About this book
This book is about drugs and how they are used in the treat ment of disease. The development of effective drugs is one of the wonders of our century. It is difficult to believe that so few of the medicines we now use routinely were available when our grandparents were children. The last 50 years has seen an astonishing burst of dis coveries - antibiotics, antihypertensives, antiarrhythmics, psycho tropics, anticonvulsants, steroids and many others. Of course this pace of advance has brought problems. Modern drugs are more powerful than the remedies they replaced, so it takes more skill and knowledge to use them correctly. Therapeutics has had to become more disciplined and now relies heavily on clinical pharma cology, which is the science of drugs in man. The tradition of this series of books has been to answer the questions an intelligent person would ask about a particular subject. Conventional texts on pharmacology can seem rather dull catalogues of drugs. Of course it is important to identify a drug, but it seems of greater importance to know how drugs work, how they are chosen for particular patients, what problems they produce and why. In this book the Socratic question and answer format has been deliberately chosen to bring out this sort of information.
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