Goodman and Gilman Manual of Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Preface to the Second Edition

This Manual derives from the 12th edition of Goodman & Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. The parent text covers not just principles and mechanisms of action but also details of clinical use and recent basic research that supports therapeutic applications and points the way toward new therapies; as a consequence of this thoroughness, the book is large and not in the fashion of the shorter texts preferred by students of this era. To make core material from G&G more accessible, we have abridged the 12th edition of the parent text, trying to present the essentials of mechanism and clinical use while omitting research data, references, and the pharmacokinetic data of Appendix II, all of which can be found at the G&G website on and, along with regular therapeutic updates and mechanistic animations. We have also generally omitted the structures of therapeutics agents, which are readily available on the book’s website and on PubChem ( This Manual of Pharmacology and Therapeutics is organized identically to the parent text, using many of the same figures and tables; a number of figures have been improved or added anew for this edition.

Some realizations gained from editing the 12th edition and this volume stand out:

• The invention of new classes of drugs has slowed to a trickle.

• Therapeutics has barely begun to capitalize on the information from the Human Genome Project.

• The development of resistance to antimicrobial agents, mainly through their overuse and misuse in agriculture and medicine, threatens to return us to the pre-antibiotic era.

We have the ingenuity to correct these shortcomings if we can muster the will and the research support to do so.

We thank the contributors and editors of the 12th edition of G&G, Saloni Narang of Thomson Digital, Christie Naglieri and James Shanahan of McGraw-Hill, and a long line of contributors and editors who have worked on Goodman & Gilman over 12 editions. It is a tribute to Louis Goodman and Alfred Gilman that their book is alive and vigorous 72 years after the publication of the first edition.