Course Schedule

PHAR 141 Human Anatomy and Physiology     (2 Credits)
Appreciation of the action of drugs in human subjects requires a sound knowledge and understanding of the structure and functions of the body at the cellular, tissue, organ and system levels.  In this course students will learn the micro-anatomical features and physiological functions of cells, tissues and organs in the following systems of the body: musculo-skeletal system, blood and cardiovascular systems, renal system, endocrine system, reproductive system, digestive system, respiratory system and the nervous system.  Details of the structure and function of these systems will be presented and treated in a manner that would ensure that students can recognize the normal state and be able to detect deviations that constitute disease.

PHAR 142  Basic Biochemistry    (3 Credits)
Biochemistry and biochemical concepts form an important basis for an understanding of the mechanisms of drug action.  This course will therefore provide the essential biochemistry base for the development of the principles of pharmacology and toxicology.  Students will study and gain understanding of the structure and molecular properties of the following biomolecules: amino acids, proteins, enzymes, simple and complex carbohydrates, fatty acids, lipids, nucleotides, RNA and DNA. The course will further provide a basis for understanding: The principles of metabolic pathways; The role of glycolysis and citric acid cycle in oxidative phosphorylation and energy production; The integration of carbohydrate and fat metabolism; Bioenergetics; mitochondrial respiration and oxidative phosphorylation; Metabolism of amino acids, heam and nucleotides; Hormonal regulation of metabolism.  Students will develop an appreciation of biological information transfer and molecular biology within the context of: Genome organization and gene structure; DNA replication, repair and recombination; RNA synthesis and processing; Mechanisms of gene regulation; Recombinant DNA technology in medicine and pharmacy

PHAR 143  Human Anatomy and Physiology Practical    (1 Credit)
Students will be exposed to experimental methodology to enable them acquire skills for defining the structure (histological features) of various tissues and organs and appreciating the functional characteristics of skeletal and cardiac muscle. Further skills will be developed in observing cardiovascular and respiratory functions.  Haematology: erythrocyte count; total and differential leucocyte count; estimation of haemoglobin in blood by Sahli’s method; determination of colour index; determination of blood group – ABO system and Rhesus Factor.  Nerve-muscle preparation:  the simple muscle twitch; effect of temperature on simple muscle twitch; effect of different strengths of shock; velocity of nerve impulse; effect of fatigue; summation of responses and genesis of tetanus.  Histological examination of various tissues: nervous tissue, skeletal tissue, smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, kidney and liver. Cardiovascular system: Frog heart model (in situ contractions) – effect of acetylcholine and adrenaline; blood pressure measurements before and after exercise; effect of change of posture on blood pressure. Respiratory system:  Spirometry-measurement of lung capacities; the Forced Expiratory Volume (FEVT).

PHAR 144 Basic Biochemistry Practical    (1 Credit)
In this course students will acquire practical skills in biochemistry and appreciate biochemical concepts.  The course will entail the following laboratory exercises:  isolation of glucose from fruits and urine; determination of lactose content of cow’s milk; tests for vitamin A and Thiamine; paper chromatography of amino acids; characterization of pigments in leaves; passive transport; simple demonstration of the activity of dehydrogenases; Urine analysis – determination of protein in urine, glucose in urine, abnormal constituents of urine; glucose tolerance test; cholinesterase stability test.

PHAR 241 General Principles of Pharmacology            (3 Credits)
In this course students will be introduced to fundamental concepts pertaining to drug action.  Historical development of pharmacology will be addressed.  Students will gain appreciation and understanding of the following: Basic pharmacological and toxicological terminology – definitions; Pharmacokinetics – administration, absorption, distribution, biotransformation and elimination of drugs; pharmacodynamics – drug receptor theory, mechanisms of drug action, relationship between drug concentration and effect; measurement in pharmacology (quantitative aspects of pharmacology); Factors influencing response to drugs; Principles of toxicology; Pharmacogenetics.

PHAR 242 Autonomic Pharmacology       (3 Credits)
Students will acquire understanding of the structure and function of the autonomic nervous system. This will form the basis of appreciation of the pharmacological significance and therapeutic application of the following: cholinoceptor–activating and cholinesterase- inhibiting drugs; cholinoceptor-blocking drugs; adrenoceptor-activating and other sympathomimetic drugs; adrenoceptor antagonist drugs.

PHAR 243 General Principles of Pharmacology Practical                     (1 Credit)
In this course students will acquire experience in basic principles of experimental pharmacology.  Students will become familiar with laboratory equipment, materials, methodology and techniques in experimental pharmacology. Simple experiments will be designed to illustrate routes of administration of drugs, dose-response relationships, agonists and their sites of action, the phenomenon of antagonism (types, qualitative and quantitative aspects), biological assay (types and presentation-graphical or mathematical).

PHAR 244  Autonomic Pharmacology Practical      (1 Credit)
Students will acquire the ability to perform simple experiments to illustrate concepts of autonomic pharmacology.  Experiments will demonstrate pharmacology of cholinomimetic and sympathemimetic agents, antagonists acting on cholinoceptors and adrenoceptors, enzyme inhibitors and their effects on drugs acting within the autonomic nervous system.  Experiments will involve the use of intestinal smooth muscle of the rabbit and guinea-pig (isolated tissues) and the respiratory system of the guinea-pig (bronchodilators and bronchoconstrictors in the whole animal).

