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How can a patient use the Physician's Drug Reference?

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The Physician's Drug Reference is typically used by patients as a source of information on pharmaceuticals, note K. Uhl, S.L. Kweder and D.L. Kennedy in a report published on PubMed. The PDR provides details on drugs, including contraindications, dosages, side effects and interactions, explains PDRBooks.

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Both generic and brand drug names in the PDR are arranged alphabetically, explains the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Each brand name listing is followed by the title of the manufacturer and the page to check for extra information. Every generic name, on the other hand, heads a list of brands arranged in alphabetical order. This structure eases the process of finding a particular drug and any information associated with it.

In general, the contents of the PDR are split into several sections, explains the LSUHSC. These include an index of manufacturers that lists drug makers and their telephone numbers along with other information. A product information section provides detailed drug data that includes composition, precautions, uses and administration along additional information such as common names and chemical names. A diagnostic product information section provides details intended to ease the process of diagnosis while a product identification section contains color photographs of tablets and capsules to aid drug identification.

The Physician's Drug Reference should be used with care as the dose information is limited, warns Dr. Jay S. Cohen in a report published on the JAMA Network. For instance, the report notes that information on recommended lowest effective drug doses is often missing.

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