Top 5 NAPLEX Review Books for Pharmacy Students

JANUARY 25, 2015

With so many review books for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) on the market, how can you decide which one is best? After personally reviewing each of the following books, I present my rankings:


1. RxPrep
 

With a group of 35 of the best clinical pharmacists in the country, RxPrep offers everything you need in a NAPLEX review book. At more than 1000 pages, RxPrep is extremely comprehensive, yet easy to read. The book is broken into 73 chapters classified by disease state or pharmacy topic. Dispersed throughout the chapters are pictures, charts, and tables that support key learning material. At the end of each chapter are a series of helpful practice questions with answers.

 

Unlike any other NAPLEX review book, RxPrep is updated completely through December each year so it’s current enough for students testing by the summer of the following year. Another major advantage of RxPrep is its extensive pharmaceutical calculation review, which I found far superior to any other NAPLEX review book on the market.

 

For an additional cost, RxPrep offers a full online review that includes a 12-month subscription to the course library encompassing 67 total hours of video lectures, access to the more than 3300 -question test bank, assistance on clinical questions from the RxPrep pharmacy team, and additional anytime access via mobile app on your Apple or Android device. Although it is slightly more expensive than the other NAPLEX review books, RxPrep is the most complete review guide on the market.

 

Cost: $168

My Ranking: 10/10

2. Comprehensive Pharmacy Review for NAPLEX

 

As the name states, Comprehensive Pharmacy Review (CPR) is without a doubt one of the most comprehensive NAPLEX review books on the market. With contributions from more then 50 pharmacists, CPR is comprised of more than 1400 pages broken up into 64 chapters. Each chapter covers a different topic ranging from disease states, to special patient populations, to miscellaneous pharmacy topics.

Unlike any other NAPLEX review book, CPR is written in an outline format, making it easy to read and follow. It also includes a helpful array of tables, figures, and charts to reinforce material throughout the text. At the end of each chapter are practice questions with answers and explanations. Other features include detailed pharmaceutical calculations and a chapter on federal pharmacy law.

 

The main disadvantage with CPR is the fact that the most recent edition was published in 2012, so it is missing information on new drugs and guidelines published in the past few years. For example, CPR references the JNC-7 and ATP-3 guidelines, which have both been updated since the book’s publication. Regardless, CPR is still a thorough and affordable review book that makes for a great option if you’re not willing to pay the higher cost of RxPrep.

 

Cost: $73

My Ranking: 8/10

 

3. The APhA Complete Review for Pharmacy

 

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) produces a solid overall NAPLEX review book that is updated annually. With more than 1000 pages and 42 chapters, APhA’s review book covers all of the major pharmacy topics, including disease states, drug information, calculations, and federal pharmacy law.

The book also contains more than 900 practice exam questions with explanations. One key feature is the chapter summaries that help reinforce the most important material from each section. As a benefit of being a registered APhA member, students in their final year are eligible to receive a free copy of the book.

 

One limitation of this review book is that it appears to be slightly less thorough then RxPrep and CPR on certain topics, and the calculation chapter is far less extensive. However, this is still a solid NAPLEX review book that is particularly advantageous for registered APhA students.

 

Cost: $71 (free for 2015 APhA student graduates)

My ranking: 7/10

 

4. McGraw-Hill's NAPLEX Review Guide 

 

Published in December 2014, McGraw-Hill's NAPLEX review book is one of the best pharmacotherapy reviews on the market. The book consists of more than 900 pages entailing 70 chapters on a variety of pharmacy topics. With at least 20 case application questions per chapter, McGraw-Hill offers a total of 1400 questions with detailed explanations.

Included at the end of every chapter is a helpful chart of takeaway points summarizing key chapter concepts. Additionally, t
he textbook offers 2 complete practice exams on an accompanying CD. These 185-question practice exams with 370 total questions test the student's ability to measure pharmacotherapy and therapeutic outcomes, evaluate medications, and implement and recommend information for optimal patient care.

 

The major disadvantage with McGraw-Hill's book is the lack of federal pharmacy law review and a limited pharmaceutical calculation chapter. Although it is a fantastic review book for drug- and disease-related information, I would not recommend relying on this book to prepare for NAPLEX calculations. 

 

Cost: $75

My Ranking: 6/10

 

5. PharmPrep: ASHP’s NAPLEX Review

 

Produced by the American Society of Health'System Pharmacists (ASHP), PharmPrep offers students an affordable review book option. At a little over 400 pages, it is far less comprehensive than the other review guides, but its 77 chapters still cover the major disease states and medications.

PharmPrep offers 78 sample patient cases accompanied by questions that address NAPLEX competency statements. It also includes a chapter on federal law and a calculation review. Students who are national ASHP members can save $21, making it an extremely affordable option.

 

The major limitation of PharmPrep is that the most recent edition was published in 2011, so it is the most outdated review book on the market. Upon review, the book also contains some very noticeable grammatical and content errors. Although PharmPrep will certainly help studying for the NAPLEX, I would not recommend using it alone.

 

Cost: $53 ($32 for ASHP members)

My ranking: 3/10



Timothy O'Shea, PharmD
Timothy O'Shea, PharmD
Timothy O'Shea, PharmD, is a Clinical Pharmacist working at a large health insurance plan on the east coast. Additionally he works per diem at a retail pharmacy chain. He graduated from MCPHS University - Boston in 2015 and subsequently completed a PGY-1 Managed Care Pharmacy Residency. His professional interests include pharmacy legislation and managed care pharmacy. He can be followed on Twitter at @toshea125.
SHARE THIS SHARE THIS
14
Pharmacy Times Strategic Alliance
 

Pharmacist Education
Clinical features with downloadable PDFs

SIGN UP FOR THE PHARMACY TIMES NEWSLETTER
Personalize the information you receive by selecting targeted content and special offers.