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NCLEX Review & Nursing School

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Ultimate NCLEX Review on Medications Pharmacology

NCLEX Review Neurological Pharmacology

Neurology Pharmacology

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) NCLEX Review

NCLEX Review on Seizure

Meningitis NCLEX Review

Meningitis  (By: AllNursingNotes)

Lets take a quick look at Meningitis and what we need to know for the NCLEX.

Meningitis is simply:

– an inflammation of the meninges within the brain and spinal cord.

  • * Usually caused by Niesseria meningitidis, Group B Strep and Streptococcus pneumoniae

Again, the two main culprit for Meningitis are

  1. Niesseria meningitidis
  2. Streptococcus pneumoniae

Assessment findings on the patient:

  • * Positive Brudzinski’s Sign

– There is some neck stiffness that causes a patient’s hips and knees to flex when the neck is flexed

  • * Positive Kernig’s Sign

– With the patient lying flat, if the patient flexes a hip 90 degrees, and then attempts to extend the lower leg at the knee. Pain on extension is a positive sign.

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Malaise

Diagnostic Evaluation:

  • Lumbar Puncture
  • Chest X rays

NCLEX Review on Bells Palsy

We are going  to look at NCLEX Review on Neurological Medications (Pharmacology)

To review neurological pharmacology for the NCLEX, it is very important to simplify and of course UNDERSTAND  Neuro medications.

NCLEX Review Neurological Pharmacology: Lets first look at the drugs that affects the PNS.  For the NCLEX, it is very important to understand that the Parasympathetic Nervous System is focused primarily on:

  • – Pupil Constriction (Miosis)
  • – Lacrimation
  • – Salivation
  • – Bronchoconstriction

PNS Medications can also decrease the Heart rate and stimulate gastric secretions.

We can divide the PNS Medications into 4 different groups:

  1. Cholinergic Agonists
  2. Cholinesterase Inhibitor
  3. Anticholinergics
  4. Dopaminergics

NCLEX Review on Cholinergic Medications

Cholinergic Drugs

– Is also called Cholinergic Agonist
– stimulates cholinergic receptors
– mimics acetylchoine

– Used for Urinary Retention (Bethanicol Chloride *Urecholine)

Remeber for the NCLEX, that when we talk about Cholinergic Medications we focus towards the PNS.

Cholinergic drugs produce the same effects as acetylcholine.

Remember for the NCLEX:
– Direct acting cholinergicd are contraindicated with patients with asthma, because it can cause BRONCHOSPASM.

Cholinergic muscle stimulants are used to diagnose and treat myasthenia gravis

NCLEX Drugs:

  • ambenonium chloride (Mytelase)
  • edrophonium chloride (Tensilon)
  • neostigmine (Prostigmine)
  • piridogstimina (Mestinœn).

Cholinergic drugs are also used in control of glaucoma.

NCLEX Drugs:

  • demecarium (Humorsol)
  • echthiophate (Phospholine iodide).


  • Bethanecol Chloride
  • Pilocarpine (Pilocar) *used for glaucoma

Side Effects:

  • Headaches
  • Hypotension
  • Miosis
  • Diarrhea/Cramping
  • Increased Salivation (Dry Mouth)
  • Nausea and Vomiting

Anticholinergic Medications

– Is called Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor

  • Inhibits ACh/ Acetylcholine.

– Is also called (Cholinergic Blockers)-
– Helps control the tremors-
– Used to help improve memory in pts. w/ Alzheimer’s Disease (Donezepil Hydrochloride).
– Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (Benadryl)
– Benztropine Mesylate (Cogentin)
– Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (Benadryl)

  • Side Effects
    – Salivation
  • – Sweating
  • – Flushing
  • – Headache
  • – Hypotension
  • – Bradycardia


Anti-Myasthenic Pharmacology NCLEX Review

– A good use for anti-cholinergic drugs would be for Myasthenia Gravis.

Anti-Myasthenic Medications
– relieves muscle weakness with myasthenia gravis.
– used to diagnose Myasthenia Gravis
– used to distinguish cholinergic crisis from myasthenia gravis.

– Ambenonium Chloride (Mytelase)
– Endrophonium Chloride (Tensilon)
– Neostigmine Bromide (Prostigmin)
– Pyridostigmine Bromide (Mestinon)


NCLEX Review: Anticonvulsant Medications act upon the CNS or the Central Nervous System.  Anticonvulsant medications helps decrease the firing and inhibits the spread of nerve impulses which results in stabilization of abnormal cells.

