Understanding Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians

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UPDATED EDITION AVAILABLE: Click here to order Understanding Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians, 2nd Edition.

Page Count: 816

Using language and organization aimed directly at pharmacy technicians, Understanding Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians offers more than 800 pages of practical applications, safety issues and error prevention, and illustrative cases that not only explain how but why drugs work.

NOTE: The link below allows you to download the ePub file. If you want the PDF files, click on Table of Contents, browse the chapters by clicking on the drop-down symbol ^, select a chapter, and you will see the DOWNLOAD PDF orange button in the upper right. Most ePub files can be opened in eBook readers, like the B&N Nook and Kobo eReader. These files have to be converted to .Mobi format before they are usable on the Amazon Kindle device or app. For your computer, the easiest way to open an ePub file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens it, then you probably do not have an application installed that can view ePub files. ePub files can also be opened on a computer with various free programs including Adobe Digital Editions. If you have access to this title you can download the ePub here:

    • Understanding Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians (EPUB 27.1 MB)
    • Understanding Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians (PDF 41.0 MB)

This textbook provides a basis for pharmacology for pharmacy technicians. Throughout Understanding Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians, anatomy and physiology are discussed in relation to various disorders and associated pharmacotherapies to give the pharmacy technician students a context for how drugs work. Students using this text will learn the therapeutic effects of prescription medications, nonprescription medications, and alternative therapies commonly used to treat diseases affecting that system and their adverse effects.

An emphasis is placed on practical applications for the technician. What types of issues will technicians encounter at work? What is their role in patient education? How do they work with the pharmacist?

Key features throughout the book include:

  • Cases to open each chapter, along with questions for discussion
  • Pronunciations for difficult terms or words such as disease names
  • Figures and illustrations
  • Alerts that point out areas of potential dangers or errors, including look-alike/sound-alike drugs
  • Practice points, including mention of any FDA-required patient medication guides and any “special” drug storage and dispensing considerations such as beyond-use dating of open multi-use products
  • Commonly used and comprehensive drug tables
  • Chapter review questions

This book’s content is written to meet ASHP accreditation standards and, therefore, is one of the most comprehensive books on the market related to pharmacology for technicians.

Mary Ann Stuhan, PharmD, RPh

Mary Ann Stuhan has been Pharmacy Program Manager at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH, since 2002, where she directs an ASHP-accredited Technician Training Program and advises pre-pharmacy students. She received her BS in Pharmacy (Summa Cum Laude) at Duquesne University and her PharmD at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Stuhan began her pharmacy career as a technician, and has practiced professionally in a variety of settings, including retail, government, behavioral health, and teaching hospital. She was Director of Pharmacy at St. Michael Hospital in Cleveland, and continues to practice in long-term acute care at Kindred Hospital, Cleveland. She is a lecturer for the University of Colorado Denver School of Pharmacy NonTraditional PharmD Program.

Dr. Stuhan is past president of the PTCB Certification Council and has held office on the executive board of the Pharmacy Technician Educators Council, which honored her with their Pharmacy Technician Educator of the Year Award in 2007. She is also an active member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Cleveland Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Ohio Pharmacists Association. She has been a peer reviewer and written numerous articles and book reviews for the Journal of Pharmacy Technology. Her practice focuses are adverse drug reactions, anemia therapy, and antimicrobial stewardship.

MedInfoNow: Doody’s Review Services 


Lawrence P. Carey, BS, PharmD (Temple University School of Pharmacy) 


The better educated technicians are, the more helpful they will be to supervising pharmacists. This book, designed to do just that, is a joy to read in terms of completeness as well as visual appeal. The tables at the end of each chapter add to its comprehensive nature. 


The purpose is to give pharmacy technicians a very broad and complete overview of the drugs they handle on a daily basis. This book is a welcome addition, as there is a dearth of books specifically written at an appropriate level for pharmacy technicians. 


Although specifically targeted at pharmacy technicians, this book has the potential to help other audiences as well, such as LPNs, medical coders, and medical assistants. The author, the director of a technician program, is certainly credible, qualified, and knowledgeable about what technicians need to know. 


The book is organized in a modular format, for the most part by body system, ranging from the nervous and musculoskeletal system through the heart/lungs/abdomen, and ends with specific disciplines of pharmacy such as infectious disease and oncology. I particularly like the case questions in the margins and the summary tables at the end of each chapter (although there are some typographical errors in brand names of products, such as some nutritional supplements on p. 515). I also like the "practice points" that appear throughout, which will assist readers. The book is easy to read, although there are many pages with no illustrations, which may be a problem for visual learners. 


This book is well done. It is written at a higher level than other pharmacy/pharmacology books, which I consider to be an advantage. It is pleasing to read and is a very complete, useful reference. I teach in an allied health program that requires pharmacology and have yet to find a suitable textbook that is inclusive, well written, error free, and visually appealing. I would consider replacing the one I currently use (Essentials of Pharmacology for Health Occupations, 6th edition, Woodrow et al. [Delmar Cengage Learning, 2010]) with this one, even though I do not teach technicians -- it is that good. 


Weighted Numerical Score: 85 - 3 Stars