American College of Clinical Pharmacy
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Clinical Library and Handheld Devices for Students

For pharmacists to provide optimal medication therapy outcomes, as described by the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP) Vision Statement,1 it is important that they acquire and maintain accurate information. A clinical pharmacist must recognize that in situations outside his or her expertise, he or she will need to seek a variety of information sources.2 Since the burgeoning of electronic media resources, information is now readily available in handbooks, online databases, and even portable devices.

1Anonymous. JCPP Vision Statement for Pharmacy Practice in 2015. November 10, 2004. Available here. Accessed March 9, 2009.
2Burke JM, Miller WA, Spencer AP, et al. Clinical pharmacist competencies. Pharmacotherapy 2008;28:806–15.

Handbooks and pocket references:

Lexi-Comp’s Drug Information Handbook, 20th edition

  • Pros:
    • Great comparative charts and algorithms in the appendix
    • Easy to use with dictionary-like format
    • Can quickly find dosing information
  • Cons:
    • Difficult to fit into pocket with new dimensions of book

Pharmacotherapy Handbook, DiPiro, 7th edition

  • Pros:
    • Highlights of the DiPiro Pharmacotherapy textbook
    • Uses tables, diagrams, flowcharts, and outline format
    • Provides quick review of disease states and overview of treatment
  • Cons:
    • May not find all dosing information needed, including dose adjustments
    • May be heavy and difficult to fit into lab coat

Handbook of Applied Therapeutics, 8th Edition

  • Pros:
    • Highlights of the Applied Therapeutics textbook (excluding cases)
    • Includes flow charts and comparative charts to guide decision making
    • Provides quick review of disease states and overview of treatment
  • Cons:
    • May not find all dosing information needed, including dose adjustments
    • May be heavy and difficult to fit into lab coat

The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy, 2011 edition

  • Pros:
    • The standard pocket book for antibiotics, anti-infectives, and infectious diseases; uses chart format
    • Excellent reference for reviewing spectrum of antibiotic activity and dosing
    • Easily fits inside lab coats
  • Cons:
    • Small text
    • May be difficult to navigate

Peripheral Brain for the Pharmacist, 2nd edition

  • Pros:
    • Provides an assortment of tables, algorithms, and formulas
    • Easily fits inside lab coats
    • Easy to find information with color coding
    • Cons:
      • Only provides information on a limited number of disease states and their treatment


    Drug Information

    • AHFS
      • Also known as the red book
      • Organized by drug class
      • Provides drug monographs
      • Can be used to find off label indications and IV drug stability and compatibility
      • Lists available products with manufactures
    • USPDI
      • 3 volumes
        • Volume I
          • Organized by generic drug name and class
          • Provides drug monographs, indication index, auxiliary label information, Off-label indications, and list of poison control centers and VA codes
        • Volume II
          • Organized by generic drug name
          • Drug information in lay terms
          • Excellent use for patient counseling
        • Volume III
          • Equivalency information (AB rating)
          • Lists discontinued products and orphan drugs
          • Provides patent expiration dates, chemical requirements and stability information, and legal requirement
    • Mosby’s Drug Consult
      • NOT referenced
      • 3 sections
        • Index
          • Organized by drug or condition
          • International brand names
        • Drug information
          • Organized alphabetically
        • Herbal
          • Limited to ~50 herbals listed
            • Provides FDA approved information, equivalency information (AB rating), NDC#, and cost
            • Appendix has comparative drug tables, manufacture index and DEA schedules
        • Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR)
          • Organized by manufacture, brand/generic, and category
          • Provides product identification guide, contact numbers, and common herbal interactions, ADR/medication error reporting information, DEA information
          • Lists poison control centers, drug information centers, assistance programs

        Therapeutic textbooks

        • Applied Therapeutics (Koda-Kimble)
          • Organized by disease state
          • Information delivered in patient cases format
          • Introduces disease states (epidemiology, symptoms, and diagnosis) and focuses on treatment
          • Available in pocket handbook
        • Pharmacotherapy (Dipiro)
          • Organized by disease state
          • Introduces disease states (epidemiology, symptoms, and diagnosis) and focuses on treatment
          • Available in pocket handbook
        • Textbook of Therapeutics: Drug and Disease Management (Herfindal)
          • Similar to Applied Therapeutics and Pharmacotherapy, but easier to read


        • The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics (Goodman and Gilman)
          • Organized by organ system and sub-categorized by disease therapies
          • Provides DETAILED information on pharmacokinetics (ADME), effects at receptor sites, basic science of drug, and pictures of drug chemical structures
        • Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (Katzung)
          • Organized by drug class
          • Similar to Goodman and Gilman but easier to read
          • Also provides information on herbals and OTCs

        Medical textbooks

        • Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine & Cecil’s Textbook of Medicine
          • Organized by disease states
          • Provides pathology and diagnosis of disease states
          • Includes lots of charts and tables
          • Drug therapy reviews are NOT comprehensive

        General medical reference (handbooks)

        • The Washington Manual
          • Organized by organ system
          • Focuses on internal medicine
          • Provides diagnosis and treatment, information regarding emergency situation and toxicology
          • Includes lots of charts and tables (lab value reference, drug interactions, admixtures, drugs for renal adjustment, ACLS charts)
        • The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy
          • Organized by organ system
          • Provides disease state information (epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment)
          • Has unique information (ie care for dying patient, rehab, smoking cessation, decision making)
        Specialty Books

