First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP3056621, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
IF1839, Degree course structure A.Y. 2011/12, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination GENERAL PHARMACOLOGY AND TOXICOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge PATRIZIA DEBETTO BIO/14
Other lecturers GENNY ORSO BIO/14

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines BIO/14 Pharmacology 8.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 No turn
Lecture 7.0 56 119.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
6 FARMACOLOGIA GENERALE E TOSSICOLOGIA 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 DEBETTO PATRIZIA (Presidente)
ORSO GENNY (Membro Effettivo)
5 FARMACOLOGIA GENERALE E TOSSICOLOGIA 2017/2018 01/10/2017 25/11/2018 DEBETTO PATRIZIA (Presidente)
ORSO GENNY (Membro Effettivo)
ZUSSO MORENA (Supplente)

Prerequisites: Good knowledge of human physiology and biological chemistry
Target skills and knowledge: The purpose of this course is to provide students with a basic understanding of: 1) principles regulating drug-organism interaction, including the pharmacodynamics (mechanism of drug action) and pharmacokinetics (absorption, distribution, and elimination); 2) principles of general Toxicology, including types of xenobiotic toxic effects and their onset conditions
Examination methods: oral exam
Assessment criteria: The student ability to critically and crosswise debate asked issues, topic skill, and scientific language will be evaluated
Course unit contents: Introduction to Pharmacology
• Definition and aims of Pharmacology; drug definition and sources; chemical and biotechnological drugs
• Drugs and specialties; drug classification systems
• Mechanism of drug action, non specific versus specific
• Molecular targets for drug action (receptors)
• Quantitative aspects of drug-receptor interaction: theoretical relationship between occupancy and drug concentration; definition of affinity
• From drug-receptor interaction to the effect; the receptor-occupancy theory and its modifications; graded dose-effect curve; definition of drug potency and efficacy
• Definition of full agonist, partial agonist, inverse agonist, and antagonist; mechanisms of drug antagonism
• Quantal dose-response curve; definition of drug selectivity and safety; therapeutic indices
• Molecular structure and signal transduction of the main super-families of receptors for endogenous ligands: intracellular receptors; ligand-gated ion channel; G-protein-coupled receptors; tyrosin-kinase-linked receptors; cell adhesion receptors
• Receptor adaptation mechanisms (desensitization, down- and upregulation) and their pharmacological consequences (tolerance, dependency; rebound effects)
Qualitative pharmacokinetics
• Ways by which drugs cross cell membranes
• Routes of drug administration; absorption; bioavailability
• Distribution; placental and blood-brain barrier
• Biotransformation: phase I and II reactions; detoxification versus bioactivation
• Environmental factors affecting drug biotransformation: enzyme induction and inhibition
• Renal and biliary excretion
Elements of pharmacogenetics
• Genetic factors underlying the biological inter-individual variability in drug response
• Polymorphisms in genes encoding drug receptors and drug biotransforming enzymes
Principles of general Toxicology
• Definition and aims of Toxicology; toxicant definition
• Types of toxic effects: acute and chronic effects; reversible and irreversible effects; local and systemic effects
• Special toxic effects: teratogenic, idiosyncrasic, and genotoxic effects
• Immunotoxicity: allergic and autoimmune reactions; immunosuppression
• Adverse drug reactions (ADR): type A and B reactions
Research and development of new drugs
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: traditional frontal lessons
Additional notes about suggested reading: Lecture pdf files
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Good Health and Well-Being