23277 - General 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

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.

The dynamics of 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 effects. Drug receptor interaction. Agonist and antagonist. Drug therapy. Relationship between the therapeutic effects and the adverse effects of drug.

Potency and relative efficacy of drug. Adverse drug reactions and drug toxicity.

Drug therapy of inflammation: non steroinal anti-inflammatory drugs. Corticosteroids.

Pulmonary pharmacology: the mechanism of action of drugs and therapeutic uses. Ashma: bronchodilators; corticosteroids. Drugs of cough. Drug of rhinitis

Therapeutic treatment of athletes: correct use of drug. Risk/benefit of drug. Therapeutic Use Exemption. List of prohibited substances and methods. Concepts of doping risk.

The toxic effects of prohibited substances. Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: mechanism of action, methods of administration, adverse effects for athletes, anti-doping controls. Adverse effects associated with the abuse of glucocorticoids. The abuse of beta-2-agonist and the health risks for athletes.



Drug in Sport, 7th Edition Mottram D.R., Chester N.

Teaching methods

Lectures with multimedia aids

Assessment methods

Exam session: there are at least 7 exam dates a year.

1st session (January-February 2022): 3 exam dates

2nd session (June-July 2022): 2 exam dates

3rd session (September 2022): 2 exam dates

exam of “Hygiene and Pharmacology-Integrated Course” includes an written test of General and Applied Hygiene (6CFU) and a written test of General Pharmacology (3 CFU).

Prerequisites: Human Physiology (C.I.)

To take part in the written test of “General Pharmacology” students can connect AlmaEsami

The written test of “General Pharmacology” course unit consists of:

-21 multiple choice questions. The score will be so assigned: +1 point for each correct answer, 0 points for each wrong answer or not given.

-2 open-ended questions. Up to 5 points are assigned for each question.

Examples and details will be shown during the lessons.

Students have up 80 minutes to complete the written test.

The validity of the written text is 12 months.

During the written test it is NON allowed to use books, notes, and devices connected to the Internet (tablets, smartphones, etc.).


The student will get a mark, for each course unit. The two partial marks, in proportion to the number of credits, contribute to the final mark. The student passes the exam if he/she takes at least 18/30 in each course unit.

Teaching tools

The teaching material presented at the lectures is available on "Virtuale" plarform of the Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna

Office hours

See the website of Francesca Maffei