The 4 Main Types of Anticonvulsant Medications to know for the NCLEX includes:

  1. Hydantoins
  2. Barbituates
  3. Benzodiazepines
  4. Succinimides

Carbamazepine (Tegretol):
– Can be used for Trigeminal Neuralgia
Used when no response to Lithium

Side Effects:
S/E: Sedation,
aplastic anemia so
* Make sure to MONITOR the CBC in patient.

NX: monitor CBC and alert for fever/sore throat; birth defects

Valproic Acid: Valproate (Depakene, Depakote):
A psychiatric medication that is used w/manic or schizoaffective;

Other Uses for this psychiatric medication:

  • Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures
  • Myoclonic Seizures
  • Partial Seizures

Side Effects:
Severe/Fatal Hepatotoxicity, ↓ platelets, neural tube defects
GI Distress
Weight Gain

Clonazepam (Klonopin):
Benzodiazepine medication for acute mania, acute help while waiting
for Lithium effects to occur ƒ

S/E: Sedation, Anoxia, Disinhibition

– used to treat seizures.
PHENYTOIN (Dilantin)A medication usually seen on the NCLEX exam.
* Decreases the effects of birth control pills.
Dilantin/Phenytoin  10-20 mcg/ml
– Diluted with Normal Saline.

Side Effects:

  • Gingival Hyperplasia (gums that bleed easily)
  • Slurred Speech
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation

– used for tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures.

– Phenobarbital (Luminal)
– Primidone (Mysoline)

*Interacts with ALCOHOL.

Side Effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Hypotension
  • Respiratory Depression

Patient with Bell’s Palsy can be given TYLENOL (Acetominophen)
If overdose, antidote for TYLENOL is Acetylcysteine (Mucomyst)


(Neuro Medications)Based on the 4 Neuromuscular diseases

NCLEX Review on Anti-Parkinsonian Medications
– releases dopamine
– restores balance of neurotransmitters acetylcholine and dopamine in CNS.
* Virtually all of the available drug therapies act to increase the level of dopamine in the brain.

1. Anticholinergic Medications
2. Dopaminergic Medications

Anticholinergic Medications (Cholinergic Blockers)
– Helps control the tremors
– Benztropine Mesylate (Cogentin)
– Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (Benadryl)

Dopaminergic Medications
– Levodopa (Dopar)
– Carbidopa-Levodopa (Sinemet)

* Levodopa is contraindicates with patients with angle-closure glaucoma.

Orthostatic Hypotension

Dopamine agonists.
Unlike levodopa, dopamine agonists don’t change into dopamine.
Instead, they mimic dopamine effects in your brain.


  • pramipexole (Mirapex)
    ropinirole (Requip)
    apomorphine (Apokyn)

Side effects:
similar to carbidopa-levodopa
includes hallucinations
gambling and eating.

NCLEX Review: Neuromuscular Drugs used for Increased in ICP.

Mannitol (Osmitrol)

A loop Diuretic

  • is used to decrease cerebral edema during increased ICP.
  • It is an osmotic diuretic,
  • Electrolytes are also drawn into blood and excreted, so monitor for electrolyte imbalance
  • Hyponatremia is a life threatening side effect, causes seizures and death.
  • Maintain strict I&O.
  • Dobutamine (Dubutrex)
  • Norepinephrine (Levophed)
    – cardiac stimulants used to maintain cerebral perfusion during increased ICP.

Dexamethasone (Decadron)

  • Corticosteroid used to decrease inflammation surrounding a brain tumor
  • Used in medical management of meningitis.
  • Used post craniotomy for cerebral edema
  • Administer IV q 6 hours for 24-72 hours, change to oral a.s.a.p., taper dosage over 5-7 days
  • As with any steroid, fluid retention, increased sugar, lowed immune system
  • Common side effect nasal irritation, cardiovascular edema, hyperglycemia, cataract, oral candidiasis, impaired would healing
  • If using with Mannitol (makes electrolytes be excreted) (by the way the two together are contraindicated according to the book) add potassium-rich foods or supplement to diet.
  • Use good oral hygiene to prevent oral candidiasis

Phenytion (Dilantin)

  • Anticonvulsant – to reduce risk of seizures
  • Especially after supratentorial neurosurgical procedure (prone to seizures)
  • Used to prevent grand mal and complex partial seizures
  • During Ictal phase of seizure give ativan (lorazepam), then start dilantin
  • Life threatening side effects are cardiovascular collapse, Agranulocytosis, aplastic anemias, dermatitis (bullous, exfoliative, or purpuric), Steven-Johnson syndrome.
  • Common side effects gingival hyperplasia (swollen gums), give good mouth care.  Self care pt should brush, floss and massage gums after each meal.

therapeutic level is 10-20 mcg/ml

Do not stop drug abruptly, may precipitate status epilepticus.

Diazepam (Valium)

  • To reduce anxiety

Antiseizure Medications: NCLEX Exam

  • Tegretol
  • Klonopin
  • Keppra
  • Luminal
  • Dilantin-Phenytoin
  • Topamax
  • Depakote

– Check Direct Bilirubin to determine drug toxicity.

– Check for Urinary Retention

ASPIRIN Intoxication
– Tinnitus= ear infection

– increase tolerance to pain, decrease perception of pain

highest potency opioids
– morphine, merperidine, methadone

fast acting & high potency opioid
– heroin

lower potency opioid
hydrocodone, codeine

all opioids cause miosis EXCEPT for merperidine.
Because merperidine has muscarinic blocking activity. it actually causes miadriasis
* opioid overdose= Naloxone

Psychiatric Pharmacology

NCLEX Review Psychiatric Pharmacology (Medications)

It will be a guarantee that you will at some point encounter NCLEX questions that challenges your knowledge of Psychiatric Medications/Pharmacology.  For the NCLEX, it is important to simplify the Psychiatric Medications by breaking them down into 4 groups that includes:


1. Antianxiety/ Anxiolytics

Classes of primary anxiety disorders 
1.Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
2.panic disorder
6. Acute stress disorder

(mechanism of action)
increase response to GABA

2. Antipsychotics

  • Phenothiazines
  • Non Phenothiazines

3. Antidepressants

  • TCA
  • MAOI
  • SSRI

4. AntiManic/ Mood Stabilizers

  • Lithium

NCLEX Review Psychiatric PharmacologyAntianxiety Drugs

♦ Antianxiety Drugs

(- can also be used with seizures and epilepsy)

Alprazolan (Zanax): Short term only as ↑ dose needed over time

These drugs are used to manage anxiety disorders & for short term treatment of anxiety symptoms.

USE: Panic attacks, anxiety disorders, muscle relaxation, seizures, pre-anesthetic sedation, alcohol withdrawal.

alproxolam (Xanax)
lorazepam (Ativan)
diasepam (Valium)
busprione (BuSpar)
hydroxyzine (Vistral)



  • Early: drowsiness
  • orthostatic hypotension
  • dry mouth
  • Parkinsonian Symptoms

Later: Lethargy, apathy, fatigue, Anger Psychosis (irrational).

Indications for use: Recurrent depression, Psychomotor retardation,
Depression w/no clear cause, Family Hx, Chronic pain, Eneuresis

 ♣ Antipsychotics

NCLEX Drugs : Antipsychotics

  • Chloropromazine HCL (Thorazine)
  • Haloperidol (Haldol)
  • Resperidone (Risperdal)

Side Effects of these drugs would include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Orthostatic Hypotension
  • Diziness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Parkinsonian Symptoms
  • Tardive Dyskenesia
  • Dystonia

♣ Antidepressants 

– All but MAOI block reuptake of serotonin and sometimes norepi
making more available in synapse (↑ mood, ↑ alert, ↑ concentration);
Can be given once a day, but often has 3-4 wk time to therapeutic

Indications for use: Recurrent depression, Psychomotor retardation,
Depression w/no clear cause, Family Hx, Chronic pain, Eneuresis

SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor)

S/E: Sexual depression/dysfunction, N/V/D, insomnia, anxiety, dry
mouth, tremor, fatigue, H/A, toxic s/e rare

Remember with SSRI’s: 

Never take w/MAOIs, Liver/renal/CBC test, d/c meds slow

NCLEX Medications:

Fluoxetine (Prozac): ↓ sedation, ↓ S/E
Sertraline (Zoloft): ↓ toxicity in OD, ↓ S/E, ↓ halflife than Prozac
Paroxetine (Paxil): Safest for elderly, Lowest halflife
Fluvoxamine (Luvox) ƒ Citalopram (Celexa)
Escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro)

SNRIs (Serotonin/Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor)

Pros: ↓ sex probs, ↓ insomnia, response quicker, anxiolytic like
Cons: ↑ BP, Sedating, Anticholinergic s/e (constipation, sweat)
Effexor (Venlafaxine): S/E: dizziness, migraine, wt gain
Trazodone (Desyrel)
Remeron: S/E: somnolence, dizzi, wt gain; Adverse: agranulocytosis,
neutropenis; NX: some respond well only to this

Norepi/dopamine agonist

Facts: Stimulant inhibits reuptake and ↑ release of Norepi/dopa
Cons: ↑ seizure risk ƒ Bupropion HCl (Wellbutrin): No effect on serotonin/ MAO


