Master's degree in Preventive and Adapted Exercise Science

Sports and drugs

Course code
Name of lecturer
Giovanna Paolone
Giovanna Paolone
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
2° semestre motorie dal Mar 1, 2021 al May 30, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students will have to achieve the following general objectives:
• to know the most commonly used drugs in sports and which of these are banned by WADA;
• to assess drug mechanisms interfering with sports performance, particularly with respect to occurrence of adverse events;
• to know how physical activity may influence individual response to drugs used for therapeutic purposes;
and the following specific objectives:
• to acquire critical thinking skills on the use of drugs in sports both as therapeutic tools and as doping;
• to know of the main drugs used in sports (NSAIDs, drugs for respiratory and cardiovascular system, CNS drugs, vitamins and nutritional supplements, anti-infectives): rational use and its efficacy, therapeutic classes, drug-drug interactions, mechanisms of action, tolerability and major adverse reactions, use in relation to sports;
• to know the general aspects of drug self-prescription and its consequences, with particular reference to drug-drug interactions;
• to list the drugs for which there is scientific evidence that their action is modified by physical activity;
• learn about the scientific evidence on the role of dietary supplements in sports.


The course is partly carried out as lectures and partly as discussion in small groups. After reviving the student’s knowledge in plenary session, discussion will start from the analysis of a specific clinical case. The group discussion will take place according to problem solving method the assessment of the case will be later provided by each group in plenary session. At the end of discussion, the teacher will assign specific academic goals to the groups. After verifying the learning objectives, during the following meeting the teacher will provide the interpretation of the event. During the course five cases in total will be analyzed.

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The course will consist of lectures in classroom. A brief review of fundamental pharmacology general will be proposed in the early lessons. Then the program will focus on the topics listed in the specific objectives of the course. Dealing with cases will be the subject of group exercises and tutorials in plenary or a small group work. In the latter case, the students will be divided into groups of 6-8 persons and will discuss on a 'drug case', involving the administration of more drugs / food / doping substances in real situation of complex (simulation of real cases), providing an explanation of the same. The case solution will be presented and discussed during plenary, and the explanation needed for the resolution of the case will be given.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written test with 30 multiple choice questions, with one point for each correct answer. The examination will focus on the specific topics covered during lectures and working groups discussions. Only students who have attended the course can take the exam.

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