Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Dr Joseph Nicolazzo (Parkville); Dr Manish Gupta (Malaysia)



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


This unit builds upon the fundamental concepts of drug delivery with a major focus on oral drug absorption and pharmacokinetics.

Specifically, the unit aims to:

  • provide an understanding of theoretical concepts and formulation principles of pharmaceutical dosage forms such as tablets and capsules; and
  • introduce students to fundamental concepts in pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutics and their impact on drug disposition.


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

  1. Discuss the formulation principles of tablets and capsules and undertake problems by applying theoretical knowledge in relation to formulation principles;
  2. Discuss the primary physiological factors influencing drug absorption across the small intestine and the effects of altering rate of absorption and extent of absorption on plasma concentration and amount of drug in the body;
  3. Define and calculate pharmacokinetic parameters, including drug clearance, elimination half-life, volume of distribution, fraction unbound, fraction excreted unchanged in urine and steady state plasma concentration after intravenous administrations and multiple dosing;
  4. Distinguish between drugs that exhibit 1 and 2 compartment behaviour and calculate and interpret pharmacokinetic parameters for drugs that obey 1 and 2 compartment kinetics
  5. Discuss hepatic clearance of drugs in terms of intrinsic clearance, protein binding and hepatic blood flow and how this changes for high and low extraction ratio drugs and calculate hepatic extraction ratios
  6. Estimate the absolute and relative bioavailability of drugs given either plasma or urine concentration data.
  7. Describe the characteristics, causes and therapeutic consequences of non-linear pharmacokinetics


Final exam (2.5 hour): 60%; In-semester assessments 40%

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Thirty six 1-hour lectures
  • One 1-hour tutorial
  • Three 3-hour workshops
  • One 3-hour practical

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


PAC1222 Drug delivery I
PAC1132 Systems physiology

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