Interdisciplinary Learning Courses

Toxicology and the effects of drugs

Toxicology and the effects of drugs  Toxicology and the effects of drugs
> Español

Interdisciplinary Learning CoursesToxicology and the effects of drugs

Do you really know how and in what way we live with certain toxic substances?

In this course we are going to take a walk through the history of toxins, we will discover the most important person in toxicology, we will reveal intoxications as important as the death of Socrates, and illustrious poisoners like the Borgias.
We will learn to differentiate how and in what way toxins, as well as substance abuse, have affected and/or affect our lives.

We live surrounded by toxins, but; Do we know how to distinguish between toxic and non-toxic substances? Why is one substance toxic for me and not for others? Do we now have more toxic substances at our disposal? Are there antidotes for all toxic substances? Are they always as harmful as they are made to seem? Is there any beneficial use of toxins?

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the fundamentals of Toxicology.
  • Know the bases of the general etiology of the most common poisonings.
  • Learn about the nature and effect of toxins, as well as resources in case of poisoning.
  • Identify the toxic effects derived from exposure to different toxic substances and the consumption of substance abuse.
  • Evaluate the toxicological effects of substances and become aware of their risks.
  • Defend personal points of view relying on scientific knowledge.

Contents of the Subject

Toxicology and the effects of drugs

  • 1. Introduction to toxicology.
  • 2. Paths of absorption-elimination of toxins.
  • 3. General classification of poisonings and their pathologies.
  • 4. Treatment of poisonings. Neutralization. Antidotes.
  • 5. Curiosities of toxins.
  • 6. Metal poisoning.
  • 7. Medicinal plants-drugs-poisons?
  • 8. Substance abuse, concepts and definitions.
  • 9. Heroin and opioid derivatives.
  • 10. Hallucinogenic substances.
  • 11. Cannabis compounds.
  • 12. Cocaine. Psychostimulant.
  • 13. Amphetamine compounds. Psychostimulant.
  • 14. GHB. Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid and gamma-butyrolactone.
  • 15. Drug screening tests.


Estefanía Hernández Benito Professor of Toxicology and the effects of drugs

Estefanía Hernández Benito

Graduated in Pharmacology from the Complutense University of Madrid. She has a PhD in Pharmacology from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Master's Degree in Pharmaceutical Industry and Health Areas from the Instituto de Empresa (IE Business School). I carry out my professional activity in the pharmaceutical industry, and for eight years have been a professor and researcher in the Department of Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy and Botany of the School of Pharmacology of the Complutense University of Madrid.