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June 1959

Drugs, Their Nature, Action and Use.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;97(6):899. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070010901033

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This book, as is implicit in its title, is an unusual book on pharmacology. It is divided into three sections: The first one is essentially a four-page apology for being a pharmacologist; the second section consists of seven chapters in some 50 pages on general principles in pharmacology, and the last section, entitled "The Actions and Uses of Drugs," constitutes the bulk of the book with 66 chapters in some 600 pages. The organization of the last section is based primarily on clinical usefulness of various drugs, and not on the pharmacodynamic aspects of drug action within the body. Because of this organization many unorthodox, sometimes arbitrary, divisions had to be made in discussing drugs that have diverse biological effects. For instance, the ergot alkaloids are discussed in two parts, one part under "Drugs that Stimulate Uterine Muscle" and another part under "Drugs that Constrict Blood Vessels," the two sections

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