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Safe and effective use of pharmacotherapy is critical for preventing and treating acute and chronic medical conditions. Although biomedical research continues to lead to production of medications with great potential to improve health, medications are often overused, underused, or misused, leading to suboptimal or unsafe results. As healthcare practitioners, we are responsible for optimizing positive health outcomes and limiting adverse effects from pharmacotherapy.

Providing high quality, cost-effective pharmacotherapy requires integration of scientific knowledge and clinical practice skills combined with patient-centered care. The development of healthcare practitioners occurs through structured educational processes that include didactic and experiential learning, independent study, mentorship, interprofessional experiences, and direct involvement in patient care.

The sixth edition of Pharmacotherapy Principles & Practice is designed to provide student learners and healthcare practitioners with essential knowledge of the pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy of acute and chronic diseases likely to be encountered in routine practice. Chapters are written by content experts and peer reviewed by pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians who are authorities in their professional disciplines.

Pharmacotherapy Principles & Practice, sixth edition, opens with a brief Introduction chapter followed by five chapters focused on special populations: pediatrics, geriatrics, palliative care, critical care, and global health and travel medicine. These chapters are followed by 97 disease-based chapters that review epidemiology, etiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation and diagnosis, and nonpharmacologic therapy, followed by an emphasis on clear recommendations for medication selection, desired outcomes, dosing, and patient monitoring. New chapters in this edition include critical care pharmacotherapy; global health and travel medicine; systemic lupus erythematosus; and nose, mouth, and throat disorders. There is also important new chapter content on circulatory shock syndromes, trauma-related anxiety disorder, otic disorders, and antimicrobial stewardship.The following textbook features were designed in collaboration with educational design specialists to enhance learning and retention:

  • Structured learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter.

  • Key concepts related to the disease, patient assessment, and treatment highlighted with an easily identifiable icon throughout the chapter.

  • Patient encounters, updated and revised from the previous edition, that facilitate development of critical thinking skills and lend clinical relevance to the scientific foundation provided.

  • A patient care process section modeling the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP) that provides specific recommendations about the process of care for an individual patient involving five steps: collect information, assess information, develop a care plan, implement the care plan, and follow-up: monitor and evaluate.

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

  • Tables, figures, and algorithms that enhance understanding of pathophysiology, clinical presentation, medication selection, pharmacokinetics, and patient monitoring.

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

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

  • Laboratory values expressed as both conventional units and Système International (SI) units.

  • Appendices that contain: (1) conversion factors and anthropometrics; (2) common medical abbreviations; (3) glossary of medical terms (the first use of each term in a chapter appears in bold, colored font); and (4) prescription writing principles.

  • A table of common laboratory tests and reference ranges appears on the inside covers of the book.

A companion website, 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 in the textbook.

The Online Learning Center at provides self-assessment questions, grading and immediate feedback on the questions, and reporting capabilities.

We are extremely grateful for the commitment and dedication of more than 190 contributing authors and more than 100 peer reviewers of the chapters in this new edition. We also thank the many educators, schools/colleges, and healthcare institutions that have adopted this textbook in courses or use it as a reference in practice settings. We extend our sincere thanks to the McGraw Hill team for their hard work and commitment to bringing this new edition to our readership.

The Editors
September 2021

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