Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Drugs used in Asthma, COPD and Epilepsy: Applications of Pharmacokinetics

UM LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DEPARTMENT Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will discuss pharmacokinetic principles in drug metabolism, clearance and drug dosage regimens. It will also look at the pharmacology and mode of action of drugs used to treat chronic neurological and respiratory disorders.

Study unit aims:

This study-unit will discuss the pharmacokinetic principles used in understanding the disposition of drugs in the body, the effects of drug metabolising enzymes, and organ clearance mechanisms as well as the estimation of drug dosage regimens. It will also look at the pharmacology and mode of action of drugs used to treat chronic neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and the pharmacology of steroids and drugs used in respiratory disorders

Learning Outcomes:

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

- Describe the inflammatory processes which occur in asthma, COPD and allergic rhinitis;
- Explain the modes of action and adverse effects of drugs used in asthma, COPD and allergic rhinitis, as well as identify how combinations of these drugs are best used used for a specific condition;
- Describe the classification of epilepsy and the basic principles in its management;
- Identify the differences between traditional and new antiepileptic drugs;
- Explain the modes of action of and adverse effects and pharmacokinetic profiles of drugs used in epilepsy;
- Apply several pharmacokinetic principles to several pharmacological modalities, including multi compartment models, drug bioavailability,multiple dosing regimens, and infusion drug regimens;
- Explain different phases of metabolism and biotransformation, as well as linear and non-linear pharmacokinetics.

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

- Apply the principles of drug metabolism and clearance in the understanding of the disposition of drugs in the body;
- Apply basic pharmacological principles in the understanding of patient's drug therapy chronic neurological disorders and respiratory conditions;
- Understand the patient response to drugs used in these conditions and manage therapy in these groups of patients;
- Adopt a correct understanding of the correct selection of drugs in these conditions.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main texts:

- Ritter JM, Flower R, Henderson G, Kong Loke Y, MacEwan D, Rang HP. Rang & Dale's Pharmacology. 9th Ed. Elsevier. 2019.
- Wecker L PhD. Brody's Human Pharmacology: Mechanism-Based Therapeutics, 6th Ed. Elsevier. 2018.
- Derendorf H and Schmidt S. Rowland and Tozer's Clinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: Concepts and Applications 5th Ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 2019.
- British National Formulary. Pharmaceutical Press.


- Brunton L, Knollmann B, Hilal-Dandan R. Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13th Ed. McGraw-Hill Education. 2017.


STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

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

LECTURER/S Maria A. Cordina
Roger Ellul Micallef
Claude A. Farrugia
Janet Mifsud (Co-ord.)
Charles Scerri
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.