Human drug metabolism: an introduction

Human drug metabolism: an introduction 

Michael D Coleman 
Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons | 2005 | 286 pp | ?70.00 (HB) | ISBN 0470863528  

Reviewed by Jeffrey Fry

Our understanding of human drug metabolism has advanced enormously over recent years, but few textbooks truly reflect this flowering of knowledge. As someone involved in teaching this subject, I was intrigued and excited by the prospect of this book. 

A first glance at the contents pages gives mixed messages - a broad coverage is promised, but there is also an obvious spelling mistake - alkyll.  

After reading the book, I’m still in two minds. It is good to have a broad coverage of the subject, but that highlights issues of completeness and the intended audience. The breadth of coverage and attempt to provide an up-to-date view are slightly let down by some glaring omissions - no discussion of protein-based drugs or of pseudocholinesterase polymorphism are examples. Meanwhile, the coverage of efflux transporters in this text on metabolism is too great. 

The back cover suggests that this book will be an ’invaluable resource’ to a wide range of student groups, but there is too much irrelevant material for medical and other healthcare students, for whom study time is at a premium, while biomolecular science students will need to swot up on other aspects of drug disposition to understand readily much of the clinical context. 

As to presentation, some is clumsy, some is confusing, and some is wrong (for ferriprotoporphoryn [sic] 9 it is stated that the iron molecule is ’normally found in the Fe2+ or ferrous state’). Various spelling mistakes, chemical structure errors and omissions are added distractions. 

Conclusion: thumbs up for ambition, thumbs down for some aspects of execution.