it. Written in the simplest language possible, it tries to explain the principles of pharmacology and narrow down the transition from the classroom to the clinic. It also features lots of drawn tables and diagrams. This makes it an effective, but light-hearted and student-friendly read. Overall it is a cheap and concise review of the most important principles in clinical pharmacology, which can be a great resource for any medical student, especially the ones struggling with it.

Best Pharmacology Books for PG Medical Exams

NEET PG Pharmacology is a very vast subject and the key to acing this entrance examination is to memorize names and other jargon. Here is a list of the best books for Pharmacology Preparation during your PG Medical Exams.

  • Review of Pharmacology
  • Essentials of Medical Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology MCQ for All India Postgraduate Medical Entrance Examination
  • Pharmacology Review
  • A conceptual review of pharmacology for NBE 3EDN

Also Read: MD Pharmacology: Scope, Colleges, and Eligibility

What are the Most Important Questions in Pharmacology?

Here is a list of important General Pharmacology Questions which every pharmacy and medical student should know.

What is Pharmacology?

Pharmacology is a branch of science that deals with the interaction of drugs with living organisms or the study of Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics.

What is a Dose?

The specific amount of drug is prescribed to be taken at one time is called a dose

What is a Drug?

A drug is any chemical entity that causes a change in biological function in a living organism. Some drugs are formed inside the body such as insulin and noradrenaline. Drugs that are introduced into the body from outside are called Xenobiotics.

What Is Blood-Brain Barrier?

It is a tight endothelial cell of the brain capillaries and glial cells of the brain around the blood capillaries that don’t allow the passage of certain lipid insoluble substances pass from the blood into the brain. Lipid Soluble Drugs can easily cross this barrier. 

What is Volume of Distribution?

The total volume of the body fluid in which a drug appears to be distributed according to its concentration in the blood or plasma is the Volume of Distribution. VD of a drug can be determined by the following Formula, VD (Volume OF Distribution) =Total Amount OF Drug In the Body/Concentration of drug in the blood plasma.

What Is Potency?

It is the weight of the drug that produces a certain magnitude of response. Lesser the weight of the drug required to produce a given effect, the more its potency.

What Is Efficacy?

If the dose of a drug is increased, its effect will be increased proportionately until a stage is reached beyond there is no further increase in effect will occur. This maximum effect of a drug beyond which no further increase in its effect occurs even if the dose of the drug is increased to a large amount is called efficacy or maximal efficacy. 

What is the Therapeutic Index?

The ratio between median toxic dose (TD50) and median effective dose (ED50) is called therapeutic index.

What is Idiosyncrasy?

Idiosyncrasy is a rare type of response to a drug that is not related to its dose.

What is Hypersensitivity?

An allergic or immunological response to a drug is called Hypersensitivity such as anaphylactic shock with penicillin is a severe type of hypersensitivity reaction.

What is Tolerance?

Repeated use of a drug causes a gradual decrease in the response to the drug which is called tolerance. For e.g chronic use of morphine will decrease many of its effects in the body. Therefore the dose of the drug has to be increased with the passage of time to maintain the usual effects of the drug.

What is a Receptor?

The receptor is a macromolecule (Big molecule). Most of the receptors are protein in nature. Those drugs which bind to the receptor and show their effect are called agonists. While some drugs bind to the receptor but don’t produce an effect. These drugs are known as an antagonist as they prevent the binding of agonists with the receptors.

What is the adverse drug reaction?

Drugs may produce two types of effects i.e useful effects and harmful effects. Harmful effects are also known as adverse drug reactions or undesired effects. These effects may range from mild types of adverse effects to severe effects that may cause the death of the person.

Credits: Elevating Minds

Other than these basic questions, Pharmacology is a vast discipline that needs to be studied with in-depth concentration and exertion. If you are considering studying pharmacology for your professional career in the healthcare sector, our experts at Leverage Edu can guide you through the right course and colleges. Not only will the experts help you select the right books for this course, but also assist you in getting into your dream college.

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