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Course Description

A variety of medicine in bottles and pill form

This course will introduce students to the basic principles of pharmacology. Topics to be covered include pharmacokinetics and drug-receptor interactions as well as the mechanism of action and toxicity of drugs acting on the cardiovascular and central nervous system.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  • Recognize the fundamental principles of pharmacodynamics (i.e. drug-receptor interactions) and pharmacokinetics (i.e. absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of drugs).
  • Identify how drugs alter cellular function through the study of pharmacodynamics.
  • Determine how the body handles drugs through pharmacokinetic processes such as absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination, dose-response relationships, half-life, steady-state concentrations and volume of distribution.
  • Describe the pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system at an introductory level as preparation for understanding CNS drug actions.
  • Describe the distribution and identify the function of clinically relevant receptors in the autonomic nervous system and identify why they represent useful targets for therapeutic manipulation.
  • List and discuss selected drugs used to stimulate or inhibit the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous systems, including their clinical uses and potential adverse effects.
  • Name major classes and provide specific examples, mechanisms of action, adverse effects and contraindications for drugs affecting the autonomic nervous system, cardiovascular system and central nervous system.
  • Name the major classes and provide specific examples, mechanisms of action, adverse effects and contraindications of pre-anesthetics and anesthetics.

Course Topics

  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacodynamics 
  • Autonomic Pharmacology 
  • Cardiovascular Pharmacology
  • CNS Pharmacoloogy
  • Pre-anesthetics and Anesthetics

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): BIOC*2580, (1 of ANSC*3080, BIOM*3200, HK*3810, HK*3940, ZOO*3200, ZOO*3600)


Assessment Item Weight
Quizzes 10%
Midterm 40%
Online Final Exam 50%
Total 100%


Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use the Respondus tool to invigilate one or more exams. In order to use Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, you must meet the following technical requirements:

  1. Operating Systems: Windows 10, 8, 7; Mac OS X 10.10 or higher.
  2. Memory: Windows 2 GB RAM; Mac 512 MB RAM.
  3. For Mac users: Safari must function properly on the computer.
  4. Mac users must have Adobe Flash Player installed to Safari, even if a different browser is normally used.
  5. Functioning webcam and microphone. The webcam and microphone can be built into your computer or can be the type that plugs in with a USB cable. (You will be required to do an environment scan of your room, so please ensure you can move your computer, laptop or webcam for this scan.)
  6. A broadband Internet connection. It is recommended that you access the Internet via a wired connection.

Technical Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.


Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in

Section Title
Principles of Pharmacology
September 10, 2020 to December 04, 2020
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,748.00 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes

Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.

Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Principles of Pharmacology: The Pathophysiological Basis of Drug Therapy by David E. Golan, Ehrin J. Armstrong, April W. Armstrong © 2016 Wolters Kluwer 4th edition ISBN 9781451191004
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