University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
UOM Main Page
Apply - Admissions 2016
Medical Museum


TITLE Pharmacology A

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

DESCRIPTION This study unit will introduce students to general principles in pharmacology, pharmacogenetics and pharmacokinetics. It will also discuss the mechanisms, modes of actions and pharmacology of NSAIDS, vitamins, and drugs used in GI tract.

Study-unit aims:

i. To provide a sound understanding of the principles underlying the therapeutic action of drugs.
ii. To give students a general introduction to pharmacokinetics i.e. the determinants of the time course of the drug in the body, applying pharmacokinetic principles in order to provide rational drug therapy.
iii. To understand the mechanism, modes of actions and pharmacology of NSAIDS, vitamins, and drugs used in GI tract.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of this study-unit, the student will be able to understand basic concepts in:
- Molecular and receptor pharmacology, dose-response relationships and pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics
- drug development Drug-drug interactions, adverse drug reactions, drug allergies
- Pharmacotoxicology and drug abuse in sports
- New methodologies in pharmacological therapy
- Pharmacoeconomics in therapeutics
- Paediatric and geriatric pharmacology
- Introduction and definitions of pharmacokinetics and pharmacokinetic terms - half-life, volume of distribution, protein binding, clearance
- pharmacokinetic principles in LADME system: drug absorption mechanisms, distribution, metabolism, elimination
- Compartmental pharmacokinetic models: interpretation of plasma concentration time curves; curve fitting, method of residuals, area under the curve; problem solving with use of semi-log paper
- Drugs used in the GI tract: antacids and other drugs for dyspepsia, ulcer healing drugs, H2 antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, laxatives, antidiarrheals, antiemetics
- NSAIDS: mode of action; indications, COX1 and COX2 inhibitors; ADRs
- Vitamins and antioxidants: lipid and water-soluble vitamins, mode of action, indications

2. Skills:

By the end of this study-unit, the student will be able to:
- Apply the basic principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics
- Apply basic pharmacological principles in individualising patient's drug therapy
- Understand the patient response to NSAIDs and drugs used in the GI tract
- Manage drug-drug interactions, adverse drug reactions, drug allergies
- Adopt a correct understanding of the pharmacology and selection of drugs in individual patients.

Main texts:

- Humphrey P. Rang HP, Dale MM, Ritter JM, Flower R. Rang & Dale's Pharmacology. Churchill Livingstone. 6th Ed.
- Wecker L, Watts S, Faingold C, Dunaway G, Crespo L. Brody's Human Pharmacology. Mosby. 5th Ed.
- British National Formulary. Pharmaceutical Press.
- Rowland and Tozer. Clinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics. 4th Ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

- Brunton L, Lazo J, Parker K. Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. McGraw-Hill Medical. 11th Ed.
- Waller DG, Renwick AG, Hillier K. Medical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Saunders. 3rd Ed.

Lecture notes
- Reid JL, Rubin PC, Walters MW. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Lecture Notes). Blackwell. 7th Ed.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 15%
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 85%

LECTURER/S Maria A. Cordina
Rita Darmanin Ellul
Roger Ellul Micallef
Anthony Fenech
James Gauci
Janet Mifsud (Co-ord.)
Vanessa Petroni
Doriette Soler
Mark Zammit

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

Log In back to UoM Homepage