Preston CL, Baxter K. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2014.
This pocket companion is published annually. It is based on the monographs in Stockley's Drug Interactions, which are fully referenced and derived from clinical studies, case reports and systematic reviews.
The book provides a compact text that is quick and easy to access and briefly summarises the evidence for each interaction. There are 2200 monographs listed alphabetically according to the generic name of the individual drugs or drug groups (e.g. ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs). Each monograph has one of four rating symbols assigned to each interaction determined by the action required, the severity or likely effect of an unmanaged interaction, and the extent of the evidence. The symbols identify interactions that:
- need to be avoided
- are potentially hazardous and caution is required
- are possible and may require monitoring
- are not significant and the drugs may be used concomitantly.
The interaction is defined under the two listed drugs. This is followed by a short practical discussion on how the interaction should be managed, the manufacturer's recommendations and guidelines from professional societies. For example, the manufacturer of leflunomide recommends avoiding alcohol while the British Society of Rheumatology limits alcohol intake to four to eight units a week.
One limitation of the book is the indexing. It could be improved as some interactions may be missed especially if the book is relied on as a quick, comprehensive resource. For example, a search for an interaction between voriconazole and simvastatin under voriconazole (which also states to 'see Azoles') will only find fluvastatin listed and not atorvastatin, simvastatin or statins. However, a search under azoles will find atorvastatin and simvastatin but not statins or fluvastatin.
Overall, this pocket companion provides a handy, clear and concise reference for identifying drug interactions and a practical guide to their management.