The course starts with a general introduction to pharmacodynamics (4 hours). Principles of drug - receptor interactions, such as signal transduction, affinity, intrinsic activity, different types of antagonism, up- and down regulation, tachyphylaxis are discussed.
The remaining hours are devoted to pharmacokinetics. Absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs (ADME), compartments, adaptation of doses and dose interval, elimination-t1/2 and bioavailability are discussed.
Physicochemical properties of the drug as well as physiological processes, which affect the pharmacokinetic profile of the compound, are illustrated. The physiological processes can change in relation to animal species, age, liver and kidney function. All those factors are important to determine the bioavailability of a drug. Changes in these parameters thus determine whether a compound will exert therapeutic or unwanted effects.