Obih P. Alternative to animals in the teaching of pharmacology laboratory [abstract]. ALTEX. 2009;26(Special Issue):225. Abstract 554


Over the years, the pharmacology laboratory course has served as a supportive course for pharmacology lecture courses in institutions. It provides the students with an opportunity to verify the information presented in the lecture courses. A thorough understanding of scientific concepts in pharmacology should include actual exposure to the experimental determination of some of the frequently used parameters. These laboratories provide students with opportunity to work with live experimental animals and tissue preparations. Currently, this is no longer happening in most institutions where pharmacology is taught. For some years now, the pharmacology laboratory is being deleted from the curriculum in most colleges without any replacement. We offer here a review of some alternatives to the use of animals that will enhance student comprehension of pharmacological concepts during pharmacology laboratory. These alternatives include but not limited to simulations, computer modeling and other emerging technologies. Isolated tissue preparations, purified enzymes and in some cases a good cat cardiovascular experiment could be recorded and presented over time to students. This will significantly reduce the number of animals needed to teach this laboratory. The unit of information presented in the laboratory is meant to enhance the students' understanding of the materials presented in the lecture courses and therefore should be encouraged and continued.

Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation