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News & Articles > 4 Star Review for Brenner and Stevens’ Pharmacology, 5th Edition

Brenner and Stevens’ Pharmacology, 5th Edition

By George M. Brenner, PhD

ISBN: 9780323391665

Pub Date: 11/22/2017


Reviewed by: Kenneth E. McCarson, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)



This update of a popular textbook on the essential concepts of pharmacology uses a traditional block-section approach to covering the basic information needed for a functional introduction to the field. Purchase of the print book includes access to an ebook version formatted in a way that is compatible with any screen or platform. The previous edition was published in 2013.



This is intended as a primary textbook for an introductory pharmacology course at the graduate or professional school level, but it also would be useful for students preparing for board or licensing examinations. The intent is to adequately cover the breadth of pharmacology at sufficient depth for students to succeed at examinations without being overburdened by overwhelming amounts of detail. The book and its online counterpart meet these objectives very well.



The audience is students taking an introductory course in pharmacology at the graduate, medical, or similar level. Readers would likely require an undergraduate-level understanding of underlying physiology and biochemistry, but the book provides readily accessible, very digestible coverage of all the major areas of therapeutic pharmacology. The authors have updated editions of this book since 2000, and in that time it has become a well-known and useful primary course reference. The authors are well-credentialed professors in Midwest graduate and medical programs with ample experience and expertise in teaching medical pharmacology.



Sections are organized by traditional pharmacological areas, such as autonomic, cardiovascular/renal, central nervous system, and endocrine sections. Chapters cover specific subjects within each area in detail. The book strikes a particularly good balance between scope and depth of coverage with informative brevity and clarity. The authors have done a commendable job of extracting and integrating key concepts and in summarized presentations without undue or irrelevant detail. Study questions are provided at the end of each chapter, with answers and feedback for each question at the end of the book. The text is supported by numerous color figures, which are particularly outstanding in capturing essential key concepts and presenting them in a memorable, intuitive fashion.



This is an excellent option for use in a course covering the scope of the discipline of pharmacology. It’s easy on the eyes, easy to read and digest, and particularly strong in balancing detail and brevity. This balance clearly differentiates this book from others in the field that are either oppressive, unreadable tomes of undigestible detail or skeleton outlines that lack actual content. This updated edition adds considerable material in recently expanding therapeutic areas such as immunotherapeutics, diabetes drugs, and opioid management.


Doody’s Review Service Weighted Numerical Score: 93 – 4 Stars!

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One Comment

  • Petr Potmesil
    December 10, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Because I am not native english speaker I will write only very brief comment. The book Brenner/Steven´s pharmacology is very good, I appreciated for example summary of the main points at the end of each chapter. Flash cards that are associated with this 5th edition represent also useful study tool for repetition and usually highlight mechanism of drug action in front of the card using a simple picture that can be remembered easily.