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The Encyclopedia of Pharmaceutical Drugs is a one-stop guide to the major types of drugs in use today. This insightful new reference helps readers understand the different kinds of drugs, how they work, and how they interact with foods and other drugs. Each article discusses a particular drug's history, its purpose, what it treats, how it is used, off-label uses, differences in its use and effect among varying ethnic and social groups, side effects, and future prospects for improvements or new drugs of the same type. The history of the pharmaceuticals industry in the United States, the FDA approval process for new drugs, and the economic, political, and social issues that affect the development and sale of therapeutic drugs are also examined in this comprehensive resource. Appendixes include common prescription abbreviations, common medication errors, online drug databases, prescription drug assistance programs, state boards of pharmacy, and pharmaceutical associations.