Pharmacology objectives

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  • You should be familiar with the concepts of drug-receptor interaction and understand the terms agonist, partial agonist, competitive antagonist, non-competitive antagonist, potency and efficacy.
  • You should understand the dose-effect relationship and be familiar with both graded and quantal dose-response curves.
  • You should be able to list the properties of the important prototype drugs with respect to their:
    1. Therapeutic effect
    2. Mechanism of action
    3. Absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME)
    4. Toxicities and contraindications
    5. Optimal route of administration
    6. Interaction with other drugs
  • You should be able to assess the therapeutic benefit of a drug in comparison to its toxic potential (the Risk/Benefit ratio)
  • You should be able to describe the factors which may modify the action(s) of drugs or which may increase their toxicity such as:
    1. Impaired hepatic function
    2. Impaired renal function
    3. Age and weight
    4. History of drug sensitivity
    5. Drug interactions
    6. Pregnancy
    7. Co-existing disease states
    8. Dependence potential
    9. Suicide potential
  • You should be able to define the therapeutic end-point of a drug so as to avoid a toxic end-point.
  • You should be familiar with the pharmacokinetic properties of a drug and be able to administer it at appropriate dosage and at appropriate intervals.
  • You should be aware of the cost of drugs to patients and the potential impact of financial considerations in choosing appropriate drugs.
  • You should be aware of unbiased sources of information on both new and existing drugs and know how to use them.