Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Presents the pathophysiology of altered health states and their management including both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Specific diseases covered in this course include musculoskeletal conditions, rheumatology and pain management, including anaesthetics. The course considers aspects of pharmacy practice including a systematic review of prescription and non-prescription medications and Complementary and Alternate Medicines, which will address the quality use of medicines in the management of these conditions.

The course builds on student's existing knowledge and understanding of the physical pharmacy principles and provides students with an understanding of how these principles are applied to the preparation of dosage formulations used in pain management. The stability of these drug products and factors influencing the storage and shelf life of products is included in this course. The clinical application of patient controlled analgesia (PCA), syringe drivers and formulations for intrathecal and epidural drug administration will be discussed and expanded upon in this course.

Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic considerations in conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system and pain management are covered including the pharmacokinetic principles underlying the use of anaesthetics.

Application of the knowledge developed in this course will be complemented by clinical skills training.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Describe the pathophysiology and management of musculoskeletal conditions and pain.

2. Describe the use of anaesthetic agents in surgery and critical care.

3. Gain an understanding of the signs, symptoms and complications of infections such as osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, be aware of the pathogens involved, understand relevant diagnostic tests and be aware of first and second line infective therapy as well as non-pharmacological approaches to the management of these infections.

4. Describe the quality use of medicines' issues surrounding these therapeutic agents in the treatment of these conditions and continue to develop clinical skills and communication skills in the therapeutic management of these conditions.

5. Develop skills in the appropriate use of non-prescription products and advice on non-pharmacological treatment options in the management of these conditions.

6. Describe the formulation and manufacture of dosage formulations used in pain management and sterile drug products including formulations for epidural and intrathecal drug administration, syringe drivers and PCAs.

7. Describe the role of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetic factors that need to be considered in pain management including the pharmacokinetics of anaesthetics.

8. Understand the role of pharmacy in Sports Medicine and develop an understanding of the risks to the athlete and ethical implications surrounding the use of drugs in sport to enhance athletic performance.


1. This course will cover the pathophysiology, therapeutic treatment and pharmacy practice issues in the management of:

- The musculoskeletal conditions (including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, Paget's Disease, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)).

2.  The concept of minor illness and major disease will be discussed, including the use of prescription and non-prescription products, including Complementary and Alternate Medicines. Non-pharmacological approaches to the management of these conditions will also be discussed.

3. The pathophysiology and principles for the treatment of infectious diseases including osteomyelitis and septic arthritis.

4. The course covers advanced concepts in formulation development and design of preparations used in rheumatology and pain management:

- Sterile products, aseptic technique, microbial contamination, spoilage and preservation, principles of sterilisation and storage considerations.

- Advanced dispensing and compounding skills in understanding the preparation of drug formulations used in epidural and intrathecal administration.

- PCA's.

- Syringe drivers.

5. The different types of anaesthetics and their pharmacology used in anaesthesiology.

6. The course covers all pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic considerations for therapeutic agents used in pain management and the management of musculoskeletal conditions including pharmacokinetics principles surrounding the use of anaesthetics.

7. Sports Medicine and the use of drugs in sport to enhance athletic performance:

- The role of pharmacy in Sports Medicine and the supply of non-prescription and prescription medications to athletes.

- Prohibited banned substances and prohibited methods of doping.

- Ethical concerns around artificially enhancing athletic performance.

- The role of the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) and other organisations.


To enrol in this course students must have successfully completed either MATH1110 or STAT1070 all 1000 and 2000 level courses in the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) (12328) program and be active in this program.

Assumed knowledge

PHAR3104 Clinical Pharmacotherapy 2

Assessment items

Formal Examination: Written exam *

Quiz: Weekly Quiz

In Term Test: Written Exam - Mid semester *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • In Term Test: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must satisfactorily pass a combination of the mid-semester and the final examination in order to pass the course overall.
  • Formal Examination: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must satisfactorily pass a combination of the mid-semester and the final examination in order to pass the course overall.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 32 hour(s) per Term Full Term

3 hours per Week for 10 Weeks and an in term exam


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 10 Weeks

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.