cod. 00126

Academic year 2016/17
3° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Chimica farmaceutica (CHIM/08)
Discipline chimiche, farmaceutiche e tecnologiche
Type of training activity
72 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

The course provides an introduction to Medicinal Chemistry and is integrated with the Medicinal Chemistry courses delivered in the following years.
The course aims at providing the students with the knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts related to the chemical and toxicological properties of drugs, to apply them to the study and analysis of the specific classes of drugs. The knowledge and the methodology of study acquired allow the student to describe and discuss, with proper language, the most relevant aspects and issues related to the topics treated during the course.
For each class of drugs treated, the student will learn the relevant information about the most important drugs, such as their name, mechanism of action, therapeutic application, metabolic fate and toxicity.


Basic concepts of General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physiology

Course unit content

The first lessons treat general topics on drugs, such as names and origin of drugs, and how the structural, chemical and physicochemical properties of drugs influence their action. An overview of the relevant mechanisms of action of drugs is provided, and basic concepts of structure-activity relationships are described and discussed. This general part of the course also treats drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, with particular emphasis on metabolic reactions. Prodrug strategies will also be discussed, with examples of activation mechanisms.
The second part of the course describes the most relevant classes of antibacterial, antiprotozoal, antifungal, anthelmintic, antiparasitic, antiviral and anticancer agents. For each class the chemical formulas of the most important drugs are described, as well as the relevant information about their mechanism of action, structure-activity relationships, chemical and physicochemical properties, metabolic reactions and toxicity.

Full programme

Names and classification of drugs
Origin of drugs
Moments of drug action: the pharmaceutical, pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic phases.
Drug metabolism
Drug targets: membranes, receptors, enzymes, nucleic acids.
Mechanisms of action of drugs
Structure and action of drugs
Chemical and physicochemical properties influencing drug action
Isosteres and bioisosteres
Structure-activity relationships

Antibacterial agents: sulfa-drugs, beta-lactams, quinolones, aminoglycosides, tetracyclines, macrolides, oxazolidinones; other antibacterial drugs.
Antimycobacterial drugs
Antiprotozoal drugs: nitro-heterocyclic drugs, antimalarial drugs; other antiprotozoal agents.
Antifungal drugs: azoles, allylamines, polyenic drugs, other antifungal agents.
Insecticides: pyrethrum and derivatives
Antiviral drugs: anti-herpetic, anti-HIV, anti-flu drugs; drugs for hepatitis B and C.
Anticancer drugs: alkylating agents, intercalating agents, antimetabolites, antimitotics, DNA-polymerase and topoisomerase inhibitors, tyrosin kinase inhibitors; other anticancer agents.


Thomas L. Lemke, David A. Williams, Victoria F. Roche, S. William Zito: Foye’s Principi di Chimica Farmaceutica, sesta edizione italiana; Piccin, Padova, 2013. (English version of this book available)
John M. Beale, Jr., John H. Block: Wilson & Gisvold Chimica Farmaceutica; Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano, 2014. (English version of this book available)
Alberto Gasco, Fulvio Gualtieri, Carlo Melchiorre: Chimica Farmaceutica; Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano, 2015.
G. L. Patrick: Chimica Farmaceutica, terza edizione; Edises Napoli, 2015.

Teaching methods

Teacher-led lessons with slides.

Assessment methods and criteria

The oral examination will be preceded by a written questionnaire (usually 5 questions) which aims to verify the knowledge of the most relevant topics/concepts treated during the course. If the answers to the questionnaire are sufficient (usually 3 correct answers), the student will switch to the oral part of the examination. In the oral examination, the answers to questions related to all the topics treated during the course will be used to assess the level of knowledge and understanding of the content of the course achieved by the student. The use of an appropriate terminology will also be evaluated. The ability of the student to apply the acquired knowledge will be evaluated through connections among topics.

Other information

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