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You are in Home >> Exams >> Syllabus: Primary, Final & FCARCSI

Irish Syllabus: General pharmacology

Created: 20/4/2004


Interatomic and intermolecular bonds
Laws of diffusion
Diffusion through membranes
Receptor function & regulation
Solubility and partition coefficients
Ionisation of drugs
Drug isomerism
Protein binding
Oxidation & reduction


Drug-receptor interaction dynamics
Agonists, antagonists, partial agonists, inverse agonists

Efficacy & potency
Metabolic pathways; enzymes
Drug/enzyme interaction
Michaelis –Menten relationship
Enzyme inducers and inhibitors

Mechanism of drug action
Ion channels; types and relation to receptors
Gating mechanisms
Signal transduction; cell membrane/ receptor/ion channel to intracellular molecular target, second messengers

Action of gases and vapours
Osmotic effects, pH effects
Adsorption and chelation

Mechanisms of drug interactions;
Inhibition and promotion of drug uptake
Competitive protein binding
Receptor interactions
Effect of metabolites and other degradation products


Drug uptake from gastrointestinal tract, lungs, transdermal, subcutaneous, IM, IV, epidural, intrathecal routes.
Ocular, nasal and sublingual uptake

Factors influencing the distribution of drugs: perfusion, solubility, molecular size, protein binding, ionisation
Influence of drug formulation on disposition

Distribution to organs and tissues; body compartments
Influence of specialised membranes; tissue binding and solubility
Distribution in cerebrospinal fluid and extradural space

Modes of drug elimination; direct excretion, metabolism in organs of excretion (phase I and II mechanisms), renal excretion and urinary pH, non-organ drug breakdown

Pharmacokinetic analysis; concept of a pharmacokinetic compartment, apparent volume of distribution, clearance, clearance concept applied to whole body and individual organs

Pharmacokinetic analysis contd;  simple 1 and 2 compartment models, concepts of wash-in and wash-out curves, physiological  models based on perfusion and partition coefficients, effect of organ blood flow, Fick principle

Pharmacokinetic analysis contd; pharmacokinetic variation, influence of body size, sex, age, disease, anaesthesia, trauma, surgery, smoking, alcohol and other drugs

Effects of acute organ failure on drug elimination
Pharmacodynamics; concentration-effect relationships, hysteresis

Pharmacogenetics; familial variation in drug response
Adverse reactions to drugs; hypersensitivity, allergy, anaphylaxis, anaphylactoid reactions

Effect of pregnancy on maternal pharmacokinetics and materno-foetal distribution

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