Module Overview


his is a level 2 module that is concerned with the area of pharmacology. It is designed for those studying clinical

measurement science, year 2, to provide them with an understanding of the basic principles of pharmacology as

applied to healthcare.

These principles include pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug targets and drug development and are

related to the practice of the Clinical Physiologist by using relevant drug types with clinical scenarios.

Applied pharmacology, using antimicrobials and chemotherapeutics, is introduced to relate these basic principles

to clinical practice.

Computer simulated laboratory experiments are used to demonstrate the clinical implications of these basic


Module Code

PHYS 2810

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Indicative syllabus covered in the module and / or in its discrete elements


· Define different drug classes (full, partial and inverse agonists, antagonists, allosteric agents) and

describe their interactions with drug receptors and illustrate these graphically.

· Describe graphically a linear hyperbolic and log sigmoidal dose response curve.

· Define the equilibrium dissociation constant, Kd, and both potency and efficacy in terms or drug


· Define a variety of classifications of drug receptors and describe the drug interactions in terms of a dose

response relationship introducing concepts like EC50, BMax, EC50, ED50 and LD50.



· Describe the different forms of drug administration (oral, nasal, I.V. etc.) and their individual uses in

terms of drug administration and absorption with reference to factors affecting absorption such as drug

preparation, membrane permeability, surface area and tissue blood flow.

· Describe dosing regimes in terms of therapeutic levels and toxicity with reference to drug reservoirs and

compartmentalisation in terms of drug distribution throughout the body.

· Describe drug metabolism defining clearance, elimination rate, ke, constant and t½, first pass

metabolism and discussing phase I and II metabolism.

· Describe routes of metabolism such as oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis and conjugation and common

chemical motifs involved.

Describe excretion with particular reference to biliary and renal routes


Chemical Mediators

· Describe the basic anatomy and physiology of the autonomic nervous system with reference to the

transmitters and receptors involved

· Discuss cholinergic transmission in terms of muscarinic and nicotinic actions of acetylcholine

· Describe nicotinic and muscarinic receptors and the physiology of their cholinergic transmission

Discuss adrenergic transmission in terms of the classification of adrenergic receptors and the Discuss the importance of GPCRs as a major drug target for pharmaceutical companies Intracellular Signalling mechanisms · Discuss the activation of second messengers within cells from drug stimulation · Describe biochemical intracellular signalling cascades and the relationship to receptor activation by drugs · Discuss intracellular drug targets Applied Pharmacology · Describe the main classes of antimicrobials, uses, side effects and development of resistance. · Describe the main categories of chemotherapeutics, uses and relationship to side effects. · Discuss the stages of pre-clinical and clinical drug development with reference to regulatory bodies Laboratory · Discuss the effects of a variety of hormones, neurotransmitters and drugs on the heart rate, blood pressure and muscle activity in a computer model of the anaesthetised cat. Discuss the effects of a variety of hormones, neurotransmitters and drugs on the activity of a computer simulated rat nerve muscle preparation.

This module is delivered using lectures, tutorials and simulated computer labs where appplicable

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination50
Other Assessment(s)50