As a part of my series of comparative reviews of medical books, I am now writing the reviews for textbooks of Pharmacology. Pharmacology is an ever growing subject with new drug discoveries and approvals happening every few days. But the problem with textbooks is that they are not updated frequently, so recent drug data is not available in all of them. I will write an overall review of these books and usefulness of them for mainly undergraduate medical students.


Essentials Of Medical Pharmacology by KD Tripathi (Recommended)

KD Tripathi has always been on top of the list in all the pharmacology books as it is the best book to read the subject. It has enough details given to top any UG exam and in some case even MD Pharmacology PG exam. The book provides the classification of drugs excellently, and enough details of drugs are given for a textbook. One negative side of this book is that it is not updated frequently, so many drugs, mechanisms and guidelines are left out in this book. Still, this book is the best for UG medical students for Pharmacology.

Principles of Pharmacology by H. L. Sharma and K. K. Sharma (Recommended)

I have been provided with both newer (3rd edition – 2017) and older editions of this book by Paras Medical Publishers for review purpose. 2017 edition of this book is the latest pharmacology book available in market at the time of writing this review. Book given details about topics which are not given in KD Tripathi for example Schedule of drugs in India, laws related to drugs in India, dosage forms of drugs and sources of drugs. This book is a very good alternative to KD Tripathi and many of the post-graduate MD Pharmacology students also read this book for their final exams because of writing style which is better than KD Tripathi. The negative thing about this book is that is is not as detailed as Tripathi and thus students who like to read more will be dissatisfied with this book. But it is a very good alternative for students who are short of time.

Pharmacology for Medical Graduates by Tara Shanbhag

Basic and Clinical Pharmacology by Bentram Katzung (Recommended)

A typical book from Lange publishers which focuses more on understanding the mechanisms and clinical relevance of drugs rather than going into minor details of the drugs. I have always liked all books from LANGE as they are better than any other book when it comes to understanding a subject. Book give physiology of the topic before the pharmacology which makes it very easy to understand the basics of the pharmacological mechanisms. General Pharmacology is not given in much details and students should refer to Sharma or Tripathi for that. This book is best for students who want to understand the subject rather than just blindly mugging up the names of the drugs.

Goodman And Gilman Manual Of Pharmacology And Therapeutics by Randa Hilal-Dandan and Laurence Brunton

Widely known as the Bible of Pharmacology. It is only for postgraduate students of pharmacology and not for undergraduates. General pharmacology in this book is not given properly but other topics are given in so much details that it is difficult to read and revise this complete book.

Postgraduate Topics in Pharmacology by Rituparna Maiti

Book is for postgraduate students only and it gave details about topics which are important for MD Pharmacology residents for their final exams.

Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics by R S Satoskar, Nirmala Rege & S D Bhandarkar

This book is an undergraduate book which is very different from Tripathi or Sharma. I still remember many of my undergraduate batchmates reading this book for general pharmacology. I am not a big fan of this book and its writing style.

Medical Pharmacology by Padmaja Udaykumar

Pharmacology by Brenner

Principles of Pharmacology by Golan

Rang And Dale’s Pharmacology by Humphrey P. Rang

Pharmacological Classification of Drugs With Doses And Preparations by KD Tripathi

Lippincott Illustrated Reviews: Pharmacology by Karen Whalen

Kd Tripathi’s Mcqs In Pharmacology: Based On 7 Th/Ed Of Kd Tripathi’s Essentials Of Medical Pharmacology by Bhandari Prasan R

Pharmacological Classification of Drugs With Doses And Preparations by KD Tripathi

Exam Preparatory Manual for Undergraduates – Pharmacology by Sparsh Gupta, Gobind Rai Garg

Practical Pharmacology by Gomes M.W.

Practical Manual of Pharmacology by Dinesh Badyal

Pharmacology by Vikas Dhikav

MCQs in Pharmacology by Jayant S. Kulkarni

Fundamentals of Experimental Pharmacology by M. N. Ghosh

Another book for MD Pharmacology resident doctors who want to learn about experimental pharmacology.

Screening Methods in Pharmacology by N.S. Parmar

This book is for postgraduate students of MD Pharmacology who are interested in reading animal models for inducing disease in the various animals. It is a concise version of Vogel’s book for preclinical screening methods.

Clinical Trials A Beginner’s Guide by Alice Kuruvilla and A D Paul

This book was given to me by Paras Medical Publishers as a review copy on my request. This book gives details about clinical trials in an excellent manner and I think this book is a one place destination for all those students especially MD Pharmacology residents who want to learn all the aspects of clinical trials. The best part about this book is that it gives details of clinical trials like regulatory aspects from multiple countries like USA, EU, and Japan along with Indian data, so students can get a better idea of these regulations. This book also gives a chapter on the statistics which is very important part of data analysis in clinical trials or for that matter any research project. So students who want to learn about clinical trials in short time and do not want to look for data all over the internet should definitely buy this book.

Entrance Exams

Review Of Pharmacology by Gobind Rai Garg (Recommended)

The most famous and widely read book for preparation of postgraduate medical entrance exams. It is given concise and updated information about various drugs to the students.

Self-Assessment and Review of Pharmacology by Arvind Arora

This is the book which I had referred to during my preparation of PG medical entrance exams like NEET and AIPGMEE. It is a good book just like all the Arvind Arora books.

Conceptual Review of Pharmacology for NBE by Ranjan Kumar Patel

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Disclaimer: A part of this review has been written by few of the MD Pharmacology residents.