PHAR 341 Endocrine and Immunopharmacology      (3 Credits)
This course will ensure an understanding of the pharmacology of the following:  Autacoids – histamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin), vasoactive peptides, the eicosanoids; Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs; Drugs used in gout; Drugs used in allergy and antagonists of autacoids. Immunomodulators: immunostimulants and immunosuppressive agents.  Endocrine drugs; hypothalamic and pituitary hormones, thyroid and antithyroid drugs, adrenocorticosteriods and adrenocortical antagonists, pancreatic hormones and antidiabetic drugs, agents that affect bone mineral homeostasis.

PHAR 342  Systems Pharmacology I    (3 Credits)
Students will acquire understanding of drugs acting on the following systems:  Cardiovascular and renal system - antihypertensive agents, vasodilators and antiangina agents, drugs used in heart failure, agents used in cardiac arrhythmias, diuretic agents. Gastrointestinal system - drugs used to inhibit or neutralize gastric acid secretion e.g. H2–receptor antagonists, antacids, muscarinic receptor antagonists, proton-pump inhibitors; drugs that affect reflex mechanism of vomiting e.g. emetics and antiemetics; drugs that affect gastrointestinal motility e.g. laxatives, purgatives. Respiratory System – drugs used in the treatment and management of asthma, mucolytics, antitussives, respiratory stimulants. Blood – coagulants, anticoagulants, drugs used in anaemia, anti-hyperlipidaemic agents. In the study of all these drugs students will be expected to know the mechanism of pharmacological action, undesired side effects, clinical indications and clinically significant interactions with other drugs.

PHAR 343 Experimental Pharmacology I Practical (In vitro)      (1 Credit)
Students will be expected to acquire practical skills in isolating tissues and organs and preparing them in appropriate experimental conditions for various types of study.  Emphasis will be placed on the choice of experimental tissue or organ and the maintenance of suitable ambient conditions for the experiment.  In this course students will gain hands-on experience with the following isolated tissues and organs: Intestinal smooth muscle (Rabbit duodenum) to study smooth muscle relaxation or contraction in response to selected agonists; Guinea-pig tracheal chain preparation to study the effects of various spasmogens in a cumulative dose-response manner; Isolated Phrenic-nerve-hemidiaphragm preparation of the rat to study the pharmacological properties of neuromuscular blocking drugs; Rat isolated uterus preparation to study the effects of selected drugs on the uterine  smooth muscle in the non-pregnant and pregnant state. Frog rectus abdominis muscle preparation to perform a bioassay (STTS assay) of acetylcholine.

PHAR 344  Principles of Toxicology     (2 Credits)
This course will seek to provide knowledge of fundamental concepts of toxicology to students.  Aspects of toxicology to be treated will include: introduction to Toxicology: occupational and environmental; heavy metal intoxication and chelators; antidotes in poisoning; Tissue and organ manifestations of chemical poisoning; characteristics of acute and chronic poisoning.

PHAR 346 Experimental Pharmacology II Practical (in vivo)                    (1 Credit)
This course will provide the student with skills in pharmacological experimentation in whole or intact subjects as opposed to isolated tissues and organs.  The student will acquire techniques in preparing the subject for the study.  The subject may be conscious or anaesthetized.  The procedure may be invasive or non-invasive.  Students will be expected to carefully note the conditions for the experiment and observe and learn the outcome of every procedure.  The course will include the following:  The human eye – effects   of selected drugs on the eye to illustrate the autonomic inervation and clinical relevance; the guinea-pig skin - effects of selected drugs on the micro-circulation and inervation of the skin and clinical significance; the anaesthetized cat - effects of selected drugs on the arterial blood pressure of the cat in the  anaesthetized state; The conscious guinea-pig – effects of selected drugs on pulmonary function of the guinea-pig in the conscious state to demonstrate broncholdilalation and bronchoconstriction with clinical implications; sleeping time in rats and neuro-behavioural experiments – effects of selected centrally acting drugs (barbiturates) on sleeping time in rats and the interaction  with other drugs, Sulphonamide metabolism in man -  determination of urinary output of a sulphonamide after oral ingestion in man, clinical implications.

PHAR 440  Pharmacology Project    (6 Credits)
(As for PHAS 410, PHAS 420)

PHAR 441 Systems Pharmacology II   (3 Credits)
This course will consider drugs that affect central nervous system (CNS) Functions and Disorders.  Students will be expected to acquire understanding of the classification, general pharmacological properties, including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical uses and contraindications and undesirable side effects of CNS drugs.  The course will provide a broad pharmacological knowledge of the following:  Chemical transmission and drug action in the central nervous system; sedative-hypnotic drugs; the alcohols; antiseizure drugs; general anaesthetic agents; local anaesthics; skeletal muscle relaxants; pharmacologic management of parkinsonism and other movement disorders; antipsychotic agents; antidepressants; opioid analgesics and antagonists and drug and substance abuse.

PHAR 442 Chemotherapy and Anti-infective Agents     (3 Credits)
In this course students will be expected to develop knowledge and understanding of the classification, general pharmacological properties including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical uses, contraindications and undesirable side effects of the drugs.  The course will deal with the following: basic principles of chemotherapy; cancer chemotherapy; antibacterial agents; antiviral drugs; antifungal drugs; antiprotozoal drugs; anthelminthic drugs; drug resistance.