Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics 1

UM LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DEPARTMENT Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will provide basic understanding of the principles of pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutics. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are the basis for evaluating and understanding drug dose and drug actions.

It will show the importance of pharmacokinetic principles in order to achieve successful drug therapy - how best to dose, measure, and evaluate treatment outcomes.

It will also introduce the basic concepts associated with mathematical calculations in pharmacokinetics, and the use of semilog graphs in understanding pharmacokinetic models.

Study-unit Aims:

- Provide an overview of the meaning of pharmacokinetics as the quantitative analysis of the process of a drugs absorption, distribution, and elimination;
- Appreciate the meaning of pharmacodynamics as related to the mechanism of action or effect of a drug;
- Appreciate the mathematical methodologies used in models in PK;
- Assess the use of PK/PD in drug developement and identification of lead compounds.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Outline the various pharmacokinetic processes;
- Evaluate the processes described in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in predication drug dose, drug dosage regiment and drug action;
- Appreciate how pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are applied in drug development and in the identification of lead compounds;
- Illustrate the use of mathematical models in pharmacokinetics processes.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Review basic processes involved in pharmacokinetics;
- Interpret different graphical models used in pharmacokinetics;
- Examine various processes in pharmacokinetics and how these vary for different drugs;
- Link the pathophysiological processes underlying pharmacokinetics to various graphical models developed in pharmacokinetics.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main text:

- Ritter JM, Flower RJ, Henderson G, Loke YK, MacEwan D, Rang HP. Rang & Dale's Pharmacology. 9th Ed. 2019. Elsevier.
- Derendorf H, Schmidt S Ph.D. Rowland and Tozer's Clinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: Concepts and Applications. 5th Ed. 2019. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
- British National Formulary. Pharmaceutical Press. (issued bi-annually).

Supplementary readings:

- Tozer TN. Essentials of Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics. 2nd Ed. 2015. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- Trevor AJ, Katzung BG. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. 15th Ed. 2021. Mcgraw Hill Medical.
- Brunton L, Knollmann B, Hilal-Dandan R.Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13th Ed. 2017. McGraw-Hill Education.

Revision aids:

- Karen Whalen. Lippincott Illustrated Reviews: Pharmacology. 2018. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.


- British Journal of Pharmacology. Published by the British Pharmacological Society.
- British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Published by the British Pharmacological Society.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Sept. Asst Session Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

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