The Top 100 Drugs - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780702055164, 9780702057250

The Top 100 Drugs

1st Edition

Clinical Pharmacology and Practical Prescribing

Authors: Andrew Hitchings Dagan Lonsdale Daniel Burrage Emma Baker
eBook ISBN: 9780702057250
eBook ISBN: 9780702055157
Imprint: Churchill Livingstone
Published Date: 2nd May 2014
Page Count: 274

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Prescribing for the first time is a nerve-wracking experience. Of all the tasks performed by new doctors, it is probably the one with greatest direct impact on the wellbeing of patients. Safe and effective practice rests on a good understanding of both clinical pharmacology and practical prescribing. Acquiring this is not easy, particularly when faced with reams of information about hundreds of unfamiliar drugs, often presented in a way that appears detached from clinical reality.

This book is your starting point. It is a direct response to requests from students for a compendium of the 100 most important drugs in the NHS. Key information about the clinical pharmacology and practical prescribing of each drug is presented side-by-side, allowing you to direct your attention as appropriate for your stage of training. Drugs can be accessed alphabetically when you need quick information on the wards and by organ system or clinical indication when you are at your desk.

Research led by Professor Emma Baker has identified the ‘top 100 drugs’ by their importance and prescribing frequency. She has shown that the list changes little over time, making it a stable resource upon which to base learning.

"A great practical resource for those new to prescribing the text is aimed at those new to independent prescribing, and for that group I would consider. The Top 100 Drugs to be an excellent publication." Reviewed by Emma Watts, GP in Surrey on behalf of (journal) Pulse April 2015

"This handy, pocket-sized book is a great practical resource for those new to prescribing." Reviewed by Pulse, Apr 2015

Key Features

  • The top 100 drugs and the five most important intravenous fluids are presented using a clear, consistent layout across double-page spreads.
  • Drugs are arranged alphabetically and also listed by organ system and clinical indication, providing multiple pathways into the information.
  • Clinical pharmacology is discussed under the headings: common indications; mechanisms of action; important adverse effects; warnings; and important interactions.
  • Practical prescribing is discussed under the headings: prescription; administration; communication; monitoring; and cost.
  • A clinical tip is presented for every drug.
  • Single-best-answer questions are provided for self-assessment and to show how information from several drugs may be integrated.

Table of Contents


Drugs listed by system

Drugs listed by indication

Top 100 drugs

  • Acetylcysteine (N-acetylcysteine)
  • Activated charcoal
  • Adenosine
  • Adrenaline (epinephrine)
  • Aldosterone antagonists
  • Alginates and antacids
  • Allopurinol
  • Alpha-blockers
  • Aminoglycosides
  • Aminosalicylates
  • Amiodarone
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers
  • Antidepressants, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors
  • Antidepressants, tricyclics and related drugs
  • Antidepressants, venlafaxine and mirtazepine
  • Antiemetics, dopamine D2-receptor antagonists
  • Antiemetics, histamine H1-receptor antagonists
  • Antiemetics, phenothiazines
  • Antiemetics, serotonin 5-HT3-receptor antagonists
  • Antifungal drugs
  • Antihistamines (H1-receptor antagonists)
  • Antimotility drugs
  • Antimuscarinics, bronchodilators
  • Antimuscarinics, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal uses
  • Antimuscarinics, genitourinary uses
  • Antipsychotics, first-generation (typical)
  • Antipsychotics, second-generation (atypical)
  • Aspirin
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Beta2-agonists
  • Beta-blockers
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Calcium and vitamin D
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Carbamazepine
  • Cephalosporins and carbapenems
  • Clopidogrel
  • Compound (β2-agonist–corticosteroid) inhalers
  • Corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), systemic
  • Corticosteroids, inhaled
  • Corticosteroids, topical
  • Digoxin
  • Dipyridamole
  • Diuretics, loop
  • Diuretics, potassium-sparing
  • Diuretics, thiazide and thiazide-like
  • Dopaminergic drugs for Parkinson’s disease
  • Emollients
  • Fibrinolytic drugs
  • Gabapentin and pregabalin
  • H2-receptor antagonists
  • Heparins and fondaparinux
  • Insulin
  • Iron
  • Laxatives, bulk forming
  • Laxatives, osmotic
  • Laxatives, stimulant
  • Lidocaine
  • Macrolides
  • Metformin
  • Methotrexate
  • Metronidazole
  • Naloxone
  • Nicorandil
  • Nicotine replacement and related drugs
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Ocular lubricants (artificial tears)
  • Oestrogens and progestogens
  • Opioids, compound preparations
  • Opioids, strong
  • Opioids, weak
  • Oxygen
  • Paracetamol
  • Penicillins
  • Penicillins, antipseudomonal
  • Penicillins, broad-spectrum
  • Penicillins, penicillinase-resistant
  • Phenytoin
  • Phosphodiesterase (type 5) inhibitors
  • Potassium, oral
  • Prostaglandin analogue eye drops
  • Proton pump inhibitors
  • Quinine
  • Quinolones
  • Statins
  • Sulphonylureas
  • Tetracyclines
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Trimethoprim
  • Vaccines
  • Valproate
  • Vancomycin
  • Vitamins
  • Warfarin
  • Z-drugs
  • 5α-reductase inhibitors


  • Colloids (plasma substitutes)
  • Compound sodium lactate (Hartmann’s solution)
  • Glucose (dextrose)
  • Potassium, intravenous
  • Sodium chloride

Self-assessment and knowledge integration

50 single best answer questions

Answers including explanatory texts


No. of pages:
© Churchill Livingstone 2015
2nd May 2014
Churchill Livingstone
eBook ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Andrew Hitchings

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology, St George’s, University of London; Honorary Consultant in Neurointensive Care, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Dagan Lonsdale

Affiliations and Expertise

Honorary Senior Lecturer, St George’s, University of London; Specialty Registrar in Clinical Pharmacology, General Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Daniel Burrage

Affiliations and Expertise

NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow, St George’s, University of London; Specialty Registrar in Clinical Pharmacology, General Medicine and Stroke Medicine, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Emma Baker

Professor Emma Baker (PhD FRCP) is a clinical academic with roles in research, teaching and clinical medicine. At St George’s, University of London she is the head of the Clinical Pharmacology Unit, lead for prescribing education and assessment and chair of the Drugs and Therapeutics Committee. Current external roles include respiratory specialty group lead, (London South Comprehensive Local Research Network) and executive editor of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

In research, she gained her PhD from Manchester University in 1996. She subsequently moved to St George’s and developed a research programme in epithelial transport and respiratory infection, with external funding from bodies including the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council. Her research has developed from early work in molecular biology to development and implementation of investigator-led clinical trials.

In teaching, she was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2003 and has received a St George’s undergraduate teaching prize in eight different years. She has co-authored a respiratory text book (Case-based respiratory medicine) and is currently leading her clinical pharmacology trainees in writing two new prescribing textbooks for publication in 2014.

In clinical practice, she has a specialist interest in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and runs an outpatient service for patients with airways disease. She shares the inpatient care of respiratory patients with four colleagues and is on the on call rota for acute medical intaking.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, St George’s University of London; Honorary Consultant Physician, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.