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Fundamentals of Pharmacology

MEDS 4029 | 3 credit hours

Spring Semester | Syllabus (PDF)

MWF 1:00 – 1:50 PM

Terry Kirley, PhD | | 513-558-2353

Fundamentals of Pharmacology begins with an in depth presentation of the fundamentals of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and drug adsorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination (ADME), as well as theories underlying, and applications of, drug binding and dose-response curves. A background in receptor structure and characterization is given. 


An overview of signal transduction systems relating the binding of drugs to receptors to physiological effects is given. An outline of the centrality and importance of the autonomic and central nervous systems and drugs modulating those systems is presented.

A broad overview of the mechanism of action of many classes of drugs used to treat common human diseases, pathologies, and infections is presented, along with prototype drugs and their clinical uses, mechanisms of actions, toxicities, and drug-drug interactions. In addition to all the requirements for undergraduate students enrolled in this course, graduate students will be required to prepare and submit a written report, approximately 2 weeks prior to the end of the course. 

This report will consist of a detailed analysis of a drug which has either been approved by the FDA in the last year, or a new drug being considered for approval.


Learning Objectives

  • Understand on a conceptual and quantitative basis agonists and antagonists
  • Define and illustrate the important characteristics of agonist dose-response curves, including potency, efficacy, and therapeutic index
  • Understand on a conceptual and quantitative basis drug half-life, volume of distribution, and other pharmacokinetic parameters
  • Understand the concepts and modulation of drug adsorption, metabolism, metabolism, and elimination (ADME)
  • Know how drugs are developed and approved in the US. 6. Understand the importance, nature, and modulation of drug receptors
  • Know the basics of several signal transduction systems, including g-protein coupling via g-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs)
  • Have a basic understanding of the autonomic and central nervous systems and the drug classes used to control and treat these systems
  • Know the most useful classes of drugs, as well as drug exemplars, for the treatment of widespread and common diseases and pathologies of the cardiovascular, renal, pulmonary, nervous, gastrointestinal and endocrine systems
  • Know the most useful classes of drugs, as well as drug exemplars, for the chemotherapy of cancer and common microbial and parasitic infections



George M. Brenner, Craig W. Stevens (2012) Pharmacology,
4th edition, Saunders, Philadelphia
Softback ISBN: 978-1455702824
E-Book ISBN: 978-1455702787

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