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This book is based on what healthcare professionals in rehabilitation need to know about pharmacology. Three licensed physical therapists (Drs. Jobst, Panus, and Tinsley) who are also professional pharmacologists worked together with three authors previously involved in medical pharmacology texts (Drs. Katzung, Masters, and Trevor) to provide a broad base of information. We believe this text offers a complete but focused presentation of pharmacology as it affects patients in rehabilitation and will be useful to all professionals in this field.

The information follows the sequence of traditional pharmacology textbooks and integrated systems based curricula. The initial section is a synopsis of the nature of drugs, basic principles of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, and an overview of the drug development and approval process in the United States. Subsequent chapters are organized around organ systems and include the autonomic and central nervous systems, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, endocrine system, and drugs acting on the musculoskeletal system. A separate section discussing anti-infective drugs is included. Finally, a glossary is provided as a student reference for defining many of the terms used in this textbook.

Chapters 21 and 30 are of particular importance to all therapists. Chapter 21 concerns the use of licit drugs such as tobacco and alcohol, and the illicit use of drugs for either mind-altering or bodybuilding effects. The use of these drugs by patients in rehabilitation is often hidden from healthcare professionals. The manifestations and adverse clinical effects resulting from use of these drugs are complicated by the diverse types of drugs being abused by patients. Chapter 30 involves the using of antiseptics and disinfectants to minimize the transfer of pathogens between patients. Their use in rehabilitation should be standard practice due to the extensive equipment utilized by therapists, and the extraordinary potential of therapists to inadvertently facilitate pathogen transmission when equipment is not properly disinfected or sterilized.

Each chapter follows a similar general outline. A brief synopsis of pathophysiology is followed by a discussion focused on the drug classes used clinically, and commonly recognized prototypes for each drug class. Within each drug class, the important chemistry, relevant pharmacokinetics, and mechanism(s) of action, as well as physiologic effects, clinical use, and potential adverse effects are presented. At the end of each chapter are sections designed to emphasize the importance of the drugs in the rehabilitation setting (Rehabilitation Focus) and the effects of drug classes on rehabilitation outcomes (Clinical Relevance for Rehabilitation). A clinical study (Problem Oriented Patient Study – POPS) presenting the rehabilitation process and potential drug interactions is also included. Each chapter also contains a list of many of the available preparations for drugs discussed in the chapter, and those currently available in the United States (Preparations Available). The authors believe that this format will provide the reader quick access to pertinent information when required.

An accurate medical history for a patient is required prior to a correct clinical diagnosis and effective treatment regimen. An essential component of the medical history is the current medication list for the patient. The drugs a patient takes have the potential to significantly influence medical and functional outcomes, either positively or negatively, regardless of whether the professional currently treating the patient is prescribing the drugs. Thus, all healthcare professionals have a responsibility to determine whether a patient's current medications have the potential to influence any component of the interaction between the professional and the patient. We hope this textbook will assist all healthcare professionals, especially those in physical therapy in that process.

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