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Pharmacotherapy Principles & Practice, a winner of the Medical Book Award from the American Medical Writers Association, has been well received and adopted by many pharmacy, nursing, and physician assistant schools. Chapters are written by content experts and reviewed critically by pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians who are authorities in their fields. Written in a concise style that facilitates in-depth understanding of essential topics, the third edition meets the same high-quality expectations as previous editions.


Now more than ever, healthcare practitioners have a critical responsibility to their patients and society to deliver high-quality and cost-effective care. Development of these practice abilities requires an integration of knowledge, skills, attitudes, beliefs, and values that can be acquired only through a structured learning process that includes classroom work, independent study, mentorship, and ultimately, direct involvement in the care of patients in interprofessional settings. With its 102 chapters, Pharmacotherapy Principles & Practice, Third Edition, facilitates learning by using multiple teaching techniques and enhanced features. The textbook opens with an introductory chapter followed by chapters on pediatrics, geriatrics, and palliative care. The remainder of the book consists of 98 disease-based chapters that review disease etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical presentation, followed by clear therapeutic recommendations for drug selection, dosing, and patient monitoring.


Pharmacotherapy Principles & Practice is designed to meet classroom and independent study needs of today's learners in the health care professions. The following features were designed in collaboration with educational design specialists to enhance learning and retention:


  • Structured learning objectives are included at the beginning of each chapter, with information in the text that corresponds to each learning objective identified by a vertical rule with a circle in the margin, allowing the reader to quickly find content related to each objective.

  • Key concepts related to patient assessment and treatment are listed at the beginning of each chapter to help focus learning. Numbered icons are used throughout the chapter to identify content that develops these concepts.

  • Patient encounters are distributed throughout each chapter to facilitate development of critical thinking skills and lend clinical relevance to the scientific foundation provided. This feature has been enhanced in the third edition.

  • Patient care and monitoring guidelines are placed near the end of each chapter to assist students in their general approach to assessing, treating, and monitoring patients for therapeutic response and adverse events.

  • Up-to-date literature citations for each chapter are provided to support treatment recommendations.

  • Tables, figures, text boxes, and algorithms are used liberally to enhance understanding of pathophysiology, clinical presentation, drug selection, pharmacokinetics, and patient monitoring.

  • Medical abbreviations and their meanings are placed at the end of each chapter to facilitate learning the accepted shorthand used in real-world healthcare settings.

  • A glossary of medical terms is included as an appendix to the book; the first use of each glossary term in a chapter appears in bold colored font.

  • Self-assessment questions and answers for each chapter are located in the Online Learning Center to facilitate self-evaluation of learning.

  • Laboratory values are expressed as both conventional units and Systemè International (SI) units to facilitate learning by those in countries where these units of measure are the standard.

  • Appendices contain: (1) conversion factors and anthropometrics; (2) common laboratory tests and their reference ranges; (3) common medical abbreviations; and (4) how to write a prescription.


The Online Learning Center at provides self-assessment questions, a testing center that has the ability to grade and provide immediate feedback on the self-assessment questions as well as reporting capabilities, and other features designed to support learning.


A companion text, Pharmacotherapy Principles and Practice Study Guide: A Case-Based Care Plan Approach, is available to further enhance learning by guiding students through the process of applying knowledge of pharmacotherapy to specific patient cases. This study guide contains approximately 100 patient cases that correspond to chapters published in Pharmacotherapy Principles & Practice.


We acknowledge the commitment and dedication of the more than 182 contributing authors and more than 55 reviewers of the chapters contained in this text. A special thanks goes to the educators who have adopted this text in their courses. We also extend our thanks to McGraw-Hill Medical, especially Michael Weitz, Peter Boyle, and Laura Libretti, as well as the support teams at our individual universities for their dedication to this project.


The Editors
Third Edition, 2012

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