Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Pharmacology for Allied Health Care Professionals

UM LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DEPARTMENT Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will provide an overview of general pharmacology. Emphasis will be placed on pharmacology with specific regard to patient safety issues. The unit will cover the general principles underlying drug action; basic pharmacokinetic principles in drug therapy; adverse drug reactions, drug interactions and their clinical relevance. It will also cover aspects of biopharmaceutics. Throughout the study-unit issues related to drug-related problems and drug misadventure will be discussed.

Special consideration will be given to therapeutic classes of drugs that are mainly consumed by the specific, 'niche' populations that these health care professionals will encounter mostly.

Study-unit Aims:

i. To provide a basic understanding of the principles underlying the therapeutic action of drugs.
ii. To give health care 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.
iii. To provide the health care students with an understanding of basic biopharmaceutics.
iv. To provide students with the ability of detecting drug-related problems.
v. To understand the basic principles governing drug use.
vi. To instill in students the importance of patient safety in relation to drug use.
vii. To have an appreciation of the pharmacology of specific drug classes.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
1. Have an understanding of the basic principles of drug action;
2. List the molecular mode of action of drugs;
3. Have sufficient knowledge to predict the effects of drugs in specific target populations;
4. Have sufficient knowledge to detect drug-related problems;
5. Have an understanding of drug development;
6. Fully appreciate the importance of patient safety in terms of drug use.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
1. Apply knowledge of the molecular mode of action of drugs to specific clinical scenarios;
2. Apply basic pharmacological principles in clinical monitoring of patient's drug therapy;
3. Predict the drug response in specific target populations;
4. Manage a drug related problem through referral to the appropriate member of the health care team.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated against each entry)

- Christine Thorp. Pharmacology for Health Care Professionals. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN978-0-470-51017-9
- British National Formulary. Pharmaceutical Press. (In library)
- Humphrey P. Rang HP, Dale MM, Ritter JM, Flower R. Rang & Dale's Pharmacology. Churchill Livingstone. 6th Ed. (In library)
- Bennett PN, Brown MJ. Clinical Pharmacology. Churchill Livingstone. 10th Ed. (In library)

Study Aids:

- Dale, Dickenson and Haylett. Companion to Pharmacology. Churchill Livingstone.
- Neal. Medical Pharmacology at a glance. Blackwell Science. (In library)
- Harvey Champ. Pharmacology - Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews. Lippincott-Raven. (In library)
- 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
MCQ and Written Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Maria A. Cordina (Co-ord.)
Janet Mifsud
Lorna West
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.