GENERAL PHARMACOLOGY

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Code
80325
ACADEMIC YEAR
2020/2021
CREDITS
6 credits during the 3nd year of 8452 Pharmacy (LM-13) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/14
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (Pharmacy)
semester
2° Semester
modules
This unit is a module of:
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

The module of General Pharmacology is part of the integrated course of General Pharmacology and Toxicology, which is taught during the third year of the Master's Degree in Pharmacy, and concerns the study of the drug mechanisms of action, as well as of the processes involved in drug disposition.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course of General Pharmacology aims at providing students with the basic principles of the interaction of drugs with the different biological targets of the human body. Students will acquire a solid knowledge of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, the basis of variability in drug response and the main mechanisms and effects of drug-drug interactions.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The module of General Pharmacology will provide students with a solid knowledge of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, the basis of variability in drug response and the main mechanisms and effects of drug-drug interactions.

Pharmacodynamics regards the study of how drugs affect the human body, with a particular focus on the mechanisms of drug action (e.g. interaction with receptors, enzymes, transporters), the relationships between drug concentration at the action site and the resulting effects, the time-course as well as the intensity of therapeutic and adverse effects. 

Pharmacokinetics, instead, is dedicated to the study of the processes of the so-called ADME, that is how a drug enter the human body (Absorption), how it is distributed in its different parts (Distribution), how it is biotransformed by different types of enzymes (Metabolism) and how it is eliminated from our body (Excretion). 

Variability in drug response deals with studies aimed at identifying the genetic and non genetic factors that can modify the expected effects of a medicine, including drug-drug interactions.

TEACHING METHODS

Lessons with active learning techniques engaging students with scientific questions and reasonings, during which all the module topics will be illustrated in details. The teaching material used during the lectures will be available for students on the AulaWeb website. 

In case of any emergency that does not allow in-class lessons (e.g. Covid-19 pandemic, hydrogeologic emergency), lessons  will be given electronically using the Microsoft Teams online platform. The teacher will promptly inform students of any changes by AulaWeb and the DIFAR website.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Module introduction. Introduction to pharmacology. Definition of drug. Drug specific and nonspecific effects.

Pharmacodynamics
Mechanisms of drug action. Receptors: classification, macromolecular structures and signal transduction systems. Other drug targets (enzymes, transporters, ion channels). Drug-receptor interaction, binding affinity and selectivity. Binding studies: saturation and displacement curves, calculation of Ki according to Cheng-Prusoff. Receptor theories: occupational and allosteric models. Full, partial and inverse agonists. Agonist potency (EC50) and efficacy (EMAX). Competitive and non-competitive antagonists. Positive and negative allosteric modulators. Dose-response curves and linearization methods. Calculation of the pA2 with the method of Schild. The main receptor subtypes. Receptor desensitization, up and down regulation. Receptor Reserve.

Pharmacokinetics
Drug passage across the cell membrane. Routes of drug administration. Drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination. Factors affecting drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination. Clinical pharmacokinetics: mono- and bi-compartmental models. Bioavailability. Apparent volume of distribution, clearance and plasma half-life. Drug kinetics after single and repeated doses. Loading dose and maintenance dose.

Variability in drug response
Predictable and unpredictable factors. Individual variability. Gender pharmacology. Genetic alterations: pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics. Genetic polymorphisms and variability in drug response. Variability of response to repeated drug administration: allergy, tolerance and tachyphylaxis. Drug resistance.

Drug-drug interactions
The importance and problems of drug interaction studies. Concept of clinically relevant interaction. Mechanisms of interaction at the pharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic level. Herb-drug and food-drug interactions. 

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Textbooks

Clementi, Fumagalli. General and molecular pharmacology. Principles of drug action. Ed. Wiley

Clark, Finkel, Rey, Whalen. Pharmacology. Ed. Lippincott

Hitner, Nagle. Pharmacology: an introduction. Ed. McGraw-Hill

Goodman & Gilman. The pharmacological basis of therapeutics. Ed. Brunton, Chabner, Knollmann.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Office hours: Daily by appointment (tel. 010-3532659; e-mail: fedele@difar.unige.it) also using the most common online platforms (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype).   

Exam Board

ERNESTO FEDELE (President)

GIAMBATTISTA BONANNO

CHIARA CERVETTO

MASSIMO GRILLI

MARCO MILANESE

GUENDALINA OLIVERO

ANNA MARIA PITTALUGA

LUCA RAITERI

LESSONS

TEACHING METHODS

Lessons with active learning techniques engaging students with scientific questions and reasonings, during which all the module topics will be illustrated in details. The teaching material used during the lectures will be available for students on the AulaWeb website. 

In case of any emergency that does not allow in-class lessons (e.g. Covid-19 pandemic, hydrogeologic emergency), lessons  will be given electronically using the Microsoft Teams online platform. The teacher will promptly inform students of any changes by AulaWeb and the DIFAR website.

LESSONS START

If the anti-Covid regulations allow it, the lessons of the General Pharmacology course will begin on Monday 1 March 2021 at 09:30 by hybrid teaching, remotely on the Microsoft Teams platform (General Pharmacology and Toxicology Team; code fubc944) and face-to-face in classroom C (DIFAR Polo di Sturla, Viale Cembrano 4). Otherwise, lessons will be delivered excusively in remote.

Enrolled students will be contacted as soon as possible by the teacher for the organization of face-to-face lessons.

Class schedule

All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

The integrated course of General Pharmacology and Toxicology involves a single oral exam of a total duration of approximately 40 min.

In case of any emergency tha does not allow exams in presence for a relevant period of time  (e.g. Covid-19 pandemic), exams will be carried out electronically using the Microsoft Teams online platform. The teacher will promptly inform students of any changes by AulaWeb and on the DIFAR website.

In order to take the General Pharmacology and Toxicology exam, students must have passed the exam of the following disciplines: Mathematics, Physics, General and Inorganic Chemistry, Anatomy, Vegetal and Animal Biology, General Physiology, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Applied Biochemistry.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The assessment of learning outcomes will be carried out during the oral examination through the evaluation of the student's competence on the different topics of the course program, the use of appropriate scientific terminology and capabilities of scientific reasoning.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
02/04/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
21/06/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
09/07/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
23/07/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
03/09/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
17/09/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
28/12/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale
28/01/2022 09:30 GENOVA Orale
18/02/2022 09:30 GENOVA Orale