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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

This course aims to provide the basis of knowledge of pharmacology, explaining the mechanisms of action of drugs and how the different classes of drugs should be used in the clinical practice. The course connects to basic disciplines, such as physiology and biochemistry, and is preparatory to further study of pharmacology in the clinical disciplines. The fundamental training objective is to ensure that the student learns the pharmacological basis of therapy and knows how to use drugs in a rational way.

As for the parameters of:
At the end of the course the student will:
- know the general principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics;
- know the possible mechanisms of adverse drug reactions and the methods of diagnosis and reporting (elements of pharmacovigilance);
- acquire the pharmacological terminology and the essential parameters for evaluating the effects of drugs;
- know the main pharmacological classes and the parameters useful for choosing a specific drug within a class;
- understand the main factors that influence the response to drugs based on gender (gender pharmacology) and age (elements of pediatric and geriatric pharmacology).
At the end of the course the student will be able to:
- critically evaluate the various drugs on the basis of pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, efficacy and safety parameters (cost / benefit ratio);
- choose between drugs of different pharmacological classes and between molecules of the same class based on the characteristics of the drug and the clinical profile of the different patients.


Knowledge of organic chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, microbiology, pathology.

Course programme

General pharmacology
Pharmacokinetics: absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination of drugs.
Pharmacodynamics: Mechanisms of action of drugs.
Adverse drug reactions and reporting.
Gender pharmacology.

Pharmacology of neurotransmission: autonomic and somatic nervous system; central nervous system.
Pharmacological modulation of cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, dopaminergic, glutamatergic, GABAergic, peptidergic neurotransmission.
General and local anesthetics.
Hypnotics and sedatives.
Medicines for neurodegenerative diseases.
Opioid analgesics.

Pharmacology of inflammation, immunomodulation and hematopoiesis
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Steroid anti-inflammatory drugs.
Hematopoietic drugs.

Pharmacology of lung, kidney and cardiovascular functions
Anti-hypertensives: diuretics, calcium inhibitors, ACE inhibitors and sartans.
Heart failure medications.
Antiplatelet and anticoagulant agents.
Drugs for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and dyslipidemia.

Hormones and hormonal antagonists
Insulin and oral hypoglycemic drugs.
Thyroid hormones and antithyroid drugs.
Estrogens and androgens.
Bone medications.

Medicines for the digestive system
Antacids and anti-ulcer.
Emetics and antiemetics.
Medicines for biliary and pancreatic diseases.

General principles of use of chemoantibiotics.
Main classes of antibacterials.

Didactic methods

The Pharmacology course is divided into the "General and Chemotherapy" and "Special" sections.
The course includes lectures and online assisted teaching. The hours of on-line assisted teaching on the Moodle certification platform consist of the deepening of some topics treated in class and indicated by the teacher at the beginning of the course and in the execution of multiple choice tests dedicated to the different topics (general pharmacology, chemotherapy, neuropharmacology, etc).

Learning assessment procedures

The learning verification will be carried out through two tests. The first test, general pharmacology and chemotherapy, will be written, will last 30 minutes and will be conducted without the use of notes or books or multimedia supports, in the presence of teachers. It will consist of 31 multiple choice questions (4 options per question). There will be no penalty for incorrect or undelivered answers. The score will be given in thirtieths (31 correct answers = 30 with honors) and the threshold for passing the test will be 23 correct answers.
The second test, special pharmacology, will be also be written. It will be conducted according to the criteria described for the first test but will last 45 minutes and will consist of 41 multiple choice questions (4 options per question). There will be no penalty for incorrect or undelivered answers. Each correct answer will be given a score of 0.75 (41 correct answers = 30 with honors) and the threshold for passing the test will be 31 correct answers.
The final mark will derive from a weighted average between the marks of the two tests (weight of the general and chemotherapy test = 1; weight of the special pharmacology test = 4).

Reference texts

- Clementi e Fumagalli; Farmacologia generale e molecolare, 5° edizione. Edra, Milano, 2018.
- Goodman & Gilman's Le basi farmacologiche della terapia, 13a edizione. Zanichelli, Bologna, 2019
- Katzung & Trevor: Farmacologia Generale e Clinica, 10° edizione. Piccin, Padova, 2017.