The Pharmacology section includes theory lessons. These begin with an introduction to two parts of General Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacokinetics. Pharmacodynamics studies the starting points according to which medicines produce their effects. The course focuses on the interaction of drugs with receptors. Different types of agonists and antagonists are discussed based on the concepts of affinity and intrinsic activity. The lessons in Pharmacokinetics discuss the disposition processes that determine the course of the drug in an organism. Transport through cell membranes and cell layers, absorption (uptake from the outside world), distribution (distribution of pharmacone to the tissues), elimination processes (metabolism and excretion) and clearance of medicinal products are discussed. This basic knowledge is then applied to document the fate of pharmaca in organisms using compartmental models. Biological availability, elimination half-life, effects of different routes of administration, dose and dose interval are addressed.
The other theory lessons are devoted to Special Pharmacology. This section provides knowledge of the mechanism of action, effects and major indications of large classes of medicinal products. A selection has been made of medicines with applications in: the autonomic nervous system, allergy and inflammation, the cardiovascular system, thrombosis, pain management, local and general anaesthesia, the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal system and the central nervous system (neurodegenerative disorders, anxiolysis, psychosis, depression and epilepsy), the reproductive system and the immune system. As far as immunopharmacology is concerned, the following groups of medicines are discussed: therapeutically used antibodies and derivatives, therapeutically used cytokines and medicines with a direct effect on their action, immunosuppressants and immunomodulators, the antiviral repertoire.
The applied Pharmacokinetics uses, among other things, computer simulations to give the student practical insight into the principles and consequences of pharmacokinetics. In addition, the students investigate the influence of administration methods and patient-related factors (age, liver and kidney function) on the course of plasma levels of a number of medicines. The students write a short report on the results.