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4.6 out of 5 stars57
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 3 May 2011
This edition of the 'classic' pharmacology book is significantly thinner than its predecessor (the 6th edition published in 2007). When compared with the 5th edition (the only edition I have), the number of diagrams haven't changed significantly, despite the amount of material that has been edited. The style of Rang and Dale has not changed, so any keen fans of their series definitely won't be disappointed. There are around 3 new chapters, and some subchapters have been edited from the previous edition so they are their own chapters in this edition. Many chapters have been updated and many out-of-date or redundant drugs have been eliminated from the chapters.

However, the diagrams have more or less stayed the same between the different editions. Although the basic concepts are all the same throughout the different editions of the book, it would be nice to see some refreshing of the diagrams. The layout of the pages are not as spacious as the 6th/5th edition, but I personally rather have a thinner book on my shelf. The online access to this book is just a simple ebook version with a handy image library (with all the different diagrams/tables) - which may help for some, but not particularly helpful for me.

This book has many tables and diagrams to help with grasping the major pharmacological concepts that can be easily missed in lectures/PBL. Every (sub)chapter has a short introduction to the topic, preventing you from needing to have two-three textbooks open at the same time for any topic. I highly recommend this book for reading and learning from. However, this book is quite detailed for revision or last-minute learning. I would recommend R+D's Pharmacology Condensed (or even their flash cards) for the latter purposes.

If you have the 6th edition, I personally think it's a worthwhile investment to get the latest 7th edition if you can sell/loan your 6th edition at a price you'll be happy with. However, I'm very keen on having the latest editions of books - so my priority might be different from you as a reader of my reviews.

This book is awesome for medical students of any year. For pre-clinical years, this book is a great supplement text for lecture notes. For clinical/PBL years, this book makes a great resource for PBL and a great companion to the BNF for a more indepth description of the drugs.
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on 20 December 2013
I have the same problem as one of the reviewers below: as a dental student experiencing a fast-paced and may I say insufficiently detailed "crash course" in pharmacology, I find this book to be of limited relevance. It's certainly more in-depth than my lecture notes, but coverage of molecular mechanisms of action seems slightly patchy and there is (understandably) a lack of information on clinical applications. I often find myself having to refer to other texts for the background physiology and discussions of ADME. It does cover the basic principles of pharmacology in very great detail in the initial sections, however, which may be useful for anyone needing to review cell biology etc.

All in all, it is neither concise nor definitive. This is probably one of those books it'd be good to flick through in the library, but not the bible you sleep with in your bed.

Plus points though for the writing style - it's provided me with a fair number of laughs on bad days.
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on 25 November 2012
As a pharmacy student this book has saved me many times! Had an open book assessment a few weeks ago and mostly used information found in this book and scored 80% not to mention the countless times I use it for essays and looking up the various mechanisms of action of drugs, it is definitely a must have! The only problem is the amount of information can take a while to sieve through so in a timed exam be sure to note the important parts the night before.
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on 1 August 2014
This is the pharmacology bible for anyone studying medicine / medical sciences etc... It covers everything you will need to get you through these degrees, going into surprising amounts of detail. The layout and style are all very reader-friendly.

The only thing I would say is that it is not necessary to have the most up to date version - not that much changes and unless you are very focused on pharmacology, an older text is still fine. I am still using an old copy I bought second-hand at the beginning of my training, and have no issues.
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on 24 December 2012
very useful covers most of the topics for my course.
could have a clearer index which made it difficult to locate certain topics
otherwise no major grumbles
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on 9 May 2013
love it, it got me through 2nd year of pharmacology, love it love it, i recommend this to anyone whose studying pharmacology
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on 26 June 2012
This is the standard textbook of pharmacology. It has everything that you need in it, and is very detailed. It lists many named examples of drugs, their use and their common side effects for each class of drug (beta-1 agonist etc).

There are also diagrams to explain topics, such as the synthesis of noradrenaline.

However I would say that the content is sometimes not presented clearly, with the chapters being "thick" and to get the information requires a few reads.
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on 23 January 2013
This textbook was a requirement on our course, and I can see why. I bought it a month before my exams, and I relied so heavily on it that I'm sure I'd have failed without it.

It's laid out really well, with good indexing, clear font and helpful diagrams, tables and graphs. Most importantly there's a lot of really useful content in there, all explained in a way that's really easily understood. It clarified loads of things that I thought were impossible to understand. Everything seems a lot more obvious once you've looked it up in this book.

I'd definitely recommend anyone who's hesitating over whether it's worth it to just go and buy it. You won't look back!
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on 9 May 2013
It helped a lot with physiology as it simplifies it where as physiology books make it as complicated as possible. The online access didn't work though, no matter how many times I tried.
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on 28 October 2013
[This book was actually recommended highly by one of the lecturers on my Medicine course.

I thought this would be pretty much the only book I would need to learn about the drugs encountered on the course. I was wrong.

Very often the book fails to give all the basic characteristics of the drugs being studied, such as Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion, Side-effects and Contraindications, which means I end up spending a lot of time looking for these basic information elsewhere. Discussion of the pharmacokinetics of drugs (i.e. ADME above) is particularly lacking for many of the drugs.

On the other hand, it contains things that appear to be far too-detailed for an undergraduate medicine course, which might only be of interest for an academic degree in Pharmacology.

It might be an excellent book in itself, if only my Medicine course were to teach pharmacology in a way that follows closely the structure of the book. As things stand, it is not a practical reference tool at all for my course. Either there is something wrong with how my medical school is teaching pharmacology or this is just not the right textbook for busy medical students. I even know a course mate who simply resorts to learning about drugs through Wikipedia instead!} Original Review in 2013.

Addendum in June 2014:

Having nearly finished my first year, I have come to like this book. So I would now like to give it 4 stars instead of 2. I have come to realise that you don't need to learn ADME in detail for every single drug you encounter, not in your first year in medical school at least. The book contains a lot of information that helps consolidate knowledge in other areas, such as physiology.
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