Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedParkville First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Joseph Nicolazzo


This unit builds upon previous learning related to physiology and physical chemistry to provide the student with an understanding of factors affecting absorption of drugs following oral administration and alternative routes of delivery. This unit introduces students to pharmacokinetics and how this may be affected by formulation design and route of administration.

This will involve:

  • Oral drug absorption
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Bioavailability
  • Dissolution
  • Parenteral formulations
  • Alternative routes of drug delivery


At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the physiological and physicochemical factors affecting drug absorption across the small intestine
  2. Define and calculate pharmacokinetic parameters, including drug clearance, elimination half-life, volume of distribution, fraction unbound and fraction excreted unchanged in urine
  3. Calculate predicted plasma concentrations of drugs given the pharmacokinetic parameters of the drug
  4. Define bioavailability and estimate the absolute and relative bioavailability of drugs given plasma concentration data
  5. Describe the methods of dissolution testing and how dissolution tests can be used to predict bioavailability
  6. Understand the physical, chemical and biological factors affecting parenteral drug delivery
  7. Understand formulation techniques for poorly water soluble drugs
  8. Discuss the factors affecting drug delivery to the eye, buccal cavity, nasal cavity, skin, lungs, vagina and rectum


Final exam (3 hour): 75%; mini-exams: 20%; written assignment: 5%.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Joseph Nicolazzo

Contact hours

36 1 hour lectures and 4 x 2 h hour tutorials/presentations/conversations


PSC1081 Physiology I
PSC1082 Physiology II

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: