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Pharmacology: Course Outline (412-IA)

Pharmacology is the science of drug action on biological systems. In its entirety, it embraces knowledge of the sources, chemical properties, biological effects and therapeutic uses of drugs.

Course Outline

General pharmacology


  • Definition of pharmacology
  • History and its various branches
  • Definition of drug and its various sources

 Routes of drug administration

  • Advantages and disadvantages


  • Drug solubility and passage of drug across the biological membranes
  • Absorption & distribution
  • Metabolism and elimination of drugs and factors affecting them
  • Various pharmacokinetic parameters including volume of distribution (vd)
  • Clearance (cl)
  • Biological half life (t1/2β) bioavailability and various factors affecting it dose
  • Efficacy and potency of drugs
  • Hypersensitivity and idiosyncratic reactions
  • Drug tolerance and dependence
  • Drug interactions
  • Plasma protein binding


  •  How drugs act? receptors and their various types with special reference to their molecular structures
  • Cell surface receptors
  • Signal transduction by cell surface receptors
  • Signaling Mediated by intra cellular receptors
  • Target cell and hyper sensitization
  • Pharmacological effects not mediated by receptors (for example anesthetics and cathartics) Ion channel
  • Enzymes
  • Carrier proteins
  • Drug receptor interactions and theories of drug action
  • Agonist
  • Antagonist
  • Partial agonist
  • Inverse agonist
  • Receptors internalization and receptors co-localization
  • Physiological antagonism
  • Pharmacological antagonism (competitive and non-competitive)
  • Neutralization antagonism
  • Neurotransmission and neuro-modulation
  • Specificity of drug action and factors modifying the action & dosage of drugs
  • Median lethal dose (LD:50)
  • Median effective dose (ED:50) and therapeutic index
  • Dose-response relationships

Drugs acting on autonomic nervous system (ans)

Organization of ANS its subdivisions and innervations

Neurotransmitters in ANS their synthesis release and fate

Sympathetic agonists

  • Catecholamines and noncatecholamines

Sympathetic antagonists

  • Adrenergic receptor blockers and neuron blockers

 Parasympathetic (Cholinergic) agonists and cholinesterase enzyme inhibitors (anticholinesterases) parasympathetic antagonists

Ganglion stimulants and Ganglion blocker

Neuromuscular blockers

Drugs acting on gastrointestinal tract

 Emetic and anti-emetics


Anti-diarrheal agents

Treatment of peptic & duodenal ulcer

  • Antacids
  • H2-Receptor antagonists
  • Antimuscarinic agents
  • Proton pump inhibitors
  • Prostaglandin antagonists
  • Gastrin receptor antagonist and cytoprotective agents

 Drug treatment of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases

Drugs affecting bile flow and cholelithiasis 

Relevant Books


Text Books