84508 - Endocrine Pharmacology

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

Describe the classification, mechanism of action, indications, and side effects of drugs for the treatment of endocrine and metabolic diseases.

Course contents

Lecture 1 (2 h). ANTIDIABETIC DRUGS. Compare and contrast mechanisms of action, indications, contraindications, adverse drug reactions of insulin analogues, metformin, sulphonylureas, incretin-based drugs (GLP-1 receptor agonists and DPP4 inhibitors), SGLT2 inhibitors. Critical analysis of current guidelines.

Lecture 2 (2 h). DRUGS ACTING ON THYROID FUNCTION. Describe the mechanisms of action, indications, contraindications, adverse drug reactions of drugs used to treat hypothyroidism (L-thyroxine) and hyperthyroidism (carbimazole, propylthiouracil, Iodine-131). The role of beta-blockers. Drug effect on the thyroid.

Lecture 3 (2 h). DRUGS ACTING ON HORMONE RECEPTORS. Describe the mechanisms of action, indications contraindications, adverse drug reactions and prescribing criteria of contraceptives, including generations, formulations (oral, patch, intrauterine devises), pharmacodynamics (agonists, modulators), therapeutic uses. Drugs used for termination of pregnancy.

Lecture 4 (2 h). DRUGS ACTING ON BONE AND MINERAL HOMEOSTASIS. Describe the mechanisms of action, indications contraindications, adverse drug reactions and prescribing criteria of drugs used for osteoporosis (bisphosphonates, raloxifene, denosumab) Critical analysis of current guidelines. Drugs affecting bone metabolism (e.g., anticoagulants, glucocorticoids, anticancer drugs, antiepileptic drugs).


Suggested texbooks:

1) Hitchings, Lonsdale, Burrage, Baker. The top 100 drugs. Clinical pharmacology and practical prescribing. 2nd Edition, 2019, Elsevier.

2) Goodman and Gilman’s Manual of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2nd Edition. 2014. The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Teaching methods

Interactive lectures where general rules are derived from practical examples taken from everyday experience. Teaching materials and slides are made available to the students via the moodle platform at least the day before the lesson. During the lessons, it is important for students to have direct access (online or off-line) to the teaching materials in order to be able to concentrate on specific contents rather than on reproducing slides.

Attendance and active participation in classroom activities are essential to promote critical thinking, knowledge of topics, problem solving skills and the overall learning process. During lessons, the teachers guides the students in the critical reading of the teaching materials and provides opportunities for online formative assessment.

Assessment methods

The final exam will be an oral summative assessment consisting of questions pertinent to the Learning Outcomes and Course Contents of all units comprising the Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases integrated course.

Professors of all course units participate in an overall collegial assessment of the student's final profit. The credits (6 CFU) of the integrated Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases course are awarded after passing the final summative assessment with a minimum grade of 18/30. Honors (cum laude) may be awarded to students who have achieved a maximal grade of 30/30 in the final summative assessment and have demonstrated exceptional learning outcomes.

The assessment regarding "Endocrine Pharmacology" will be based on the critical reading of a Summary of Product Characteristic about drugs of interest in endocrinology.

Teaching tools

The teaching material discussed during the lectures will be made available through the designated University of Bologna websites.

Students are encouraged to access the teaching material prior to and during lectures in order to facilitate interactions with the teacher. Access is reserved to University of Bologna students registered to the Medicine & Surgery degree program.

Office hours

See the website of Emanuel Raschi