Drugs Affecting the Nervous System

Subject PHRM30002 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week (total contact hours: 36)
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: BSc students:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
BBiomed students:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Students wishing to undertake this subject as breadth will need the approval of the subject co-ordinator.


Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: This subject cannot be taken if credit has been previously obtained for 534-302 Neuropharmacology.
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs.
This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit:



Dr Peter Crack, Prof Peter Mcintyre


Dr Peter Crack


Prof Peter McIntyre


Administrative Coordinator:

Ms Hong Nguyen


Subject Overview:

The workings of the brain present one of the last true unknowns in modern medicine and yet it is the target for a multitude of interesting and important drugs. This subject will address the use of drugs in modulating the processes of neurochemical transmission and neuronal survival in the context of the management of mood and emotional disorders, addictive behaviours, neuro-degenerative diseases, pain and epilepsy. This subject will also discuss strategies for the development of future therapeutics and students will gain an appreciation of how a detailed understanding of pathological processes is important for the rational development of new therapeutics.


On successful completion of this unit, students will have developed a solid understanding of the pharmacology of central nervous system diseases and the knowledge of the actions of important drugs used clinically and in research into central nervous system disorders

Students will also gain an appreciation of how a detailed understanding of pathological processes is important for the rational development of new therapeutics.

  • Continuing assessment (10%)
  • Mid semester test (20%)
  • A 2 hr examination in the examination period (70%)

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: Nestler, Hymen & Malenka,
Molecular Neuropharmacology McGraw Hill.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: By the end of this unit students will:
  • Be adept at learning in a range of ways.
  • Be able to examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge pertaining to drugs.
  • Have an understanding of the scientific basis of the action of drugs in the central nervous system.
  • Be able to integrate key pharmacological and other medical research principles as they relate to neuropharmacology.
  • Be adept at critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Participate in collaborative learning.

This subject is available to students enrolled in the BSc, Biomedicine degree.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Biomedical Biotechnology (specialisation of Biotechnology major)
Science credit subjects* for pre-2008 BSc, BASc and combined degree science courses

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