To form the content of this Guide, the 1,395 drugs which, according to international pharmacopeias (principally European, American and Japanese) are those most commonly used in daily clinical practice have been selected. The most significant clinical and pharmacological data on each of these are described in index card format monographs, which include mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetics, interactions with other drugs or foodstuffs, adverse reactions, brand names by countries, and of particular note, the innovative section devoted to pharmacogenetics, closely linked to the efficacy and toxicity of the drug. Brief details of each section follow:

  1. Brand Names: This section includes the brand names of each of the active ingredients, classified by countries. This information was collected from the official websites of the medicines agencies of each country, those of the EMEA (EC) and the FDA (USA).
  2. Drug Combinations: Available combinations of the active ingredient with other drugs.
  3. Chemistry: This section includes the chemical formula, molecular weight, chemical names (according to the IUPAC and other alternatives), CAS registry number and molecular structure of the active ingredient.
  4. Pharmacologic Category: Pharmacological classification of the drug in accordance with the international classification of the modified American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) and with the ATC classification (Anatomical, Therapeutic, Chemical classification system by WHO).
  5. Mechanism of Action: The mechanism by which the drug exerts its activity in order to achieve the effect for which it has been approved. In spite of their approval and commercialization, the mechanism of action of some drugs is still not totally clear.
  6. Therapeutic Use: Indications for which the drug has been approved.
  7. Unlabeled Use: Indications for the active ingredient that are still under study and have not yet been approved.
  8. Pregnancy and Lactation Implications: Considerations to be held present in women who are, or may become pregnant, and in lactating mothers.
  9. Contraindications: Types of patients or situations where the drug should not be prescribed.
  10. Warnings and Precautions: Important information which both physician and patient should be aware of before using the drug. Generally concerns its possible adverse reactions or considerations to be held present before, during and/or after treatment with that active ingredient.
  11. Adverse Reactions: Itemizes each of the adverse reactions associated with the active ingredient during clinical trials or observed subsequent to commercialization of the drug. Classified by organs or systems.
  12. Toxicological Effects: Recommendations to be followed in the event of overdosage.
  13. Pharmacogenetics: Pharmacogenetics studies the influence of individual genetic variability on the response to a drug. This section features the genes involved in the metabolism, activity and mechanism of action of a drug, which might influence the efficacy of the same. It features the genetic polymorphisms that have been scientifically associated with therapeutic inefficacy and pharmacological toxicity. A thorough review of the literature has been carried out to this end. Pharmacogenetics is a tool of great usefulness in the choice of the right drug at the right dosage for each individual, enabling us to practice a personalized medicine that will greatly increase therapeutic success. This section is divided into two sub-sections:
    • Caution and personalized dose adjustment in patients with the following genotypes
    • Other genes that may be involved
  14. Substrate of/Inhibits/Induces: Enzymes relating to the metabolism and activity of the drug, classified according to the effect of the drug on the same or its relationship with them. In this way, we can distinguish between those enzymes for which the drug is a substrate, or those inhibited or induced by said drug, thus possibly interacting with the activity of other drugs.
  15. Drug Interactions: This section features pharmacological and pharmacogenetic interactions betweeen the corresponding drug and other drugs which might affect its efficacy or toxicity. A distinction has been made between in vitro and in vivo studies.
  16. Nutrition/Nutraceutical Interactions: Information concerning the different natural products, beverages, foodstuffs or diets which might affect the proper activity of the drug and which should, on occasions, be avoided during treatment. Interactions of both a pharmacological nature and those concerning the pharmacogenetics of the drug are described. This section is divided into the following sub-sections: Ethanol, Herbs/Nutraceuticals, Nutrition, Other Natural Products.
  17. Dosage: Commercial forms of presentation of the drug and routes of administration. The subsection “Dose adjustment in special conditions” details those situations where dose adjustment is advisable.
  18. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:  This section details the processes undergone by the drug during its passage through the body. It includes the following items: Absorption; Distribution; Protein binding; Metabolism; Bioavailability; Half-life; Time to peak and Excretion.
  19. Special Considerations: Information regarding the precautions to be taken, or data of interest, in different populations according to age, ethnicity, the clinical condition of the patient or the diet. This section includes a reminder concerning the parameters that should be monitored during treatment.
    • Environmental factors:
    • Concomitant treatments may cause pharmacological interactions.
    • The patient’s renal and hepatic function.
    • The patient’s age and gender.
    • Diet, alcohol intake, etc.
    • Prognosis and stage of the disease.
    • Factors inherent to the drug itself:
      Therapeutic index.
      Multiple metabolization pathways.