NCLEX Medications:

Imapramine (Tofranil), Desipramine (Norpramine, Pertofrane),
Amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl),
Protriptyline (Vivactil), Doxepin (Sinequan)

Side Effects:

Anticholinergic effects (dry mouth, constipation, urinary
hesitant/retention, sweating, drowsiness, blurred vision); EPS
Cardiovascular (postural ↓ BP, ↑ HR, heart conduction probs); Glaucoma
worsened, Toxic confusion/psychosis; Wt gain, SZ,
Overdose: 1000-4000 mg can be Fatal


Facts: Monoamine (epi, norepi, sero, dopa) oxidase responsible for
destroying excess/used MAs; Inhibiting enzyme ↑ level of all

NCLEX Medications:

  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
    Isocarboxazide (Marplan)
    Tranylcypromine (Parnate)

Remember for the NCLEX:

Some foods contain (tyramine) which if not metabolized in
liver causes ↑↑ HT and CVA; Foods include aged cheese, chicken liver,
beer, red wine, chocolate, cold/sinus meds, diet pills; Avoid certain
restaurants (Chinese); 1o s/s is severe h/a

Side Effects:  ↓BP most critical; Orthostatic ↓BP, dizziness, ↑ appetite
Key: ↑ BP is toxic effect (wrong food); ↓ BP is med caused S/E

Antimanic Drugs 

Used in psychiatric disorders non-responsive to other meds;
Blood level of 0.1-1.5 key as toxic death possible. Higher only
w/psychosis; Must maintain adequate salt in diet (consistent level,
not too ↑ or ↓)
Indications: Acute Mania, Bipolar prophylaxis

Possible use:

Bulimia, Alcohol abuse, Schizoaffective (mania or
depression with schizo like delusions/hallucinations/etc)

Side Effects:

Major risk of hypothyroidism and urine concentration probs;
Parkinson like, cog wheeling, sluggish, forgetful; Chronic N/V/D so
take w/food; Wt gain, Polydypsia, Polyuria, Allergic rash w/capsules

Remember: Never take with diuretics or Anticholinergic meds

Endocrine Pharmacology

NCLEX Review Endocrine Pharmacology (Medications)

NCLEX Review on the Endocrine System: HYPERTHYROIDISM

NCLEX Review on the Endocrine System: HYPERPARATHYROIDISM

♠ Growth Hormones

Somatropin (Genotropin)

Causes skin lesions


– Enhances the reabsorption of water in the kidneys.
– causes vasoconstriction
– promotes an anti diuretic effect.

– Desmopressin
– Vasopressin (pitressin)


– water intoxication
– hyponatremia
– abdominal cramps
– heaadachesl
– nausea
– hypertension


Thyroid Hormones

  • – Levothyroxine T4
  • – Levothroid
  • – Synthroid

Anti-thyroid Drugs

  • – Iodine
  • – Iodine Iodide
  • – Prophythioracil (PTU)

PARATHYROID GLAND  (Anti-hypercalcemic Drugs)

– Calcitrol (Rocatrol)
– Calcium Carbonate
– Calcium Citrate


– reduces the serum glucose level by increasing glucose transport into cells.

Intermediate acting


– Increases the serum calcium levels, causing a decrease in serum
phosphate levels.

Cardiac Pharmacology

Cardiac System NCLEX Review

Urinary System NCLEX Review (By: AllNursingNotes)

Below shows the (Cardiac Drug Categories)

that correlates to each of the individual initials.

NCLEX Review on Cardiac Pharmacology

As you have learned in Nursing School, beta adrenergic blockers are drugs that help lower blood pressure, puls rate and cardiac output. Beta Blockers are an important set of drugs to know for the NCLEX. Sometimes, beta blockers are also used to treat migraine headaches an other vascular headaches. Beta blockers are also used to treat glaucoma and used to prevent myocardial infarctions. Try to remember that what beta blockers do is they act by blocking the symathetic vasomotor response. For the NCLEX, try to remember that the syllable for beta blockers is usally (olol).

Potential side effects of beta blocker that is necessary to know for the NCLEX would include: Orthostatic hypotension, bradycardia, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and some of the symptoms may MASK HYPOGLYCEMIC SYMPTOMS.

NURSING INTERVENTIONS FOR CLIENTS TAKING BETA BLOCKERS: Make sure that you monitor the client’s blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, before administering the beta blocker. Monitor the client for signs of edema. The nurse should also assess the lungs sounds for signs of rales and ronchi. When patient are taking beta blockers, it is also very important to monitor the changes in lab values such as (protien, BUN and creatinine) which can indicate nephrotic syndrome.

