Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry related to Care

UM LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course




DESCRIPTION This study-unit will build upon the concepts introduced in CHE0012, providing the students with a better understanding of the key chemical concepts as they relate to principles of pharmacology and drug therapy. The unit will apply the principles covered in CHE0012 to clinical and drug therapy and thus enable students to relate the theoretical aspects covered with their ongoing clinical experience. This study-unit will also provide a foundation of general pharmacology, including chemical aspects of pharmacology.

Study-unit Aims:

- To provide a basic understanding of the main different types of chemical reactions relevant in a clinical setting, such as. neutralisation, esterification, etc.
- To provide nursing students with a general introduction to reversible reactions, leading on to Le Chatelier's principle and its application in a pharmacological context.
- To introduce catalysis and the role of enzymes as biological catalysts, and to highlight the function of receptors and lock and key mechanisms in drug action.
- To provide students with an understanding of protein binding and complexation.
- To provide nursing students with a basic understanding of the principles underlying the therapeutic action of drugs.
- To give nursing 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 monitor rational drug therapy.
- To provide students with the ability of detecting drug-related problems.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will:
- Have an understanding of the basic types of chemical reaction;
- Understand the theory behind Le Chatelier's principle and its implications in a pharmacological context;
- Have an understanding of enzymes, their mechanism of action and their role as catalysts;
- Understand solubility profiles and appreciate the implications of low solubility of pharmaceuticals;
- Apply the basic principles of chemistry and biochemistry as related to drug action;
- List the molecular mode of action of drugs.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Recognise basic chemical reactions;
- Apply Le Chatelier's principle in a chemical and pharmacological context;
- Calculate solubility and interpret solubility profiles;
- Apply knowledge of the molecular mode of action of drugs to specific clinical scenarios;
- Apply basic pharmacological principles in clinical monitoring of a patient's drug therapy;
- Predict the drug response in specific target populations.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Drug therapy in Nursing Aschenbemer Venable Wolters and Kluwer. LWW.
- British National Formulary. Pharmaceutical Press.
- Humphrey P. Rang HP, Dale MM, Ritter JM, Flower R. Rang & Dale's Pharmacology. Churchill Livingstone. 6th Ed.
- Bennett PN, Brown MJ. Clinical Pharmacology. Churchill Livingstone. 10th Ed.
- Humphrey Moynihan, Abina Crean, Physicochemical Basis of Pharmaceuticals, Oxford University Press ISBN 9780199232840.
- Eileen Ramsden, A-Level Chemistry - Core Text, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780748752997.

Study Aids:

- Peter Atkins, Julio de Paula, Atkins' Physical Chemistry, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780199697403.
- Dale, Dickenson and Haylett. Companion to Pharmacology. Churchill Livingstone.
- Neal. Medical Pharmacology at a glance. Blackwell Science.
- Harvey Champ. Pharmacology - Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews. Lippincott-Raven.
- Reid, JL, Rubin, PC, Whiting B. Lecture notes on Clinical Pharmacology.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Sept. Asst Session Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) SEM1 Yes 100%

Janet Mifsud
Patricia Vella Bonanno


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 description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2023/4. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.