Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in Nursing
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Seat of the course: 
Como - Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 

There are no pre-requisites for this integrated course.

The understanding of the biochemistry module and the general pharmacology module require basic knowledge of general chemistry (interaction between atoms and molecules, solubility, chemical equilibrium, acid-base theory and oxidization, thermodynamics) and organ physiology (in particular renal function, digestive system, cardiovascular function).

Final Examination: 

In order to verify the learning of the knowledge and skills given to the lesson, a written exam will be held. This examination will be divided into the part related to the biochemistry module and the pharmacology module. The time available for the test is two hours. The examination will be considered passed if both tests (biochemistry and pharmacology) will have a sufficient score (18/30) and the final score will be the average (rounded for excess) of the two votes. It will not be considered approved an exam where the test is overcome with sufficient voting only on one module, and the student will have to repeat the tests of the two modules the next session.
The exam for the biochemistry module consists of 30 multiple choice questions (four possible answers of which only one is true) regarding the understanding of the topics covered (knowledge and skills). Evaluation will be insufficient if correct answers will be less than 18; to have a sufficient score (18), the questions with a correct solution will be at least 18. No points will be subtracted for incorrect answers.

The exam for the Pharmacology Module consists of 27 statements regarding the different topics discussed, which the student must indicate whether true or false. The test foresees also a form of an elaborate of a topic dealt with during the course.
For the evaluation, any correct statement of the "true or false" test will be worth a point and no points will be removed as a result of incorrect answers. The open question can be a minimum of 3 points to a maximum of 3 points
For a sufficient rating (18), the sum of the votes obtained in the "true or false" test and the one obtained in the open question will be 18/30.

At the student's request, the works will be available to students for one week from the examination date and then permanently archived.

Voto Finale

The integrated course aims to provide basic knowledge to understand biological phenomena at the cellular and tissue levels and to understand the interaction between organism and drugs under normal and pathological conditions and the possible therapeutic implications.

Students will be provided with the following knowledge and skills:

Biochemistry module: knowledge of the main classes of biomolecules (structure and function) and their metabolism in physiological and pathological conditions. The concept of regulation of metabolic activities will also be transmitted, with particular reference to the role of the main hormones. The ability to interpret and evaluate the main biochemical indicators and nutritional properties of the major food classes will also be transmitted.

Pharmacology Module: Knowledge of the general principles underlying interaction between human body and drugs and their mechanism of action. In particular, knowledge will be provided on setting correct dosage and evaluating the risk associated with the use of drugs in relation to various factors (route of administration, adverse effects, drug intolerance, pharmacological interactions). In addition, as a result of pharmacological and toxicological knowledge, the ability to manage, preserve and use medicines in a hospital will be transmitted. Knowledge will also be given about the main legislative provisions regarding drug production and use and the preclinical and clinical study of new medicines.

Module of Biochimistry
Organic constituents of the organism (sugars, proteins, lipids): main functions (10 hours). We will discuss the structure and function of sugars, amino acids, lipids, cholesterol, and energy molecules. Reserve molecules, glycogen and triglycerides. Structure of lipids; micelles, double lipid layers, biological membranes and structural cholesterol properties. Proteins: peptide binding, amino acid sequence, three-dimensional structure (eg collagen), post-translational modifications, phosphorylation, glycosylation, proteolytic cleavage (coagulation examples and digestive enzymes), coenzyme bonds. Oxygen transporters. Hemoglobin and Mioglobin. Enzymes: properties, kinetics, inhibitions, regulation, specificity, nomenclature, and enzyme cofactors. Vitamins. Nutrition biochemistry will be provided throughout the course.
Metabolism of the main biomolecules (10 hours). The concept of anabolism and catabolism will be discussed. Bioenergetics . ATP, substrate phosphorylation at NAD + / FAD substrate, reducing power. Respiratory chain. Glycolysis, glycogen metabolism and the effect of insulin and glucagon. Krebs cycle, gluconeogenesis and their regulation. Nitrogen metabolism, transamination, urea cycle and uric acid. Fatty metabolism and metabolic adaptations in fasting. Heme and albumin catabolism. Lipoproteins, bile acids, and cholesterol metabolism.
Hormones: their metabolic roles (4 hours). The main hormones with metabolic effects and in particular insulin, glucagon, adrenaline, cortisol (glucose homeostasys), thyroid hormone, calcium regulation (vitamin D), steroid hormones (mineralcorticoids, glucocorticoids, sexual hormones) will be presented. Surface or intracellular hormonal receptor, second messengers (AMP cyclic, calcium, inositol triphosphate). Mediators such as prostaglandins, leucotrienes and thromboxanes will be made throughout the course.

Module of Pharmacology
- Pharmacokinetic properties (6 hours). The main routes of drug administration will be described, and the pharmacokinetic processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs in healthy subjects and in patients. Also, some quantitative pharmacokinetic arguments will be used to set a proper dose, such as distribution volume, clearance, half-life, maintenance dose, loading dose. The concept of bioavailability and the equivalent drug will be addressed.
Pharmacodynamic properties (6 hours): the main mechanisms underlying drug action will be described. It will also discuss the theoretical basis for the interpretation of drug action by imparting the concepts of agonist, antagonist, partial agonist. Dosage-response curves will be described to allow interpretation of efficacy and pharmacological potency. Drug-toxicology topics will be addressed to interpret toxic drug effects, drug interactions, abuse, tolerance, and dependence.
-Examples of pharmaceutical legislation, experimentation (4 hours). The main laws in force in Italy and the European Union concerning the production, classification of medicines, prescription and pharmacovigilance will be described. Preclinical and clinical studies will also be described for the discovery of new drugs.

Option 1
Chimica e Biochimica
Michele Samaja
Seconda edizione
(simple text, without too many formulas and with a part related to the main human pathologies).

Option 2

Le basi della biochimica
Denise Ferrier
Seconda edizione
(more captivating but more complex text than the previous one. It requires more chemical knowledge for a correct understanding of the arguments, very good part about the major human pathologies)

Farmacologia generale e clinica. Katzung B.G. Piccin Ed X edizione italiana sulla XIII edizione di lingua inglese

Farmacologia. Rang, Dale, Ritter, Flower, Henderson. Elsevier Ed. VII edizione italiana

For both modules, frontal lessons (24 hours, 12 frontal lectures for the chemistry module and 20 hours, 10 frontal lectures for the general pharmacology module) are foreseen for slides projection (tend to be in Italian but in case of material Recent publication, also in English). During the classroom discussion, students are encouraged to interact with the teachers with questions and curiosities. During the lessons the faculty will also present daily cases and facts that can explain the application / importance of the subjects of the lessons.
Students are required to attend the lessons as set out in the teaching regulations of the course and sign the attendance sheet to be able to take the exam.
Teachers will commit the presentations used during the lessons and other material of interest (articles) through the University computerized platforms (eg elearning) to which students have access.

In the presentations of the teacher, there may be links to web pages for further information. For student reception, make an appointment via email with the teachers.


  • Credits: 1
    Place of teaching: Como - Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
  • Credits: 1
    Place of teaching: Como - Università degli Studi dell'Insubria