Nursing teaching for the NCLEX would include: Teaching the Client to rise slowly (ORTHOSTATIC HYPOTENSION) * (A SAFETY ISSUE), report any signs of bradycardia, dizziness, confusion depression or fever. It is also very important to taper off the medication properly.

Cardiac Glycosides
– increases the force of contraction.
– a positive inotropic effects

ACE Inhibitor
– prevents vasoconstriction by blocking conversion of Angiotensin 1 to Angiotensin 2.
– Used to treat Hypertension
– Avoid using potassium suplemments


  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Persistent Coughing
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Hypotension
  • Tachycardia
  • Headache

NCLEX Review on Hypertension

NCLEX Review Pharmacology: Corticosteroids and Antihistamines


  • Triamcinoslone
  • Corticosteroid
  • allergy & ASTHMA
  • Nasocort spray, Amcort

Side Effect: 

Dysphonia, hoarseness
oropharyngeal fungal infec
sore throart
nasal congestion,cold sym

allergy & ASTHMA
s,e: Dysphonia, hoarseness
oropharyngeal fungal infec
sore throart
nasal congestion,cold sym

allergy & ASTHMA
Side Effects:

Dysphonia, hoarseness
oropharyngeal fungal infec
sore throart
nasal congestion

allergy & ASTHMA
Beclovent, Beconase

Side Effects:

  • Dysphonia, hoarseness
  • oropharyngeal fungal infec
  • headache
  • sore throart
  • Dyspepsia

allergy & ASTHMA
Nasocort spray, Amcort

Side Effects:

  • Dysphonia, hoarseness
    oropharyngeal fungal infec
    sore throart
    nasal congestion,cold sym


Loratadine (Claritin)
Side Effects:

  • drowsiness

management of seasonal rhinitis
avoid alcohol, other CNS depressants
take on empty stomach, 1 hr b4 or 2 hrs after meals
Fexofenadine (Allegra)
Side Effects:

  • Drowsiness

nurse. consd.:
management of rhinitis, allergy symptoms, chronic idiopathic urticaria
avoid alcohol, other CNS depressants
Cetirizine HCI (Zyrtec)

Side Effects:

  • drowsiness, fatique, dry mouth

Relief of seasonal allergic rhinitis
relief of perennial allergic rhinitis caused by molds, animal dander, and other allergens
avoid alcohol

Hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril)
Side Effects:

  • drowsiness, dry mouth

Remember for the NCLEX:
tmt of pruritus, pre-op anxiety, post-op nausea and vomiting, to potentiate opioid analgesics, sedation
-avoid use of alchohol, other CNS depressants
-teach pt. dizziness/drowsiness may occur, use caution in potentially hazardous activities

NCLEX Review Respiratory Pharmacology

Respiratory Pharmacology

-Reverses bronchoconstriction
– opens air passages

can be: Adrenergics, Xanthines, Anticholinergic


– suppresses the cough reflex.
– inhibits the cough reflex

Drugs: Opiod, Codiene, hydrobromide (Robitussin)


These drugs depress cough center in medulla or by anesthetizing
stretch receptors in respiratory tract.

USE: to relieve a nonproductive cough.

MEDS: Codeine Sulfate (narcotic based), Bensonatate (Tessalon Perles),
Dextromethorphan (Robitussin)


– Blocks the action of Histamine

Opiod Antagonists

Gastrointestinal Pharmacology

These drugs treat nausea & vomiting. Inhibits the CTZ and the brain’s neurotransmitters.
USE: Treat nausea & vomiting.

MED: prochloperazine HCL (Compazine)
promethazine HCL (Phenergan)


ANTACIDS These drugs neutralize or reduce acidity.

USE: GERD & heartburn.

MED: aluminum hydroxide gel (Amphojel -constipate)
Magnesia (Milk of Magnesia -diarrhea) magaldrate (Riopan).
ANTACIDS A/R: diarrhea, constipation.

S/I: DO NOT GIVE with any other drugs or within 2 hours of taking other drugs. 1-2 hours after meals.

Histamine 2 Antagonists

USE: duodenal ulcer, gastric hyper-secretory conditions, GERD.

MED: All end in “dine”. cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), famatidine (Pepcid). HISTAMINE2 ANTAGONISTS A/R: Dizziness, somnolence (sleepy) headache.

MED: All end in “dine”). cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), famatidine (Pepcid). HISTAMINE2 ANTAGONISTS S/I: Do not give with any other drugs or within 2 hours of taking other drugs. 1-2 hours after meals.

MED: All end in “dine”). cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), famatidine (Pepcid). PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS These drugs supress enzyme called AT pase (without ATpase – do not have gastric secretions).

