This unit of study is intended to provide an understanding of drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics, and the clinical application of these concepts to support the safe and effective use of medicines. Lecture topics will include metabolic enzymes and pathways, identification of metabolites, pharmacokinetics, drug absorption and distribution, protein binding and bioavailability. These fundamental areas of knowledge start with an understanding of the relationship between drugs interacting with target sites in the body and the effect produced (i.e. pharmacodynamic principles) and understanding the physiological and physicochemical factors that govern the effect of the body on drugs (metabolism), the movement of drugs around the body and the time course of exposure of body tissues and blood to drugs (i.e. pharmacokinetics). These principles involve developing concepts and models to explain drug activity in patients and to guide appropriate drug dosage selection. This unit will also explore reasons behind the factors affecting drug efficacy and variability in response to medicines among different individuals. The effects of disease, other drugs, demographics and the genetic basis for variable response will be introduced. Basic pharmacogenetic principles for explaining and predicting pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic variability in response will be explored.
Lectures, workshops, and online learning activities.
Metabolism workshop assignment (20%), In-class pharmacokinetics quizzes (10%), formal quiz (10%), and final exam (60%).
Applied Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics. Shargel, Wu-Pong and Yu (2012); Pharmacokinetics Made Easy, DJ Birkett 2nd edition (2010); Pharmacogenomics: The search for Individualised Therapies, Licinio and Wong.
3 credit points of Calculus, 6 credit points of Biochemistry, 12 credit points of Chemistry. Students who have not completed up to 12 credit points of prerequisite subjects are strongly advised to take the corresponding Bridging Course (offered in February, July and as a distance course at other times of the year).