Basic Department


About the Department
Pharmacology Courses
Pharmacology Faculty

Pharmacology Courses

Medical Pharmacology

Medical Pharmacology is a two-semester, 8-credit course that includes approximately 85 lectures in addition to small group discussions.  It is presented over the course of the second year to medical and graduate students.

In the practice of medicine, physicians make frequent use of drugs in the diagnosis, prevention, and management of disease. In view of the fact that all drugs have the potential to cause harm as well as provide benefits, it becomes the responsibility of the physician to use drugs with caution, weighing known risks against expected benefits. 

Only through understanding the properties of drugs can this caution be exercised effectively. This understanding includes the ways in which they are absorbed, distributed, and eliminated, the ways in which they are affected by the organism (man) and the ways in which they affect the organism.

It is the responsibility of pharmacologists to direct medical students in their goal of acquiring the facts and principles necessary for rational and effective drug therapy. As effective physicians, they should be able to use familiar drugs safely and effectively and assess the usefulness of newly-marketed drugs before adding them to his therapeutic armamentarium.

The function of this course is to provide students with a “vocabulary in pharmacology” and sufficient information about each class of agents so that they will have a basis for the rational use of drugs in their medical practices.  These fundamentals will also be useful in their clinical training.  When students will see how the basic knowledge they have learned is applicable to the treatment of specific diseases, they will be able to ask intelligent questions regarding therapeutic strategies. The selection of a particular drug for a specific disease in a given individual and the determination of regimen is not within the purview of the pharmacologist, but rather must be delegated to the clinical specialist.

For many students, this course will be their last systematic exposure to general pharmacology. This initial experience should provide the necessary foundation that will enable students to build and expand their knowledge of pharmacology in specific areas during subsequent training and clinical practice.


Principles of Toxicology

We have recently introduced a graduate-level class in Toxicology.  This class is available in the spring semester and teaches the fundamentals of toxicology including mechanisms of toxicity, toxicokinetics, carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, target organ toxicity and environmental toxicology.  The textbook is Cassarett and Doull's Toxicology, the basic science of poisons, 6th edition.

Medical Pharmacology/Toxicology, First Semester

  • Introduction to Pharmacology
  • Terms, Laws, Drug-Development
  • Drug Receptors
  • Drug Receptor Interactions
  • Absorption
  • Distribution
  • Excretion
  • Biotransformation
  • Discussion #1 (Medication Errors)
  • Factors Influencing Drug Response
  • Biological Variability
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Solving Pharmacokinetic Problems
  • Discussion #2 (Basic Concepts & Pharmacokinetics)
  • Discussion #3 (Pharmacokinetics)
  • Introduction to Antimicrobials
  • Inhibitors of Cell Wall Synthesis
  • Inhibitors of Protein Synthesis
  • Sulfa/Trimethoprim/TB
  • Antifungals
  • Discussion # 4 (Antibiotic Therapy)
  • Antiviral Drugs
  • Antiprotozoal & Anthelminth Agents
  • Discussion #5 (Immunotherapy)
  • Introduction to Cancer Chemotherapy
  • Cancer Chemotherapeutics
  • Introduction to Autonomic Pharmacology
  • Cholinergic Agonists
  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Adrenergic Agonists
  • Adrenergic Antagonists & Ganglionic Blockers
  • Computer Assisted Instruction I (Autonomics)
  • Discussion #6 Autonomic
  • Introduction to Cardiovascular Drugs & Inotropes
  • Antihyperlipidemics
  • Antihypertensives
  • Drugs for thromboembolic diseases
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Discussion #7 Antiarrhythmics (POPS)
  • CAI II Programmed Problem Set on Cardiovascular Drugs
  • Diuretics
  • Management of Acute Poisoning
  • Toxicology of Specific Agents
  • Mutagenesis, Teratogenesis, and Chemical
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins
  • Discussion #8 Toxicology 
  • Herbal Therapies 

Medical Pharmacology/Toxicology, Second Semester

  • Autacoids
  • Histamine1 Blockers                                                                                             
  • H2 Blockers and Other GI Drugs
  • General Anesthetics
  • Neuromuscular Blockers; Local Anesthetics
  • Opioid Agonists & Antagonists
  • Discussion #10 (Multiples Modalities of Pain Treatment)
  • Non-Opioid Analgesics & NSAIDs
  • Antiinflammatory Agents & Antigout Agents
  • Hyphothalamic & Pituitary Hormones
  • Discussion #11(Thyroid Drugs)
  • Drug Treatments for Diabetes
  • Calcium
  • Corticosteroids & Antiasthmatic Agents
  • CNS Pharmacology                                                                         
  • Antidepressants and Antimanic Drugs                                                        
  • Sedative Hypnotics & Antianxiety Drugs
  • Antiepileptics       
  • Antipsychotics & Drugs used in Parkinson’s Disease                                     
  • Female Sex Steroids & Chemical Contraception
  • Androgens            
  • Alcohol


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