cod. 00351

Academic year 2020/21
2° year of course - Second semester
POZZOLI Cristina
Academic discipline
Farmacologia (BIO/14)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

1. Knowledge and understanding. The course is finalized to the knowledge of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of the main drugs classes acting at the nervous system, smooth and skeletal muscle, cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Such notions will allow the student to better understand the basic biochemical and biomolecular events featuring living beings and how exogenous substances modify them. Particular attention will be paid to the knowledge of mechanisms involved in cell excitability, cell proliferation and tissue repair.

2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding. Students will be stimulated to elaborate the acquired notions in the physiological context of the in whole animal and in vitro biological activity of the preparations or isolated cells. Such knowledge will focus on signs and/or symptoms that develop following the administration/intake of medicines, and to assess the effects they produce.

3. Making judgments. The student will acquire the knowledge for future planning of study protocols aimed at the characterization of new molecules, once the graduate will enter the world of work.

4. Communication skills. Students will acquire the terminology to describe objectively the actions of drugs and biomathematician models currently applied to quantify the effect of drugs on the different organs and systems.

5. Learning ability. Students should be able to use the acquired knowledge to understand and re-elaborate the literature regarding drugs, the use them in bio-pharmacologic field for research purposes.


Adequate bases of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy.

Course unit content

The course is aimed at understanding the effects of experimental as well as therapeutic drugs and their use in whole animals and/or on isolated organs or cells in culture for research purposes

Full programme

1) General pharmacology.
Concept of drug; nomenclature, pharmaceutical forms. Origin and development of new drugs.
Animal models in pharmacology: in vitro and in vivo studies.
General principles of pharmacokinetics. Absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs. Accumulation of drugs in the body.
Routes of administration of drugs
Concepts of bioavailability and bioequivalence. Nanopharmaceuticals: new drug forms and their interaction with target tisues.
Concept of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics.
Principles of Pharmacodynamics: mechanism of drug action and molecular targets.
Drugs acting at receptor level: concepts of agonism, antagonism, inverse agonism; biomolecular models of drug action.
Factors that modify the response to drugs: species, race, sex, diseases.
Drug toxicity. Mechanisms of cellular and system toxicity. Allergy to drugs and Idiosincratic responses.
Drug interactions of clinical relevance. Incompatibility

2) Special and applied pharmacology.

Drugs acting at the central nervous system: general anesthetics, sedatives (benzodiazepines and barbituric acid derivatives) and anticonvulsive medicaments;
Pain medications: Opioid analgesics, NSAIDs and acetaminophen; local anaesthetics.
Drugs affecting central aminergic transmission.
Drugs acting at the autonomic nervous system: ganglion blockers and stimulants, adrenergic agonists and antagonists, cholinergic agonists and antagonists. Systemic and organ-specific effects of drugs affecting autonomic nervous system.
Competitive and depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents. Botulinum toxin and direct spasmolytic drugs
Steroidal anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs: focus on cortisone and congeners.
Gastrointestinal medications: antacids, antisecretory (histamine H2-receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors), antiemetics, prokinetics, anti-diarrheal, laxatives.
Cardiovascular drugs: antihypertensives, diuretics, antiarrhythmics, cardiac glucosides and other positive inotropic agents; beta-blocking drugs.
Drugs that alter the structure and activity of blood coagulation platelet aggregation.
Chemotherapy: general concepts of antibacterial, antiviral and anticancer treatment.
Drugs that interfere with DNA and its functions.


Laurence L. Brunton Randa Hilal-Dandan Björn C. Knollmann: Goodman & Gilman Le basi farmacologiche della terapia Tredicesima edizione, Zanichelli 2019 (1512 pages, 172 €).

Teaching methods

The course will be held through lectures to Students either in the classroom (“in presenza”) or in synchronous-streaming (“in telepresenza”) on the Teams platform (for instructions, see Therefore, the opportunity of Student/Teacher interaction will be preserved both face to face and remotely, by the simultaneous use of the Teams platform. Lectures will be supported by slide presentations, which will be available to students on the Elly platform ( at the course pages; lessons will be open to wide discussion with the participation of the students

Assessment methods and criteria

No interim evaluation is programmed. The final examination will consist in an oral exam. At the end of the course to each student will be assigned a scientific article related to topics presented during the course. The first part of the exam consist with the discussion of such article. Failure to understand the fundamental aspects of the article or the inability to provide a correct definition of the class to which drugs belong as well as its mechanism of action) will result in failure to pass the exam.
The student will give an evalaution expressed in marks:
A. Very good knowledge and understanding: corresponding to 30/30.
B. Good knowledge and understanding: corresponding to 27-29/30.
C. Average knowledge and understanding: corresponding to 24-26/30.
D. Sufficient knowledge and understanding: orresponding to 21-23/30.
E. Barely sufficient knowledge and understanding
(with evident pitfalls): corresponding to 18-20/30.
Full marks with laude will be reserved to students exhibiting, together an overal evaluation of 30/30, capability of making judgments, good communication ability and autonomous learning skills.
In case of the persistence of the health emergency, the exams will be conducted remotely, as follows: remote oral questions, through the Teams platform (guide
Students with SLD / BSE must first contact Le Eliche: support for students with disabilities, D.S.A., B.E.S. ( studenti-con-disabilita-dsa-bes)

Other information

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