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The fifteenth edition of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology welcomes Dr. Todd W. Vanderah as associate title page editor for this edition and senior title page editor for future editions. This book represents almost 40 years of presenting the most up-to-date information available in the field. This edition reflects a major expansion of large-molecule drugs in the pharmacopeia, with numerous new monoclonal antibodies and other “biologicals” discussed in several chapters. Although still small in number of agents compared to the number of small-molecule drugs, these complex agents have provided major therapeutic breakthroughs and constitute a significant and growing fraction of the total expense of drug therapy. The fifteenth edition continues the extensive use of full-color illustrations and expanded coverage of transporters, pharmacogenomics, and new drugs of all types. Case studies accompany most chapters. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology is designed to provide a comprehensive, authoritative, and readable pharmacology textbook for students in any of the health sciences.

This edition continues the sequence used in many pharmacology courses and in integrated curricula: basic principles of drug discovery, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacogenomics; autonomic drugs; cardiovascular-renal drugs; drugs with important actions on smooth muscle; central nervous system drugs; drugs used to treat inflammation, gout, and diseases of the blood; endocrine drugs; chemotherapeutic drugs; toxicology; and special topics. This sequence builds new information on a foundation of information already assimilated. For example, early presentation of autonomic nervous system pharmacology allows students to integrate the physiology and neuroscience they have learned elsewhere with the pharmacology they are learning and prepares them to understand the autonomic effects of other drugs. This is especially important for the cardiovascular and central nervous system drug groups. However, chapters can be used equally well in courses and curricula that present these topics in a different sequence.

Within each chapter, emphasis is placed on discussion of drug groups and prototypes rather than offering repetitive detail about individual drugs. Selection of the subject matter and the order of its presentation are based on the accumulated experience of teaching this material to thousands of medical, pharmacy, dental, podiatry, nursing, and other health science students.

Major features that make this book particularly useful in integrated curricula include sections that specifically address the clinical choice and use of drugs in patients and the monitoring of their effects—in other words, clinical pharmacology is an integral part of this text. Lists of the trade and generic names of commercial preparations available are provided at the end of most chapters for easy reference by the house officer or practitioner evaluating a patient's drug list or writing a prescription.

Significant revisions in this edition include:

  • Addition of Dr. Todd W. Vanderah, PhD, as a title page editor and contributor.

  • Major revisions of the chapters on immunopharmacology, antiseizure, antipsychotic, antidepressant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral drugs, prostaglandins, and central nervous system neurotransmitters. Cannabis pharmacology has become more relevant, and a new chapter in the special topics section is devoted to this important area.

  • Continued expansion of the coverage of general concepts relating to newly discovered receptors, receptor mechanisms, and drug transporters.

  • Descriptions of important new drugs, especially biologicals, released through December 2019.

  • Revised illustrations in full color that provide significantly more information about drug mechanisms and effects and help to clarify important concepts.

An important related educational resource is Katzung & Trevor's Pharmacology: Examination & Board Review, (Katzung BG, Kruidering-Hall M, Vanderah TW, Tuan R, & Trevor AJ: McGraw Hill). This book provides a succinct review of pharmacology with almost one thousand sample examination questions and answers. It is especially helpful to students preparing for board-type examinations. A more highly condensed source of information suitable for review purposes is USMLE Road Map: Pharmacology, second edition (Katzung BG, Trevor AJ: McGraw Hill). An extremely useful manual of toxicity due to drugs and other products is Poisoning & Drug Overdose, by Olson KR, ed; 7th edition, McGraw Hill, 2018.

The fifteenth edition marks the 38th year of publication of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology. The widespread adoption of the first fourteen editions indicates that this book fills an important need. We believe that the fifteenth edition will satisfy this need even more successfully. Chinese, Croatian, Czech, French, Georgian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian translations of various editions are available. The publisher may be contacted for further information.

I wish to acknowledge the prior and continuing efforts of my valued contributing authors and the major contributions of the staff at Lange Medical Publications, Appleton & Lange, and McGraw Hill, and of our editors for this edition, Greg Feldman and Katharine Katzung. I also wish to thank Alice Camp and Katharine Katzung for their expert proofreading contributions.

Suggestions and comments about Basic & Clinical Pharmacology are always welcome. They may be sent to me in care of the publisher.

Bertram G. Katzung, MD, PhD
San Francisco
August 2020

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