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Book review: The Top 100 Drugs by Andrew Hitchings

This handy, pocket-sized book is a great practical resource for those new to prescribing.

Our trainees repeatedly express worries about prescribing, particularly formulary, and the BNF initially seems to be an intimidating place to start. 

The authors have used junior doctors’ experience to pick out the 100 most frequently-used drugs, and these are described (in alphabetical order) in a clear double page spread format. I read it with interest, and found the layout appealing and easy to refer to. The information given is a hybrid between pharmacology and practical prescribing. 

Although this is not a book I would use or need in everyday general practice my trainee was delighted to have the book to refer to, and found it a good starting point from which to begin her prescribing journey. 

The icing on the cake is the reference listing of the top 100 ordered both by system and by indication. This provides trainees with an excellent starting point, from which they can move on to the BNF and more information dense resources.

Us older GPs may find the book useful to brush up on our rusty pharmacology, but the text is aimed at those new to independent prescribing, and for that group I would consider The Top 100 Drugs to be an excellent publication.

Dr Emma Watts is a GP in Surrey.