USE: hypyloric bacteria (H Pyloric).

MED: esomeprazole magnesium (Nexium), omeprazole (Prilosec), Pantoprazole sodium (Protonix). PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS A/R: Headache, Nausea, Diarrhea.

MED: esomeprazole magnesium (Nexium), omeprazole (Prilosec), Pantoprazole sodium (Protonix). ANTICHOLINERGICS These drugs decrease amount of acid secretion (dry out).

USE: Peptic ulcer.

MED: propantheline (Pro-Banthine), glycopyrrolate (Robinul) ANTICHOLINERGICS A/R: dry mouth, blurred vision.

S/I Give ice.

MED: propantheline (Pro-Banthine), glycopyrrolate (Robinul)


These drugs decrease intestinal peristalsis.

USE: Diarrhea

MED: diphenozylate with atropine (Lomotil), loperamide (Imodium A-D) ANTIDIARRHEAL A/R: abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting & constipation. NOTE: atropine based = opioids feeling and is habit forming.

MED: diphenozylate with atropine (Lomotil), loperamide (Imodium A-D) ANTIDIARRHEAL S/I: give after every episode of diarrhea.

NCLEX Review Gastrointestinal Pharmacology

NCLEX Review on Hiatal Hernia

– helps alleviate nausea and vomiting.

  • Drugs:
    Ondansetron (Zofran)
    Prochlorperazine (Compazine)

– provide protection coating on the stomach lining.
– helps neutralize gastric acid.

  • Drugs:
    – Aluminum Hydroxide Gel (Amphojel)
    – Aluminum/Magnesium Hydroxide (Maalox)
    – Ranitidine (Zantac)

Side Effects:

– helps alleviate pain from peptic ulcer

  • Drugs:
    Atropine Sulfate
    Dicyclomine (Bentyl)
    Glycopyrrolate (Robinul)

Side Effects:
– Dry Mouth (decrease salivation)
– Constipation (decrease persitalsis)
– Urinary Retention

Antisecretory Agents (H2 Antagonists and PPI’s)

– inhibits gastric acid secretion

H2 Antagonists
– Famotidine (Pepcid)
– Ranitidine (Zantac)
– Cimetidine (Tagament)

Proton Pump Inhibitor
– Omeprazole (Prilosec)
– Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
– esomeprazole (Nexium)

Side Effects:
– Decrease in bone density with long term use.

– helps alleviate diarrhea
– promote formation of stools

– Bismuth Subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol)

Side Effects:
Urinary Retention

Laxatives/ Cathartics
– helps alleviate or prevent constipation
– promotes evacuation of stools.
– Oral or rectal

Fecal Softeners
– Docusate Sodium (Colace)

Bulk Forming Laxatives
– psyllium (Metamucil)

Colon Irritants
– Bisacodyl (Dulcolax)

Saline Cathartics
– increases osmotic pressure within intestine
– Magnesium Hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia)

Side Effects:
Dependency of Use

NCLEX Review Neurological Pharmacology

Urinary Pharmacology

NCLEX Review: Urinary Pharmacology

NCLEX Review on the Diseases of the Urinary System

NCLEX Review on Urilothiasis

Thiazide Diuretics
– used for Hypertension
– Edema
– Heart Failure

Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
Hydrochlorothiazide (HyroDIURIL)

Side Effects:
Orthostatic Hypotension

Loop Diuretics

Furosemide (Lasix)
Bumetanide (Bumex)

Metabolic Alkalosis

* Monitor Digoxin Levels if patient is taking Digoxin.

Osmotic Diuretics

Drugs; Mannitol
Used for: Cerebral Edema

Side Effects:

Potassium Sparing Diuretics

Drugs: Spironolactone (Aldactone)

Increased BUN Levels
Nausea & Vomiting

* Monitor for signs of Hyperkalemia
– Confusion
– Hyperexcitability
– muscle weakness
– flaccid paralysis

NCLEX Review Hematological Pharmacology

Hematological Pharmacology

NCLEX Review on Anemia

NCLEX Review on Polycythemia Vera

NCLEX Review on Hematology Medications

– prevents formation of clots by inhibiting factors in the clotting.
– used for DVT, PE, and atrial fibrillation

– Enoxaparin sodium  (Lovenox)
– Warfarin Sodium (Coumadin)


– activates the plasminogen, leads its conversion to plasma

– Streptokinase (Streptase)
– Alteplase (Activase)



s.e.: hemorrhage
tissue irritation/pain w/injection
N.C.: maintain patency of IV-(heparin flush in low doses)
-therapeutic PPT @1.5-2.5 X the control w/out signs of hemorrhage

