Thursday, March 22, 2007

PDR ~ Physicians' "Desk" Reference

Every year a new updated edition of the Physicians' Desk Reference is released. Essentially it is a compilation of all those leaflets that come packaged with full factory packed bottles of drugs. If your pharmacist put one in with your 30 pill prescription almost no one would read it anyway.

It's a huge heavy book., the kind of book that you read on a desk, not in your lap, and no way would you try to read it while holding it in your hands. My ex is a medical doctor and I'm on her short list of people to whom she gives an old one from time to time. My "current" one is the 2001 edition but most of the time that's likely to be current enough to read up on possible drug interactions or allergic reactions when I get a new prescription. It's big, but handy to have one at home.

There are a bunch of pre-med students that hang out at my nearby Starbucks and I'd mentioned that the neurologist had me trying a new anti-seizure medication. "Which one?" I was asked. "Lamictal, 100mg once a day" I replied. Suddenly what looked like a pocket calculator was whipped out and being consulted. I didn't learn anything new about the drug, but I did learn that essentially the entire contents of that huge book was inside that little plastic housing. That is progress, big time! Unless the battery dies, of course. Then you'll wish that you had the big full size Physicians' Desk Reference, the REAL PDR, on your lap even if it does weigh a ton.

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