Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

PHCY258 Introduction to Drug Action

Principles of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology that underpin drug pharmacokinetics and drug action. Chemical structure as a determinant of physicochemical properties and biological activity. Basic principles of pharmacology applied in the autonomic nervous system.

Paper title Introduction to Drug Action
Paper code PHCY258
Subject Pharmacy
EFTS 0.0950
Points 12 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $745.37
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,467.50

^ Top of page

Limited to
Teaching staff
Associate Professor Joel Tyndall, Dr Allan Gamble, Mr David Schmierer, Professor Stephen Duffull and Pharmacology staff
Paper Structure
Three modules
Teaching Arrangements
Lectures, laboratories and tutorials
Patrick, G. L. (2013) An Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry, 5th edn, Oxford University Press.
Rang, Humphrey, and Dale, Maureen, and Ritter, James, and Flower, Rod, and Henderson, Graeme, (2011) Rang and Dale's Pharmacology, 7th edn, Churchill Livingston.
Lemke, T.L and Williams, D. A. (2013) Foye's Principles of Medicinal Chemistry 7th edn, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Predict the acid-base properties and lipophilicity of drugs based on structural features
  • Understand how structure and physicochemical properties of a drug influence drug transport following administration via various routes
  • Recognise the reactions involved in the metabolism of drugs within the body and predict the metabolic pathway of drugs from their chemical structure
  • Predict likely drug-protein interactions based on the functional groups present in a drug and identify the nature of the biological effect a molecule has at different types of drugs targets
  • Recognise the methodologies used to identify and optimise drug leads and their access to drug targets
  • Understand the basic principles of pharmacology as applied to the autonomic nervous system.
  • Understand and be able to use pharmacological terminology
  • Understand the different receptor classes targeted by drugs, including ionotropic, G-protein coupled, kinaselinked and nuclear receptors
  • Use data from pharmacological experiments to draw conclusions about mechanisms of drug action
  • Be able to create dose (EC50, etc.) response curves from pharmacological data and extrapolate pharmacological variables from them

^ Top of page


Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 12:00-12:50 28, 30, 34, 37
B1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 31
Tuesday 11:00-11:50 39
Tuesday 12:00-12:50 28, 32, 34
C1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 31, 37
Wednesday 12:00-12:50 28, 32, 34, 39
D1 Thursday 09:00-09:50 30
Thursday 11:00-11:50 40
E1 Friday 09:00-09:50 39
Friday 10:00-10:50 30, 39
Friday 12:00-12:50 28, 32, 34, 37-38
Friday 13:00-13:50 36


Stream Days Times Weeks
B1 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 29, 33
Tuesday 13:00-13:50 36
C1 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 36
E1 Friday 12:00-12:50 41