The aim of Martindale is to provide healthcare professionals with unbiased evaluated information on drugs and medicines used throughout the world. It therefore has to develop as the body of knowledge on existing drugs grows, new drugs emerge, new preparations are launched, and old preparations are abandoned, reformulated, or redefined. It also has to reflect the changing needs of those practising pharmacy and medicine. We try to ensure that each new edition continues to meet all these needs.
In order to provide more up-to-date information the interval between the publication of the printed versions of Martindale has been reduced over successive editions and the book is now produced about every 2 years. For those who require even more up-to-date information from Martindale there are various electronic versions, sections of which are updated more frequently. The year 2008 saw the publication of the third Spanish edition of Martindale, the translation having again been undertaken by our colleagues at Grupo Ars XXI, and also saw the appearance of the first edition of a Chinese language version of Martindale.
Martindale has been continuously expanded since it was first published in 1883, and to present all the extra information this edition of Martindale maintains the recent return to a two-volume publication. The first volume contains this preface and the drug monographs, and the second holds the proprietary preparations and the index, as well as manufacturers’ contact information.
As always the contents have been extensively revised, with all the text scanned and revalidated where necessary by a team of experienced pharmacists. Over 260 monographs have been added, and 89 removed from the book (abbreviated information on the latter remains available in the electronic versions). In our continuing attempts to improve the clinical relevance of the book, the chapters on Prostaglandins and Hypothalamic and Pituitary Hormones have been split up and most of their contents added to new chapters on Obstetric Drugs and Growth Hormone and its Modulators. The chapter on Sex Hormones has been reorganised and renamed Sex Hormones and their Modulators.
The disease treatment reviews, 668 in all and generally located in the chapter introductions, have also been revised in order to reflect current trends and provide key references. Cross-references to these reviews appear in the monographs of the drugs cited; the reviews can also be accessed via the general index. It is hoped that these reviews will be of use to readers who want an overview of a particular disease and its drug treatment and will provide a useful starting point for those who want to pursue particular aspects further.
Martindale contains much nomenclature information intended to assist the reader in identifying a particular drug or compound, and for this edition we have again greatly expanded our coverage of synonyms, with the addition of names from Poland and Turkey, and increased coverage of Russian synonyms and ‘street names’ for substances of abuse. Coverage of ATC codes has been expanded to include codes assigned to veterinary medicines
This edition of Martindale also sees the number of graphical representations of the chemical structures increased.
The information on proprietary preparations, an important feature of Martindale, has been updated and more countries have been covered for this edition.
Martindale is based on published information and more than 47 700 selected references are included. The amount of drug information now published electronically has increased significantly since the last printed edition of Martindale and this edition now includes nearly 2700 citations to material available on the Internet as web pages. Because of the nature of the Internet, there is no way to guarantee that the material referred to by a URL will remain at that location, as many sites are subject to periodic reorganisation; additionally, the content of Internet documents may change without warning. All URLs in Martindale are rechecked shortly before publication to ensure that a document is present. The accession date given in the citation represents the last date on which the content of the document referred to was revalidated.
Our objective is to evaluate the literature, covering important studies, guidelines, and useful reviews and placing them in context. Multicentre studies, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews play an important role in the study of drug treatment, and their findings and conclusions are considered in many of our chapters. However, there is also a place for the anecdotal report and the small study, and information from such sources is included where appropriate. In compiling the text of a Martindale monograph extensive use is made of the drug’s licensed product information as published in various countries and approved by the relevant regulatory health bodies. Acknowledgement is also given to information referenced from a number of authoritative sources including the British National Formulary, the British National Formulary for Children, the British Pharmacopoeia, the European Pharmacopoeia, the United States National Formulary, and the United States Pharmacopeia.
Martindale is not a book of standards. Inclusion of a substance or a preparation is not to be considered as a recommendation for use, nor does it confer any status on the substance or preparation. While considerable efforts have been made to check the material in Martindale, the publisher cannot accept any responsibility for errors and omissions. Also the reader is assumed to possess the necessary knowledge to interpret the information that Martindale provides.