Combined Bachelor's + Master's degree in Medicine and Surgery

General Pharmacology

Course code
Name of lecturers
Roberto Leone, Guido Francesco Fumagalli
Roberto Leone
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Lezioni 2° semestre 1°- 5° anno dal Feb 22, 2016 al May 27, 2016.

Lesson timetable

Lezioni 2° semestre 1°- 5° anno

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Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to explain the students how drugs can effect patient’s health, without forgetting that drugs have both therapeutic, but also toxic effects. Furthermore, students should get a good knowledge of the interaction between drug and human organism, with particular reference to pharmacokinetics and pharmacodinamics


1.To understand the general principles of pharmacology; know the main definitions (e.g. drug, medicine, placebo); analysis of the Italian pharmaceutical market (types of prescriptions, bioequivalents and biosimilars, fact sheets and leaflets); analysis of drug consumption (OsMed data); classification of drugs according to the NHS and the International Classification ATC; drug development phases; basic principles to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the drugs; the golden rules for Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials (RCT).
To understand the fundamental scientific principles of drug action (pharmacodynamics) and the various mechanisms by which drugs can mediate their pharmacological effect.
To understand the fundamental principles of pharmacokinetics those underlie the absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs in the body and thereby affect drug effectiveness. To know the main pharmacokinetic parameters, such as half-life, clearance, distribution volume, area under the curve, etc.
To understand the main factors which influence the dose and duration of therapy. To apply the rules for dose calculation.
To understand the adverse drug reactions (ADRs): classification, mechanisms, characteristics, pharmacovigilance methods, and Italian and European pharmacovigilance laws. Discuss nursing responsibilities with reporting suspected ADRs.
Drug-drug interactions: antagonism, synergic action. Self-medication and polypharmacy.
To understand the basic principles of antimicrobial chemotherapy. To know the following terms: spectrum of action, bacterial resistance, bacteriostatic and bactericidal antibiotics. To know the main classes of antimicrobial drugs, particularly their mechanisms of action, therapeutic indications, contraindications and main adverse drug reactions. To know the main characteristics of antitumor drugs.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written test. The task consists of 60 questions with multiple choice answer. Twenty questions are related to pharmacokinetics, pharmaceutical market and development of drugs, 20 questions are related to pharmacodynamics and 20 to antimicrobial chemotherapy. Each question is worth one point, and the exam is passed when you reach the minimum score of 35, corresponding to 18/30.

Teaching aids



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