Integrated Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmacology I



Learning outcomes

Pharmacology is a science of rapid evolution, fundamental and structuring for scientific and professional training of the future pharmacist.
Pharmacology has as objectives to ensure that the students can acquire knowledge necessary to understand (i) the biochemical and biophysical characteristics of the interactions between drugs and the cell molecular structures, seeking to know how the cells respond to drugs and how their chemical structure is related to the biological activity, (ii) the effect of the drugs on the components of the central nervous system and on the autonomous nervous system, (iii) the effect of drugs on the heart, the vascular system and parts of the nervous and endocrine system involved in regulating cardiovascular function, (iv) the effect of the drugs on the respiratory and digestive tract and on the thyroid gland and (v) the effect of the drugs involved in pain and in Inflammation.
Pharmacology will allow the acquisition of skills in: (i) to identify, to interpret and to describe the cellular and molecular mechanisms resulting from the drug-receptor interaction, (ii) describe and interpret the changes that a drug can induce at the cellular, tissue and organ level irrespective of their use be or not with therapeutic purpose.


Theoretical Teaching:

  • Definition and purpose of the study of pharmacology.
  • The cycle of the medicines and the role of pharmacology in the development of new drugs.
  • Concepts of pharmacokinetics: Routes of drugs administration; Absorption, Distribution, Biotransformation and Elimination of drugs from the body; Cycle of drugs in the body.
  • Concepts of pharmacodynamic: Theory of receptors; Interaction drug-receptor; General mechanisms of drugs action.
  • Drugs acting on Autonomic Nervous System: Drugs acting on cholinergic system; Drugs acting on adrenergic system.
  • Peripheral muscle relaxants: Drugs blocking at pre and post-junctional level.
  • Introduction to pharmacology of autacoids: Histamine; Serotonin; Nitric oxide.
  • Drugs used in the treatment of inflammation: Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); Corticosteroids as anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Drugs used in the treatment of gout: Disease-modifying antirheumatic agents; Antigout drugs.
  • Analgesic drugs: Narcotics; Alcaloides of opium; Derivatives of morphine; Analgesics of synthesis.
  • Drugs acting on the respiratory system: Respiratory stimulants; Antitussive drugs of central and peripheral action; Expectorants; Asthma.
  • Drugs that act at the level of the digestive tract: Antacids and antiulcer agents; Emetics and antiemetics; Laxatives drugs; Antidiarrheal agents.
  • Drugs that act on the blood and hematopoietic organs: Antianemics; Anticoagulants; Antiplatelet and fibrinolytic agents.
  • Drugs with activity on the thyroid gland:Thyroid and antithyroid drugs.
  • Drugs with local and general anesthetic activity.


Practical Teaching:

  • Pharmacokinetics: Passage of drugs across biological membranes; Practical exercises about absorption and distribution of drugs in the body.
  • Concepts of pharmacodynamic: Practical application of the receptors theory; Calculation of pD2 for a pair agonist-receptor and the pA2 for a pair antagonist-receptor from practical examples of dose-response curves.
  • Variations in response to administration of drugs: The nature, extent and causes of this variability; Its importance in pharmacotherapy;
  • Pharmacology of special populations: Children, the elderly and pregnant women.
  • Drug Interactions: Adverse reactions; Iatrogenic reactions; Physical, chemical and therapeutic incompatibilities.
  • Drug toxicity: Acute, subacute and chronic toxicity; Role of the pharmacist in pharmacovigilance.
  • Pharmacology of drug abuse: Cannabinoids, opiates, sympathomimetics, hallucinogenic drugs and ethanol.
  • Introduction to animal experimentation: Experimental animals; Legislation that regulates the use of animals for experimental purposes/therapeutic and other scientific purposes.