-antidote: protamine sulfate w/in 30 min
-hemorrhage: bleeding gums, nose, unusual, black tarry stools, hematuria, fall in hemacrit or bl. pressure, guaiac-positive stools
-avoid ASA & NSAIDs (watch for addition in OTC)
-wear med. info tag
RX- preg C

Warfarin (Coumadin)
s.e.: hemorrhage
Diarrhea, Rash, Fever
N.C.: mgmt of pulmonary emboli, deep-vein thrombosis, MI, atrial dysrhythmias, postcardiac valve replacement

-antidote: vit. K, whole bl, plasma
-avoid foods high in Vit K, green leafy vegs.
-do not interchange brands, potencies may not be equivalent
-avoid ASA & NSAIDS + OTC meds that contain them

NCLEX Review Antibiotics Pharmacology

Anti-Infective Pharmacology


Amikacin, Gentamicin, Tobramycin (Amikin, Garamycin, Tobrax)
s.e.:do not use during preg. may cause bilateral congenital deafness,
Ototoxicity cranial nerve VIII
Allegric reactions: fever, diff. breathing, rash
Remember for the NCLEX:

  • -monitor for superinfection(diarrhea, URI, coated tongue)
  • -immediately report hearing or balance problems
  • -encourage fluids 8-10 glasses daily

Antifungals: Amphotericin B (Fungizone)
s.e.: bl, kidney, heart,liver abnormalities
GI upset, Hypokalemia-induced muscle pain, CNS disturbances, inefficient hearing, skin irritation and thrombosis if IV infiltrates
N.C.: trmt of histoplasmosis, skin infections, septicemia, meningitis in HIV pts
-monitor vital signs, report fever or change in function, especially NS
-check for hypokalemia
-meticulous care and observation of injection site
-benefits balanced agst serious
preg B

Antifungals: Fluconazole (Diflucan)
s.e.: Nausea, Diarrhea, Headache, Abd. pain, taste distortion
N.C.: trmt of vaginal, esophageal, or systemic candidiasis
-prothrombin time is increased after warfarin usage
-take missed dose asap, but do not double dose
-reduces metabolism of tolbutamide, glyburide, and glipizide, so bl. glucose levels shoud be monitored in diabetics
-preg C

Anti-malarials: Hydrozychloroquine (Plaquenil)
s.e.: eye disturbances, NV, Anorexia
N.C.: mgmt of malaria, lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis
-peak 1-2 hrs
-take at same time ea day to maintain bl levels
-for malaria, prophylaxis should be started 2 wks b4 exposure and for 4-6 wks after leaving exposure area
preg C

Quinine Sulfate
s.e.: eye disturbances, NV, Anorexia
N.C.: mgmt of malaria,nocturnal leg cramps
-peak 1-3 hrs
-take same time ea day to maintain bl. levels
-avoid OTC cold meds, tonic water
-preg X

Anti-protozoals: Metronidazole (Flagyl, Flagyl ER)
CNS symptoms, abd cramps, metallic taste,
N.C.: trtmt of wide variety of inf.including trichomoniasis and giardiasis
=IV:immediate onset, PO-pk 1-2 hrs
=dark-reddish brown urine
=avoid hazardous activities
=trtmt in both partners for trichomoniasis
=do not drink alcohol in any form, during and 48 hrs after use, disulfiram-like reaction can occur
preg B

Anti-tuberculars: Isoniazid (INH)
s.e.: peripheral neuropathy, liver damage
N.C.: prevention and trtmt of TB
=PO/Im:onset rapid, pk 1-2 hrs, dur: up to 24 hrs
=contact MD if signs of hepatitis:yellow eyes or skin, NV, anorexia, dark urine, unusual tiredness, or weakness
-contact MD if signs of peripheral neuropathy: numbness, tingling or weakness
preg C

Anti-virals: Acyclovir (Zovirax)
s.e.: headache, bl. dyscrasias
N.C: trmt of herpes, varicella
=IV: onset & peak immediate
=PO: absorbed minimally, onset unknown, pk 1-1/2 hrs
=do not break, crush or chew
=PO: take w/out regard to meals w/full glass water
=if does missed take asap, up to 1 hr b4 next does
=contact MD if sore throat, fever and fatique, could be signs of superinfection
preg B

Anti-viral: Oseltamivir Phosphate (Tamiflu)
s.e.: NV
N.C:-used as prophylaxis in adults for influenza, including Avian Bird Flu
-treats uncomplicated acute flu symptoms in pts that are symptomatic for 2 days or less
-should not be used as substitute for flu vaccine
-may be taken w/out regard for meals
preg C

