Pharmacology and Toxicology

Accreditation valid until: 11. 12. 2029

Chairman of the Subject Area Board:
prof. MUDr. Ondřej SLANAŘ, Ph.D.
Institute of Pharmacology
First Faculty of Medicine
Charles University and General University Hospital
Albertov 4
128 00  Prague 2
phone: +420 224 968 146
e-mail: @email


Contact person:
Karolína Černá
Institute of Pharmacology
First Faculty of Medicine
Charles University and General University Hospital
Albertov 4
128 00 Prague 2
phone: +420 224 968 140
e-mail: @email


Members of the Subject Area Board

Characteristics of the study programme

Pharmacology and toxicology are sciences that study the mechanisms of mutual interactions of substances and medicinal preparations with biologic systems and observe their both favourable and adverse impact on the organism. The final goal is the use of this knowledge in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human and veterinary conditions.

A great advantage of the study of pharmacology and toxicology is the close interconnection of the theoretic field with all clinical specialties that perform therapy, prevention and diagnosis. The study programme is therefore suitable not only for those interested in experimental research but also for those seeking their prospective careers in clinical work. The main bias of the study programme, nevertheless, is experimental, at both the pre-clinical and clinical level.

The goal of the study is training specialists with deep knowledge in the areas of clinical as well experimental pharmacology and toxicology. This envelops knowledge of wide areas of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, effects and toxicity of medications, including the knowledge of properties of particular forms of medicinal preparations.

Admission procedure requirement specific to the study programme

The conditions and course of the admission procedure for the part-time of study are the same as the conditions for the full-time form. 

We recommend to contact your potential supervisor in advance and consult the suitable form of preparation for the interview. Each study programme has its own specifics, so the supervisor can help you to prepare for the specialized entrance examination (the interview).

Topics of dissertation thesis

The SAB did not list any topics. The candidate chooses the preliminary topic individually and contacts a potential supervisor. He/she consults with him on the chosen topic and agrees on its more precise specification. In case of any ambiguity, we recommend that you also contact the chairman of the SAB. If necessary, he/she can recommend that he/she consult the topic with another specialist according to the focus of the intended project.

If the candidate does not know which topic/supervisor to choose, he/she will contact the chairman of the SAB, with whom he/she will consult on a suitable topic and a potential supervisor.

This choice is preliminary, the admissions board may, after consultation with the candidate, nominate another supervisor.

Supervisors of the study programme

Each supervisor must be approved by the SAB. The criteria for admitting new supervisors are determined by the SAB. If the proposed supervisor has not yet been approved by the SAB, this must be done no later than the enrollment of the applicant in the study (provided that the applicant is accepted). You can find a list of supervisors approved by the SAB here. After clicking, the supervisor’s workplace and contact information will be displayed.

Requirements during the study

Study obligations for full-time and part-time form of study are the same. 

Specific contents of the doctoral studies are provided for each student by an ISP. Obligatorily, it contains passing at least two subjects provided by any SAB within the Co-ordinating Council of DSPB. It is recommended that at least one of the subjects passed is provided by the SAB of Pharmacology and toxicology.

Part of the ISP is also the language examination in English (examination at the Department of Languages, Second Faculty of Medicine CU, state language examination or an internationally recognized examination, e.g. TOEFL, Cambridge Certificate).

The ISP includes continuous publishing activity and presentation of the results at national and international scientific conferences. Also possible / recommendable is the students’ participation in undergraduate tuition (practical classes).

Requirements for internships

A recommended part of study obligations in studies is taking a study placement abroad. Also welcome is another form of the student’s direct participation in international co-operation, e.g. in an international creative project with results published or presented abroad, etc.

Listed courses
B90274 Applied Pharmacokinetics

Requirements for the SDE

The SDE usually takes place in the 3rd year of studies. The requisites of admission for the examination are:

  • credits from at least two subjects passed;
  • literature search for the topic (20–30 pages) or an own scientific publication in a reviewed journal (synoptic articles are admitted as well).

The course of SDE

The SDE is held in such an extent that is in keeping with the study programme of the SAB. Its objective is checking the student’s way of scientific thought, i.e. his/her ability of comprehension of the nature of the problem, including the ability of conceiving own ways of solution to the given problems. At the examination, the students are supposed to prove their knowledge of their chosen field to the full extent of the undergraduate level but also the knowledge of trends in research and modern methodology of recent biomedicine as applied to the topic area of his/her dissertation thesis. The examination consists of discussion of the passed subjects completed with credits, discussion of the literature search submitted or the applicant’s own publication, and answering three questions drawn at random. The examining questions for pharmacology and toxicology are displayed at the pages of the SAB, together with the recommended literature.

Examination topics for the SDE


  • Adrenergic mediation (adrenergic neurotransmission, types of receptors, their localization and function, classification of drugs affecting the sympathetic nervous system into drugs acting directly and indirectly).
  • Hypnotics, sedatives. Analgosedation.
  • Toxicity of heavy metals (especially Pb, Hg, As, Cd, Fe, Cu) and their compounds. Risks of chronic exposure. Therapeutic options (including antidotes).


  • Cholinergic mediation (cholinergic neurotransmission, cholinergic receptors, their localization and functions, main uses of individual groups of cholinergic substances).
  • Antibacterial agents: Cephalosporins; oxazolidinediones, polypeptides.
  • Cyanide poisoning. Mechanism of action, metabolism. Treatment of poisoning.


  • Basic pharmacokinetic parameters affecting steady-state drug levels – elimination rate constant, elimination half-life, drug clearance, renal and non-renal clearance.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, mechanism of action, therapeutic use, adverse effects.
  • Combination of antimicrobials; advantages and disadvantages, examples of synergism and antagonism of individual combinations. Antibiotic resistance. Principles of rational use of antibiotics.


  • Drug distribution in the body (volume of distribution – importance for drug dosing); one and more compartment systems; zero- and first-order pharmacokinetics.
  • General anesthetics and premedication in general anesthesia. Intoxication by inhalation general anesthetics in terms of time and quantity.
  • Antiparasitic drugs: antiprotozoals; clinically used anthelmintics and ectoparasitics.


  • Pharmacokinetics; basic parameters and formulas for the calculation of pharmacokinetic parameters, the importance of individual parameters.
  • Non-insulin antidiabetics.
  • Pharmacotherapy of allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock.


  • Dependence of drug response on dose/concentration (types of doses, dose/concentration-response relationship, therapeutic range, therapeutic index). Lethal dose, NOAEL in the preclinical studies.
  • Anticoagulants, including NOAC/DOAC (new/direct oral anticoagulants) and their antidotes.
  • Drugs used to treat obesity and metabolic syndrome.


  • Diuretics (classification, mechanisms of action; therapeutic use of individual groups of diuretics).
  • Antiepileptics.
  • Biotransformation of xenobiotics. Main types of biotransformation reactions. The importance of knowledge about metabolism in the toxicological diagnosis of poisoning. Toxic metabolites, examples.


  • Inotropes (drugs with positive inotropic effect); drugs used in acute heart failure.
  • Current possibilities of pharmacotherapy of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s chorea and multiple sclerosis.
  • Methods for detecting and predicting the toxicity of substances (e.g. determination of acute, subchronic and chronic toxicity, in vitro, in silico methods, QSAR – quantitative/structure-activity relationship)


  • Teratogenic effects of drugs. Specifics of pharmacotherapy during pregnancy and lactation - in general and in selected associated diseases (e.g. hypertension, diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma, infectious diseases, epilepsy, thromboembolism).
  • Antibiotics: macrolides, tetracyclines, lincosamides, amphenicols.
  • Neuroleptics (antipsychotics). Neuroleptic abuse, laboratory diagnostics, treatment.


  • Biotransformation of drugs and its importance for the excretion of drugs from the body (types of biotransformation processes, enzyme induction and inhibition).
  • β sympatholytics / β blockers (classification; cardiac and non-cardiac indications for administration, adverse reactions).
  • Non-opioid analgesics. Principles of pain treatment. Intoxication with non-opioid analgesics; risks of chronic use.


  • Clinical drug trials, bioequivalence studies, evidence-based pharmacotherapy.
  • Second-line (second-option) antihypertensives. Possibilities of pharmacotherapy of pulmonary hypertension.
  • Antivirals (overview; individual groups).


  • Alpha and beta sympathomimetics (classification according to selectivity, therapeutic uses, adverse effects).
  • Glucocorticoids: pharmacotherapy.
  • Ethanol: pharmacokinetics, metabolism, acute and chronic effects. Interactions of ethanol with drugs and addictive substances.


  • Adverse effects of drugs – classification (dose dependence - specific examples). The importance of pharmacovigilance.
  • Antidepressants and mood stabilizers (antimanic drugs).
  • Androgens, anabolic steroids, and antiandrogens – effects and therapeutic uses; abuse.


  • Beta-lactam antibiotics (excluding cephalosporins).
  • Antirheumatics and other drugs used in joint diseases, including gout.
  • Agonists and antagonists of serotonin. Serotonin syndrome, manifestations and causes.


  • Specifics of pharmacotherapy and drug dosing in pediatric and geriatric populations. Dosage adjustment depending on the function of the elimination organs.
  • Opioid analgesics. Problems of chronic use; opioid and opiate dependence and treatment options.
  • Antihypertensives – an overview, suitable and inappropriate combinations.


  • Time course of drug levels in the body and its significance for substance dosing optimization. Therapeutic monitoring of drug levels (examples).
  • Antiasthmatic drugs. Possibilities of COPD (chronical obstructive pulmonary disease) pharmacotherapy.
  • Therapeutic options to reduce the activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system; their importance in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.


  • Adverse effects of antibiotics (allergic reactions, toxic effects on the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, gastrointestinal, hematopoietic, cardiovascular, nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, etc.), interactions of antibiotics with other drugs and food – examples, effects on enterohepatic circulation.
  • Coronary vasodilators and other drugs used in coronary heart disease.
  • Antiemetics, antimigraine drugs.


  • First-line antihypertensives.
  • Anxiolytics.
  • Conventional anticancer therapy – principles of chemotherapy; alkylating and intercalating agents (mechanism of action, adverse effects, toxicity).


  • Antitussives and expectorants; decongestants. Symptomatic pharmacotherapy of influenza, colds, and rhinitis.
  • Hypolipidemic drugs.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of intoxications. Basic approaches to the treatment of acute poisoning, antidotes.


  • Narcotic and psychotropic substances. Abuse and societal risks. Therapy of acute overdoses.
  • Antituberculotic drugs.
  • Drugs used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence.


  • Parasympathomimetic drugs (classification, indications, adverse effects).
  • Antifungal drugs for general and local use.
  • Postmortem forensic toxicology. Postmortem redistribution, artifacts. Limits of interpretation of toxicological findings.


  • Calcium channel blockers.
  • Medicines used to treat gastroduodenal ulcers. Intestinal anti-inflammatory and other drugs used in idiopathic bowel diseases.
  • Poisoning caused by organophosphates; mechanism of action; diagnosis, therapy of poisoning.


  • Mechanism of action of drugs at the molecular level; target structures of specific drug action; drugs with receptor-independent effects (examples).
  • Antiplatelet agents, fibrinolytics, antifibrinolytics, hemostatics.
  • Hypothalamic and pituitary hormones and their inhibitors – overview, clinical use. Thyroid drugs.


  • Interindividual variability in patient sensitivity to drugs (causes). Pharmacogenetics (meaning, practical use, examples). Personalized medicine.
  • Anticholinergic substances, parasympatholytics (overview, indications, side effects).
  • Female sex hormones, hormonal contraception in women, hormone replacement therapy.


  • Alpha-adrenergic sympatholytics; direct vasodilators; drugs used in diseases of the venous system (venoactive drugs).
  • Drugs affecting bone mineral homeostasis, treatment of osteoporosis.
  • Dangerous poisonous mushrooms and plants; examples; manifestations of acute poisoning; treatment options.


  • Drug delivery routes to the body (relationship of the route of administration to the rate and duration of action of the drug, relationship to the pharmacokinetics of the substance); dosage forms.
  • Conventional antitumor (chemo) therapy – classification, resistance to cytotoxic substances; antimetabolites, antibiotics, and plant alkaloids in the treatment of cancer.
  • Pancreatic hormones; insulin (mechanism of action, types of insulins and their use in the treatment of diabetes mellitus).


  • Local anesthetics. Intoxication with local anesthetics.
  • Tocolytics, uterotonics and drugs inducing uterine activity. Drugs affecting lactation.
  • Blood, plasma, blood substitutes; antianemics.


  • Pharmacotherapy of chronic heart failure.
  • Antibacterial chemotherapeutics: nitroimidazoles; sulfonamides and related substances; fluoroquinolones; nitrofurans. Antimicrobial agents for the treatment of urinary tract infections.
  • Drug overdose. Toxic pathognomonic syndromes. Limitations of interpretation of levels in an uncontrolled state (intentional and unintentional overdose of drugs).


