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Handbook of Systemic Drug Treatment in Dermatology

Dr Ian Henderson reviews this pocket sized reference book.

Dr Ian Henderson reviews this pocket sized reference book.



Advances in dermatology treatments have seen an increase in systemic drug therapies in recent years. This pocket-sized book is a useful aid to GPs who may be involved in shared-care treatment with dermatologists.

The treatments are set out in alphabetical order although some, such as acne antibiotics, are grouped together in one section. It provides various information on each drug group, including mode of action, indications, dosage, monitoring, interactions, side effects etc - similar to a mini data sheet compendium.

The lay out is simple to read and there are sections at the end on uses in pregnancy, lactation, childhood and renal and liver disease.

It does not mention the new biologic treatments used mainly for psoriasis and it would have been useful to have a table or a section where there was a list of the dermatological conditions and the drugs used in their treatment as a cross reference.

Minocycline in acne seems to be highlighted more than current thinking would suggest it should and many dermatologists double the dose of the same non-sedating antihistamine in urticaria if one a day is not effective, which doesn't get a mention. These are however minor gripes.

The book describes many non-licensed drug uses and even drugs not licensed in the UK, such as fumaric acid esters – although the preface of the book warns it is the prescriber who carries the can if damage is done. If in doubt leave it to the dermatologist who requests it.

In summary – this is a useful reference book if you have an interest in dermatology or are involved with shared care with the local dermatologists. Much smaller than the data sheet compendium!

Rating: 3/5

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