Anti-virals: Valacyclovir HCI
NV, abd. cramps, headache
N.C: trtmt genital herpes
=treats Herpes Zoster(shingles)
=treats Herpes labialis (cold sores)
=pts shoudl drink plenty of fluids during trtmt
=avoid sexual ontact when lesions are visible
=use with caution in preg & nursing mothers
preg B

Anti-Viral: Zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir
s.e.: fever, headache, malaise, NVD, Dizziness, insomnia, dyspepsia, anorexia, rash
N.C: mgmt of HIV inf. & prevention of HIV following needlestick
-GI upset and insomnia resolve after 3-4 wks
-PO: pk 1/2-1 1/2 hrs
preg C

Cephalosporins, 1st generation :
Cefadroxil (Duricef)
s.e. Diarrhea
N.C: tmt of upper and lower respiratory tract, urinary tract, and skin infections, otitis media, tonsillitis & UTIs
=peak 1- 1 1/2 hrs, dur: 12-24 hrs
=take for 10-14 days to prevent superinfection
preg B

Cephalosporins, 1st gen:
Cephalexin (Keflex, Keflet)
s.e. Diarrhea
N.C: tmt of upper and lower respiratory tract, urinary tract, and skin infections, otitis media,
=IM:peak 1 hrs, dur: 6-12 hrs;
IV: pk 5 min, dur 4-6 hrs
preg B

Cephalosporins, 1st gen.
Cephapirin (Cefadyl)
s.e. Diarrhea
N.C: tmt of lower respiratory tract,skin infections, endocarditis, bacterial peritonitis
=peak 30 min, dur: 4-6 hrs; up to 12 w/decreased urinary ouput
=take for 10-14 days to prevent superinfection
preg B

Cephalosporins, 1st gen:
Cephradine (Velosef)
s.e. Diarrhea
N.C: tmt of serious respiratory tract, and skin infections, otitis media,& UTIs
=peak 1- 2 hrs, dur: usually 6 but up to 12 hrs w/decreased renal function
=take for 10-14 days to prevent superinfection
preg B

Cephalosporins 2nd gen:
Cefaclor (Ceclor, Ceclor CD)
s.e. Diarrhea
N.C: tmt of respiratory tract, urinary tract,bone, joint and skin infections, otitis media,
=peak 1/2- hrs,extended release pk 1 1/2-2 1/2 hrs
=take for 10-14 days to prevent superinfection
preg B

Cephalosporins 2nd. gen:
Cefamandole (Mandol)
anti-infectives.e. Diarrhea
N.C: tmt of respiratory tract, urinary tract, and skin infections, peritonitis, septicemia, surgical prophylaxis
=peak 1/2-1 hrs
IV or IM
-avoid alcohol
preg B

NCLEX Review Opiods and Opiod Analgesic Pharmacology

Opiod Analgesic

Opioid Analgesic

  1. Methadone
  2. Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  3. Meperidine
  4. Codeine
  5. Opioid Analgesic
  6. Morphine
    (MS Contin)

Side Effect:

  • Drowsiness, sedation
    nausea, vomiting, anorexia
    Respiratory depression
    constipation, cramps
    orthostatic hypotension
    confusion, headache



Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
s.e.: anemia (long-term use)
Liver and kidney failure (high doses)

-take crushed or whole w/ full glass of water
-can give / food or milk to decrease GI upset
-signs of chronic poisoning: rapid, weak pulse, dyspnea, cold, clammy extremities
-signs of chronic overdose; bleeding, bruising, malaise, fever, sore throat
Analgesics- nonopioid
s.e: nausea, vomiting, rash


– long-term use: liver damage, dark urine, clay-colored stools
-arthritis, give 30 min b4 exercise, may take 2 wks b4 full effect is felt
-discard tabs if vinergar-like smell
-do not give to children under 18-Reyes syndrome
OTC: preg C

Celecoxib (Celebrex)
s.e: Fatique, anxiety, depression, nervousness, NV, anorexia, dry mouth, constipation
-can take w/out meals
-do not take if allergic to sulfonamides, aspirin or NSAIDs
-Rx: preg C for 1st & 2nd trimester
Preg D for 3rd trimester

Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
s.e.: headache, Nausea, anorexia, GI bleeding, blood dyscrasias
-contact clinician if ringing or roaring in ears, =toxicity
-if changes in urinary pattern, increase wgt, edema, increased, pain in joints, fever, bl in urine=may indicate kidney damage
-use sunscreen for photosensitivity
-avoid use w/ ASA. NSAIDs, and alcohol,


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