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Edited by Edmund Hey. Published by Blackwell, BMJ Books, London, 2003, £27.50, pp 320. ISBN 0-7279-1738-2.
From the start, the latest edition of the Neonatal formulary is a mine of useful information and commonsense, practical advice for safe neonatal prescribing. It will, I am sure, prove to be a valuable resource in any neonatal unit.
Initial chapters offer essential background reading for anyone prescribing or administering drugs to neonates. Common scenarios including suspected bacterial infection, neonatal pain, seizures, and maternal drug abuse are dealt with concisely and an approach to pharmacological management is suggested for each. Topics such as the use of intravenous lines, adverse reactions, drug licensing, and storage are also discussed.
The drug monographs provide an invaluable reference tool, giving easy to follow guidance on the use, dosage, administration, and important adverse effects of over 200 drugs commonly used in labour and the neonatal period. All entries are referenced and include blood products, vaccines, oxygen, and formula milk. Succinct summaries of the effects on the foetus and newborn of many other drugs that may be taken during pregnancy and lactation are provided.
Regular updates, commentaries, and access to abstracts of relevant Cochrane reviews can be found on the book website, www.neonatalformularly.com. Also, if you buy the book, you are entitled to access the PDA or e-book version at a 50% discount bargain!