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Unit information: Mechanisms of Drug Action in 2019/20

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Mechanisms of Drug Action
Unit code PHPH10015
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Kelly
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

A-Level Chemistry recommended

Co-requisites

A-level Biology is not essential but students will be required to study basic cell biology during the unit

School/department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Faculty Faculty of Biomedical Sciences

Description

This unit provides students with a broad introduction to pharmacology. The unit begins with an introduction to the physiology of the different cell types in the body and how drugs modulate their function. Fundamental principles of drug-receptor interactions are discussed. Neurotransmission, as a major target for selective drug action and clinical intervention, is illustrated by consideration of the pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system. Drug toxicity, adverse reactions to drugs, and general toxicological principles contribute an important and interesting aspect to the unit. Workbooks are used to build upon and expand lecture material.

Aims:

To understand:

  • The physiology of the different cell types in the body and how drugs modulate their function
  • The nature of the interaction between drugs and their cellular receptors
  • Neurotransmission as a site of drug action with particular reference to the action of drugs on the Autonomic Nervous System
  • The adverse effects of drugs and drug toxicity
  • The basic ways in which drug action can be investigated, analysed and presented using tissue preparations in the laboratory class

Intended learning outcomes

  • A thorough knowledge of each of the areas covered in the unit
  • The ability to measure drug action using data obtained from isolated tissue preparations
  • The ability to integrate information from lectures and workbooks
  • The ability to critically assess the work of others by peer marking

Teaching details

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials

Assessment Details

Exam paper (end of unit) 70%

Workbook 20%

Online practical work 10%

Reading and References

Recommended textbooks

Multiple copies of these books are available from the Lifezone. However Pharmacology Honours students may wish to have their own copy of “Pharmacology” to use throughout their degree course (a new 7th edition of this textbook is now out but the older editions are still fine to use; note that Professor Graeme Henderson from this School co-authored the latest edition). A handout is provided for most lectures but it is a good idea to consult a textbook to supplement your lectures notes and to clear up any problems you have with the lecture material. The two textbooks listed below are particularly relevant to the first year unit:

  • Pharmacology, (7th Edition) H.P. Rang, M.M. Dale, J. M. Ritter, R. J. Flower and G. Henderson, Churchill Livingstone. Price £40-£50.
  • Introduction to Toxicology (3rd edition), J.A. Timbrell, Taylor & Francis. Useful for toxicology lectures.

Other useful books and websites include:

  • Instant Pharmacology, K Saeb-Parsy, RG Assomull, FZ Khan, K Saeb-Parsy & E Kelly. A textbook containing concise descriptions of the different drug classes as well as an extensive dictionary of drugs which you may find useful.
  • The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics (11th Edition). L.S. Goodman & A. Gilman. Extensive detail about many drugs.
  • Basic & Clinical Pharmacology (11th Edition) B.G. Katzung. Has a lot of clinically-orientated material.
  • Integrated Pharmacology, (2nd edition) CP Page, MJ Curtis, MC Sutter, MJA Walker & BB Hoffman. Has a lot of clinically-orientated material.
  • Medical Pharmacology at a Glance (6th edition) M. Neal, Blackwell Scientific Press. A revision aide, not a complete textbook.

FOR THOSE WITHOUT PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE OF A-LEVEL BIOLOGY THE FOLLOWING TEXTS ARE RECOMMENDED:

These texts should be consulted when you are having problems understanding the fundamental biological principles/nomenclature mentioned in lectures.

  • Roberts: Biology 2nd edition (2001) Designed to cover the 2001 GCSE specifications for Biology
  • Patrick, G.L.: An Introduction to medicinal chemistry 4th edition.

The following websites may also be helpful:

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