23277 - General Pharmacology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Exercise and Sport Sciences (cod. 8512)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the general principles of drug administration, the concepts of risk-benefit of drug therapy, the health risk of doping.

Course contents

Classification of drugs.


Routes of administration of drugs. Enteral versus parenteral administration. Drug absorption, transfer of drugs across membranes. Distribution and bioavailability of drugs. Metabolism of drugs. Excretion of drugs: renal excretion, biliary excretion. Pharmacokinetic parameters.


Mechanisms of drug action. Drug-receptor interaction. Agonists and antagonists. Relationship between the therapeutic effects and the adverse effects of drugs.

Potency and relative efficacy of drugs. Adverse drug reactions and drug toxicity. Allergies and idiosyncrasies.

The safety of dietary supplements for athletes.

Herbal products and phytotherapeutic drugs.

Therapeutic treatment of athletes: the correct use of drugs. Risk/benefit profile of drugs. Pharmacological treatment of inflammations: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids. Drugs acting on the respiratory system: adrenergic agonists, corticosteroids, theophylline. Drugs to treat cough: codeine.

Drugs and sport: exemption for therapeutic purposes; statement of therapeutic use.

Doping epidemiology. The health risk of doping. Principles of antidoping controls.


Golan D.E. Principles of Pharmacology. The Pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2016.

Mottram D.R. Drugs in Sport. Taylor and Francis, 2005.

Teaching methods

Lectures with multimedia support.

Assessment methods

The exam will consist in an oral test aimed at assessing the student's understanding and knowledge of the topics set out during the course. The examination consists of an interview. The student will get a mark for each course unit (General and Applied Hygiene 6 CFU - General Pharmacology 3 CFU). The marks obtained for each interview, in proportion to the number of credits, contribute to the final grade of thirty. The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the course and the use of an appropriate specific terminology will be assessed with a mark of excellence.

To check exam dates, students can access AlmaEsami.

Teaching tools

The teaching material presented during the lectures is available on https://iol.unibo.it/

Access will only be granted to students enrolled at the University of Bologna.

Office hours

See the website of Carmela Fimognari


Good health and well-being

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.