Course code VET308

VET308 Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Tor Einar Horsberg
ECTS credits: 15
Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
Fall semester
Course frequency: Yearly
First time: Study year 2014-2015
Last time: 2023V
Preferential right:
Veterinary students
Course contents:


  • Pharmacology (the subject of medicinal compounds, their formulations, effects on and use in different animal species).
  • Toxicology (the subject of toxic compounds, their effects in various animal species and the treatment of poisonings). There is also an introduction to the prevalence and effects of environmental toxins.
  • Drug legislation and exercises in prescription writing
  • Purpose and learning outcomes

    Pharmacology and toxicology are subjects dealing with the fate and effects of drugs and toxins in the animal organism, respectively. Knowledge in both pharmacology and toxicology is essential to understand drug therapy in clinical practice and to be able to make rational therapy choices in the treatment of diseases. Furthermore, knowledge in these disciplines is essential to understand parts of food safety, including the meat control dealing with drugs and toxins, and to understand the background for withdrawal periods before edible tissues can be used for human consumption.

    Pharmacology and toxicology in past and future subjects:

    The teaching is based on previous teaching in physiology and biochemistry. It is often necessary to repeat or emphasize parts of previous teaching. This applies to parts that are central to understanding the mechanisms of action. We meet the students again in the clinic and the specialization semester where important topics are repeated and elaborated.

Learning outcome:

After completing the course, the students should master the following "Day one skills" of EAEVE: 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 1.9, 1.11, 1.12, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.4, 3.10, 3.13, 3.14 , 3.15

After completing the course, the students should:

  • Have acquired the knowledge and attitudes that enable him / her to use medicines for animals in accordance with the laws and regulations applicable to such activities
  • Be able to explain key concepts in pharmacology and toxicology
  • Be able to explain key processes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and their importance for the treatment outcome
  • Be able to explain key processes in toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics, and how these can influence the outcome of an intoxication
  • Be able to explain the mechanism of action of the main groups of medicinal compounds
  • Be able to explain the side effects of - and interactions between - different medicinal compounds
  • Be able to explain key concepts applying to acquiring, handling and storage of medicinal products
  • Know the legislation regarding the use of medicinal products in animals
  • Be able to explain the mechanism of action of important toxins
  • Be able to define key concepts in environmental toxicology
  • Be able to describe the different groups of pollutants, their characteristics and their effects
  • Be able to utilize available information channels regarding medicinal products
  • Be able to prescribe medicinal products for animals
  • Be able to assess ethical aspects and propose rational drug therapy for animals including fish
  • Have learned to collaborate through workshops, and be able to present the material both in writing and orally
Learning activities:
Emphasis is put on uptake, distribution, metabolism and excretion (kinetics), mechanisms of action (dynamics) and effects in various animal species. In addition, the teaching emphasizes clinical veterinary pharmacology and toxicology for companion animals, horses and production animals, as well as aquatic species. Teaching is given in the form of lectures (80 hours) and organized workshops (30 hours).
Recommended literature and detailed description of the course are found on Canvas. 
Recommended prerequisites:
Preceeding Blocks.
Mandatory activity:

Multiple choice test: In order to prepare for the exam in pharmacology and toxicology, a mid-way evaluation test must be passed. In special cases, the final exam may be taken before the test is passed, but no credits will be awarded until all study requirements are met.


Workshops are compulsory. Students can be absent once, but for absence beyond this, the student must submit additional assignment paper (s) that must be approved before the whole course is approved.


Final written exam of 4 hours last week before Christmas.

Permissible aids: For tasks requiring advanced calculations, a calculator can be used.

Assessment: Scaled grades.

Nominal workload:
40 hours a week
Entrance requirements:
Admitted to the Veterinary programme and passed at least 100.5 ECTS during the 1st and 2nd year.
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
Teaching every day until the exam preparation period (2 - 3 weeks)

Requirements for personal equipment:



Very little risk, as the teaching does not involve handling of chemicals or animals.

Kristian Ingebrigtsen
Examination details: Skriftlig eksamen, flervalgstest og undervisning : Letter grades