  • Biological and gene therapy, orphan drugs – meaning, examples.
  • Peripheral and central muscle relaxants.
  • Nootropics and psychostimulants; therapeutic use, abuse, addiction, treatment of addiction.


  • Targeted antitumor pharmacotherapy: hormonal and antihormonal substances in the treatment of cancer, biological drugs, kinase inhibitors, immunotherapy.
  • Laxatives and antidiarrheal drugs.
  • Methanol, isopropanol, and glycols – metabolism, acute and chronic toxicity, treatment options for acute intoxication.


  • Basic quantitative aspects of drug-receptor interaction (affinity, intrinsic activity); agonism, partial agonism, competitive and non-competitive antagonism (plot graphically on the dose/concentration effect curve).
  • Immunosuppressants, immunomodulators, immunostimulants (relationship between immunotherapy and anticancer pharmacotherapy).
  • Problems of nicotine addiction, possibilities of pharmacotherapeutic intervention. Cigarette smoking and drug interactions.


  • Drugs used in cardiology for acute conditions (cardiac arrest, acute heart failure, acute coronary syndrome, hypertensive crisis).
  • Antispasmodics of the gastrointestinal tract and drugs affecting intestinal motility. Spasmoanalgetics. Flatulence-reducing drugs. Hepatoprotective drugs.
  • Hallucinogenic substances; mechanism of action, abuse, social and health risks.


  • Drug interactions: types of interactions, interactions with food (examples). Polypharmacy. Effects of simultaneous action of multiple drugs/xenobiotics (additivity, synergism, potentiation, antagonism).
  • Classification of antibacterial agents; aminoglycosides and glycopeptides. Antibiotics for topical use.
  • Adrenal cortex hormones (pharmacodynamic effects, indications, adverse effects) and their inhibitors.


  • Antihistamines (classification, therapeutic indications, adverse effects).
  • Antiarrhythmics (classification, mechanism of action, preferential clinical use).
  • Mutagenicity and carcinogenicity - definition, and the role of mutations in the process of carcinogenesis, examples of carcinogenic substances.

    Recommended literature

    KATZUNG BG, KRUIDERING-HALL M, TREVOR AJ. EDS. Katzung & Trevor's Pharmacology: Examination & Board Review, 12e. USA: McGraw Hill Education, 2019, ISBN 978-1-259-64102-2.
    R.A. HARVEY, CLARK M.A, R. FINKEL, J.A. RAY, K.W.WHALEN (EDS.). Lippincott’s illustrated reviews: Pharmacology. Philadelphia, US: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2018, s. 608. ISBN 10-1451113145.
    H.P. RANG, M.M. DALE, J.M. RITTER (EDS.). Pharmacology. 8th edition, London, UK: Churchill Livingstone, 2019, s. 776. ISBN 10-0702053627.
    L.L. BRUNTON, K.L. PARKER (EDS.), D.K BLUMENTHAL., I.L BUXTON. Goodman & Gilman’s Manual of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. New York City, 2041, s. 642. ISBN 10-0071443436.
    HEINZ LÜLLMANN , KLAUS MOHR , LUTZ HEIN. Color Atlas of Pharmacology 5th Edition. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2018, ISBN 978-3132410657.
    MOOC TOXOER [online]. Available at:

    Publication activity requirements

    At least two original publications in journals with IF that pertain to the topic of the thesis and together have a total impact factor not smaller than 1.0. At least in one publication, the doctorand must be the first author.

    Defence requirements

    At least two original publications in a journal with an IF pertaining to the topic of the thesis, which together have the total impact factor not lower than 1.0. In at least one of them, the doctorand should be shown as the first author.

    The SAB requires a Summary of the Dissertation.

    Profile of a graduate of the study programme

    Graduates obtained complete and unique overview on general and specific mechanisms of drug activity, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and drug toxicity as well as on application of the drug characteristics during their use. They understand the use of mathematical and statistical models in drug development or description of drug effects.

    Information about graduate employment 

    The graduate will be prepared to apply in the search for optimal procedures in the development of new drugs in academic research and in the pharmaceutical industry. He/she is qualified to provide consultancy services in specialized departments as a pharmacologist/pharmacist/toxicologist according to basic and specialized training. His education enables him to be an expert for specialized teaching in medical, pharmaceutical or biomedically oriented faculties.

    Created: 19. 5. 2021 / Modified: 12. 5. 2022 / Responsible person: ThDr. Jitka Sýkorová, Ph.D.