        Intravenous medication compatibility

        • Handbook of Injectable Drugs (Trissle’s)I King’s Guide to Parenteral Admixtures
          • Organized alphabetically
          • Compatibility listed in tables
          • Lists compatibility at Y site

        Adverse drug reactions

        • Davie’s Textbook of Adverse
          • Organized by organ system
        • Meyler’s Side Effects of Drugs
          • Organized by drug classes


        • Textbook of Pediatrics (Nelson’s)
          • Organized by disease/organ system
          • Provides review of treatment options, chapters devoted to poisoning and lab references
        • Pediatric and Neonatal Dosage Handbook
          • Drug monographs
        • Red Book
          • Organized alphabetically
          • Focus on infectious disease in children
          • Includes a section on immunizations and a section medications
        • Problems in Pediatric Drug Therapy
          • Includes chapters on drugs in pregnancy and lactation, ADRs and DIs in children, immunization
          • Provides reference charts
        • The Harriet Lane Handbook
          • Quick and concise handbook
          • Similar to The Washington Manual
        • Neofax
          • Organized by drug class
          • Provides IV doses for neonates, recommended concentrations for neonates, nutraceutical (formula)

        Pregnancy and lactation

        • Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation
          • Organized alphabetically
          • Reviews literature and provides references


        • Handbook of Geriatric Therapy
          • Good information on what medications to use in persons in a long-term care setting
          • Resources for geriatric care

        Toxicology and poisoning

        • Goldfrank’sToxicologic Emergencies
          • Organized by organ system
          • Provides information on common poisons/ingestions, spider bites and snake bites, some household products, and common antidotes
        • Ellenhorn’s Medical Toxicology
          • Similar to Goldfrank’sToxicologic Emergencies
          • Includes more information on common household products and provides information on folk medicine
        • Poisoning and Drug Overdose
          • Provides information on non/low toxic products (ie toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner)

        Herbal Products

        • Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
          • Organized alphabetically in monograph format
          • Reviews literature and provides information on safety and efficacy
          • Provides alternative names of herbals
        • PDR for Herbal Medications
          • Monographs
          • Different indices (alphabetical, indications/class, drug/herb interactions, pictures of plant)
        • Tyler’s Honest Herbal
          • Targeted towards lay persons
        Smartphone Applications

        Last updated May 18, 2011 – as available on iTunes


        1. Pharmacist Letter (Free)
        2. Pharmacotherapy Handbook, Seventh Edition ($54.99)
        3. Pharmacy Times (Free, only for iPad)
        4. Pharmacy Today Magazine (Free)
        5. U.S Pharmacist Journal ($1.99)

        Drug Databases

        1. Epocrates (Free)
        2. Lexi-COMPLETE ($285.00 – 30 day free trial available)
        3. Medscape (Free)
        4. Micromedex Drug Information (Free)

        Study Aids

        1. Comprehensive Pharmacy Review, 7th Edition Q&A ($39.99) A companion to the textbook which lets you create personalized NAPLEX practice quizzes from over 1200 exam-style questions.
        2. iCram Master ($3.99) Helps turn textbook outlines and lecture notes into digital flashcards with images and text. Also, has test mode which converts flashcards into practice tests.
        3. RxPrep NAPLEX Board Study Guide ($39.99) Contains NAPLEX Exam Preparation Chapters over common NAPLEX topics. The application also features 300 Multiple Choice Quiz Questions with scoring.

        Clinical Resources

        1. Arrhythmias ($0.99) Features built in ECGs, descriptions of pathologic cardiac arrhythmias and corresponding treatments.
        2. Cardiology Drug Guide 2010 ($24.99) Current information on cardiovascular drugs, including trade and generic names, administration and dosages, interactions, contraindications, and precautions.
        3. Critical Care ACLS Guide ($5.99) Allows practitioners to check adult and pediatric emergency and ACLS drug doses and includes stroke management, ventilator guide, Spanish translations, IV drip rates, lab values, and much more.
        4. Critical Care Options (CCO) Oncology in Practice (Free) Features 4 resources: hematology and oncology textbook, Lexi-comp drug database, PubMed abstracts, and Management guidelines.
        5. DynaMed (access code) A clinical reference database with over 3,100 evidence-based clinical summaries which are updated daily and intended for point-of-care use.
        6. John Hopkins Applications (24.99 each)
          • ABX Guide: Choose the correct drug and dose, then review common adverse effects, interactions,details on pathogens and clinical considerations.
          • Diabetes Guide: Review details on tests, complications, drugs, and management.
          • HIV Guide: Review coverage of HIV therapy including infections, malignancies, clinical tests, microbiology, and treatment options
        7. Lytes ($1.99) One stop for electrolyte imbalances causes, signs, diagnosis and treatment.


        1. Drug Pronunciations ($2.99) Clear audio pronunciations of more than 2500 drug names, both generic and trade, verified by a team of pharmacists and physicians.
        2. Medical Spanish (with audio) ($4.99) More than 6,000 entries which include subjective questions to ask the patient, prescription instructions, vaccine information statements, patient education materials and more.
        3. Mediquations ($4.99) A comprehensive medical calculator with more than 230 medical calculations and scoring tools.
        4. Pill Identifier Lite by ($0.99) Searchable database allows searching by imprint, drug name, shape and color.