PRCL 628 Medical Pharmacology I:   3 Credit Hours
PRCL 635 Medical Pharmacology II:  2 Credit Hours

Placement in the Curriculum:    Year Two
Duration:    September - April

Synopsis:    In Medical Pharmacology, students learn how chemicals interact with biological systems.  The year-long course covers general principles of drug action, including drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination and pharmacokinetics.  For each drug category, the course emphasizes:  selected prototype drugs, mechanism of action, pharmacokinetic properties, therapeutics, adverse effects, contra-indications and drug-drug interactions.
Drugs play a major role in almost every modern therapeutic scenario.  Thus, knowledge of pharmacological principles and mechanisms is essential to the formation of a rational therapeutic strategy in almost every clinical situation.

   In the process of completing this course students acquire the following competencies:
●    Describe the following basic processes: drug administration, drug absorption, distribution of drugs in body compartments, drug metabolism, and elimination of drugs.
●    Determine the time course for drug accumulation, duration of drug action, and drug elimination.
●    Recognize the mechanism of action for selected prototype drugs and the ability to correlate the mechanism of action with the various therapeutic uses of each drug.
●    Differentiate and distinguish the pharmacokinetic properties of each prototype drug and how distinct drugs in the same category differ from the prototype drug.
●    Identify the indications, the contra-indications, the potential adverse side-effects, and the potential drug-drug interactions for each prototype drug.
●    Describe how environmental and occupational chemicals interact with the body to produce toxicity and the specific antidote and the pharmacological basis for the antidote's therapeutic effect.

The course textbooks are to be used to assist in assimilation of lecture material.  Exam questions are derived from course lectures.

Key Words:    General principles, autonomic drugs, cardiovascular and renal drugs, central nervous system drugs, anticancer and antimicrobial chemotherapeutic agents, hormones and endocrine drugs, and toxic substances and poisons.

Assessment:    Sectional exams. (Non-cumulative)
Ph.D. students are required to take an essay examination, in addition to the multiple-choice . James Scholar students may demonstrate mastery by passing the multiple-choice midterm section exams.

Instructional Features:    Lectures, workshops, on-line course materials, and review sessions.

Course Integration:    This course builds upon concepts presented in the M1 Basic Science courses, specifically, Biochemistry, Physiology, Tissue Biology, and Neuroanatomy. By discussing therapeutic mechanisms and principles, it complements disease-oriented M2 courses; specifically Microbiology, Pathology, Clinical Pathophysiology, and Psychopathology.  It prepares students to understand the rational use of drugs in clinical therapy, which they will encounter during the M3 and M4 clerkships.