The unit begins with an introduction to the general principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. A wide range of drug groups will then be studied with attention focused on the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical uses, and side effects of each drug. Aspects relating to medicinal chemistry, toxicity testing, clinical trials and requirements for the admission of new drugs are covered in topics that relate to new drug development. Pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenetics, sensitivity and resistance to drug therapies are further topics that address variation in drug outcomes. Social drug abuse and types of drug dependence are also discussed in this unit.

Unit details

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Unit code:


RBM2540 - Pathophysiology 2

RBM2560 - Medical Biochemistry

RBM2800 - Cardiorespiratory and Renal Physiology

RBM2540 and RBM2560 for HBBM; RBM2560 and RBM2800 for HBBS. Pre-requisites not applicable for HBPA students.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the general principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics;  
  2. Identify the major drug groups used to target the autonomic nervous system and cardiorespiratory system, and analyse the mechanism of action;  
  3. Review the major drug groups used to target the blood, kidney, gastrointestinal system, and endocrine system, and explain the mechanism of action;  
  4. List and elaborate the major groups of chemotherapeutic agents and anti-microbials and describe the mechanism of action;  
  5. Articulate and apply the principles of psychopharmacology;  
  6. Elaborate on the mechanism of action of anaesthetics, analgesics, and anti-inflammatory drugs and provide relevant examples; and  
  7. Conceptually map the processes involved in new drug development and requirements for the admission of new drugs.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Review Mini Review (1000 words) 10%
Test Five (5) Theory and One (1) Practical Test (1500 words) 40%
Examination End of semester examination (2.5 hours, 2500 words) 50%

Required reading

Fundamentals of Pharmacology 7th ed.
Bullock, S.,& Manias, E. (2013)
Pearson Education Australia

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