Study unit
4215505 Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, 4 Cp  
Code 4215505  Validity 01.01.2010 -
Name Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics  Abbreviation DMPK 
Credits 4 Cp Date of expiry  
TypeAdvanced Studies Subject0708 Biopharmacy 
ClassStudy Unit  Hours  
Study right   Grading0-5 
Recommended scheduling 
Organisation Pharmacy (K) 

Paavo Honkakoski 

Learning outcomes 

To learn the main mechanisms, reactions, proteins and sites for drug metabolism and drug transport, their inhibition, induction and interindividual variation. To understand the fate of foreign chemicals in the body.


Scientific competence: 1) The role of metabolism and transport in pharmacokinetics, 2) the most important reaction types, their enzymes and sites,  3) biochemical activation, 4) enzyme kinetics, 5) mechanisms of inhibition and induction, 6) most important drug transporters, 7) causes for interindividual and species variation, 8) main types of metabolism and transporter studies in drug development.

Professional competence: 1) Characterization of metabolizing enzymes based on the structure of the metabolites, 2) calculation of Michaelis-Menten parameters using the results from in vitro metabolic study (incubation), calculation of inhibition constants, and 4) interpretation of metabolic studies.

Modes of study 

Written theory and calculation exams, calculation exercises and lab exercises. Exam questions can be answered either in Finnish or in English. Moodle tests can provide bonus points (max. 10%) to the written exam.

Teaching methods 

Lectures 26 h, tutorials 24 h, independent study 50 h. Final exam 4 + 4 h (calculations + theory).

Tutorials consists of calculation exercises and laboratory work.

Lectures in English, tutorials in English and in Finnish.

Study materials 

One of the following textbooks: 1) Drug metabolism in drug design and development: basic concepts and practice. Edited by D Zhang, M Zhu, WG Humphreys, John Wiley & Sons Inc., New Jersey, 2008 (also used in BTJK course). 2) Chapter 6 Biotransformation of xenobiotics in book Casarett and Doull's Toxicology (ed. CD Klaassen), 6.ed., 2001 or later edition. Lecture notes. Calculation workbook. Additional reading material in Moodle.

Evaluation criteria 

Grade from examinations 100%. Accepted homework report.


Course leader, professor Paavo Honkakoski (lectures) + professor Risto Juvonen (exercises) + staff from Biopharmacy and Pharmacology & Toxicology.


Basic knowledge in pharmacokinetics and biopharmacy are essential. Courses BIFA and FK for Pharmacy students are required. Exchange students should inquire before registration and provide a study transcript and description of relevant prior courses.



Offering data 

PR4-5, TOK2-3, graduate students, eligible Exchange students.

Key words 

Drug metabolism, metabolic enzymes, transporters, inhibition, induction, interindividual differences, reaction mechanisms



Further information 

Sustainable development B: health, environmental protection, conservation of natural resources, environmental health

Organising Department: School of Pharmacy.

Responsible teacher: Paavo Honkakoski (paavo.honkakoski(at)

Exercises:  Risto Juvonen (

Office: Marja Lappalainen (marja.lappalainen(at)


Letter (J, K) in front of the name of the course/exam indicates the campus on which teaching or exam takes place: J = Joensuu, K = Kuopio.

Present and future teaching
Functions Name Type Cp Teacher Timetable
Registration ended
K: Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics  Lecture and exercise course  Paavo Honkakoski,
Risto Juvonen 
23.09.20 -23.11.20

Future exams
Functions Name Type Cp Teacher Timetable
Register K: Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Final exam part 1  Examination  Paavo Honkakoski,
Risto Juvonen 
02.11.20mon 08.00-12.00
mon 08.00-12.00
Register K: Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Final exam part 2  Examination  Paavo Honkakoski,
Risto Juvonen 
06.11.20fri 08.00-12.00
Register K: Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Part 1 + 2, 1st re-exam  Examination  Paavo Honkakoski,
Risto Juvonen 
23.11.20mon 08.00-12.00
Registration not started K: Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Part 1 + Part 2, 2nd re-exam  General examination  Paavo Honkakoski,
Risto Juvonen 
22.01.21fri 08.00-12.00