14163 - Pharmacology I

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has the basic knowledge of the mechanisms that regulate the kinetics of a drug in the body as well as the drug interactions with the biological targets responsible for its activity. In particular, the student: - knows the essential pharmacokinetic elements, - understands the general bases of biotransformation, - knows how drugs interact with their biological targets and the biological outcomes of these interactions.

Course contents

The Course of Pharmacology I is made up by two parts (modules) covering the principles of General Pharmacology:
Pharmacodynamics (Module 1) and Pharmacokinetics (Module 2). 
Program Module 1 - Pharmacodynamics 

Pharmacodymamics: sites and mechanisms of actions of drugs; drug-receptor interactions and their cellular consequences; dose-response relationships; drugs acting as agonists, antagonists or partial agonists; factors modifying drug actions (e.g. age, pathologies, drug interactions, tolerance, placebo). Drug interactions. General Toxicity: adverse effects; overdose effects; idiosyncratic or allergic reactions; abuse liability. Preclinical and clinical drug development. Pharmacovigilance.


Program Module 1 - Pharmacokinetics

General principles about transfer of drugs across membranes for drug absorption. Administration routes and drug absorption. Distribution: volume of distribution, binding to plasma proteins. Biotransformations: phase 1 and phase 2 reactions; biotransformations outside the liver; pharmacometabolic induction and inhibition. Drug excretion. Pharmacokinetic parameters (clearance, half-life, single or repeated administrations, bioavailability). Individual variability in responding to drugs (age, ethnicity, pregnancy, disease, pharmacologic interactions).


FURLANUT - Farmacologia Generale e Clinica per le Lauree Sanitarie, III Edizione – Ed. Piccin

RD. HOWLAND, MJ. MYCEK - Le basi della farmacologia. - Edizioni Zanichelli

Govoni S. et al., "Farmacologia", Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 2014

F. Clementi, G. Fumagalli, "Farmacologia Generale e Molecolare", UTET, 2012

Katzung BG, "Farmacologia Generale e clinica", Ed. Piccin, 2014 

Teaching methods

Oral lessons

Assessment methods

The final test consists of an oral examination (or online on Microsoft Teams platform, depending on Public Health rules) concerning both teaching modules and aiming to verify the achievement of the teaching goals.

For the module I it is requested: the knowledge of the mechanisms of drug actions; the features and the pharmacodynamic consequences of their interaction with the biological structures that are responsible of their therapeutic or toxic effects and their variability;

for the module II it is requested: the knowledge of pharmacokinetic processes that regulate the presence of the drug in the organism: from its entrance to its elimination.

The final score will derive from the evaluation of answers to different questions on arguments of different parts of the program.

Since the Course of Pharmacology I is integrated with Pharmacology II, the two exams are to be taken and passed according to their numerical sequence, in the same or in different occasions.

Teaching tools

Oral lessons will be given with the aid of multimedial tools (MS Power Point presentations, etc.).

Office hours

See the website of Sanzio Candeletti

See the website of Lucia Carboni