Clinical Pharmacokinetics

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 395–403 | Cite as

Pharmacokinetic Software for the Health Sciences

Choosing the Right Package for Teaching Purposes
Leading Article


Computer assisted learning has an important role in the teaching of pharmacokinetics to health sciences students because it transfers the emphasis from the purely mathematical domain to an ‘experiential’ domain in which graphical and symbolic representations of actions and their consequences form the major focus for learning. Basic pharmacokinetic concepts can be taught by experimenting with the interplay between dose and dosage interval with drug absorption (e.g. absorption rate, bioavailability), drug distribution (e.g. volume of distribution, protein binding) and drug elimination (e.g. clearance) on drug concentrations using library (‘canned’) pharmacokinetic models.

Such ‘what if’ approaches are found in calculator-simulators such as PharmaCalc, Practical Pharmacokinetics and PK Solutions. Others such as SAAM II, ModelMaker, and Stella represent the ‘systems dynamics’ genre, which requires the user to conceptualise a problem and formulate the model on-screen using symbols, icons, and directional arrows.

The choice of software should be determined by the aims of the subject/course, the experience and background of the students in pharmacokinetics, and institutional factors including price and networking capabilities of the package(s). Enhanced learning may result if the computer teaching of pharmacokinetics is supported by tutorials, especially where the techniques are applied to solving problems in which the link with healthcare practices is clearly established.


Intermittent Infusion Absorption Rate Constant Serum Drug Concentration Computer Assisted Learning Library Drug 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PharmacyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.The Australian Centre for Paediatric PharmacokineticsThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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