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AARP Books

The AARP Guide to Pills

Essential Information on More Than 1,200 Prescription and Nonprescription Medications

Buy This Book

Spotlighting more than 1,200 lifesaving and life-improving medications, The AARP Guide to Pills is an essential resource for every American at midlife and beyond. Scrutinized for accuracy by pharmacologists and doctors representing the top pharmacological centers, this all-color guide, in a highly accessible and readable format, is among the most authoritative and up-to-date on the market. It has been researched and assembled with AARP’s distinctive dedication to accuracy and ease of use.

To simplify the process of finding information about a certain drug, the book presents generic drugs alphabetically (a comprehensive index gives cross-references to related brand-name drugs). Each entry also features a detailed, color-correct image of the pill, capsule, gelcap, geltab, or caplet.

In addition, you’ll find information about:

  • the purpose for which the drug is prescribed
  • any personal health issues you should bring to the attention of your physician to ensure safe use of the drug
  • whether certain foods or beverages should be avoided when taking the medication
  • what to do if you miss a dose
  • which prescription and over-the-counter drugs, nutritional supplements, or herbal products may affect how your prescribed medication works in your body
  • how certain medications can mask symptoms or interfere with diagnostic test results
  • what side effects you may expect, and which of them you should report to your physician right away


In a wide-ranging preface to the guide, Harvard-trained doctors Jerry Avorn and Bill Thomas and consumer activist Katharine Greider offer their expertise on topics such as the way age affects the body’s ability to metabolize drugs; why doctors and patients must resist ascribing medical complaints to the notion of "just getting old;" proven stratagems for containing the ever-escalating cost of drugs; instances in which brand-name drugs are trumped by chemically equivalent generic drugs; how to avoid the dangers of “polypharmacy,” or the regular use of multiple medicines; and how to compile and maintain a personal health record.

With its accuracy guaranteed by one of the country’s most trusted advocacy groups, The AARP Guide to Pills is the new gold standard for vital information about medication use by older Americans.

Why this book?

  • Over 1,200 color-correct images of pills—more than any other book on the market. Unlike other books, the images appear right with the entry, not in a separate section.
  • A bulleted list tells you what your health-care professional needs to know before you start taking a specific drug.
  • Important details about how and when to take a drug to maximize its effectiveness.
  • Concise, consistent format helps you quickly zero in on what you’re looking for.
  • Information on how the human body metabolizes drugs differently with age.
  • Safe and effective off-label usage of many medications.
  • What you need to know about brand-name drugs versus generics, drugs imported from Canada, the new Medicare drug bill and other legislation, and much more.

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