Essentials of pharmaceutical chemistry

Essentials of pharmaceutical chemistry

Talanta 54 (2001) 419 www.elsevier.com/locate/talanta Book review Essentials of pharmaceutical chemistry D. Cairns, Pharmaceutical Press, London, 200...

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Talanta 54 (2001) 419 www.elsevier.com/locate/talanta

Book review Essentials of pharmaceutical chemistry D. Cairns, Pharmaceutical Press, London, 2000, xii+141 pp., Softback, ISBN 0-85369-437-03, £21.95. Just what constitutes Pharmaceutical Chemistry? A small textbook such as this one could not possibly incorporate all aspects of the subject so a decision to only include certain areas of chemistry must have been made. The author’s choice of essentials is covered in six chapters that are aimed at the undergraduate student. These chapters are: chemistry of acids and bases, partition coefficient and biopharmacy, volumetric analysis of drugs, analytical spectroscopy, stability of drugs and medicines, and finally, kinetics of drug stability. So the emphasis is on the physical, rather than the organic, aspects of pharmaceutical chemistry. The information in the book is presented in a clear and, on occasions, refreshingly informal manner with nice molecular diagrams, plots and reaction schemes. An excellent feature of the book is the many worked examples that are taken from examination papers. This feature alone makes the book a worthwhile purchase for students, lecturers and analysts in general. Another feature, which is a bonus for the reader, is the relevancy of the topics covered. All the details — theoretical and practical — are directed towards the examination of the behaviour of drugs. Some aspects in the analytical sections of the book show the minor differences in approach

between a pharmacist and a chemist. For example, a pharmacist makes widespread use of percentage concentrations and this leads to the use of A (1%, 1 cm) values in place of molar absorption coefficients in spectrophotometry. The A (1%, 1 cm) values are used widely in the British and European Pharmacopoeias whereas the US Pharmacopoeia prefers the use of comparative assay methods. Also the pharmacists’ use of factors in titrimetry is explained, although these factors would rarely, if ever, be used by chemists. The size of the book restricts the amount of detail that can be devoted to each topic so it would be advantageous to the reader if more specialised texts could be listed for further reading. Each of the chapters is an essential read for pharmacy students and indeed, all science students who wish to consider careers in the pharmaceutical industry. I am sure this will become a very popular book and if you buy it there is no doubt that your colleagues will want to borrow it so make sure you write your name on the inside cover. 31 October 2000

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0039-9140/01/$ - see front matter © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. PII: S0039-9140(00)00633-0

P.J. Cox School of Pharmacy, The Robert Gordon Uni6ersity, Schoolhill, Aberdeen AB10 1FR, Scotland, UK E-mail: [email protected]