8 Drugs Every ICU Nurse Needs to Know. These drugs are used frequently and in high intensity situations. It is imperative that you know what they are.
Here is a list of drugs every ICU nurse should know: it will help you in the exam preparation.
An endogenous nucleoside, slows conduction down through the AV node. Treats supraventricular tachycardia and sometimes atrial tachycardia (but I've never personally seen that). Extremely short half life- <10 seconds.
Antiarrhythmic that effects the sodium, potassium, and calcium channels. Vasodilates. Used in V tach, V fib, and sinus tachycardia. AtropineAntocholinergic, enhances the conduction in the AV node. Drug of choice in treating bradycardia.
Potent cathcholamine. Increases heart rate, blood pressure. Used to treat Asystole, V tach, V fib, or bradycardia.
Antiarrhythmic used alternatively to Amioderone. Treats V fib or V tach.
Antiarrhythmic, used to treat sustained V tach.
Beta Blocker. Treats A fib or A flutter.
Synthetic antiarrhythmic. Used to treat Asystole, V tach, or V fib.
Side Effects of the Drugs
Side effects: if the rhythm is worsening, if the patient’s blood pressure drops, shortness of breath, facial flushing, chest pain, tingling.
hypotension, anaphylaxis, heart failure, cardiogenic shock, decreased potassium, decreased magnesium, nausea, liver injury.
tachycardia, dry mouth, blurred vision, dilated pupils, tremor, nausea, vomiting, urinary retention.
increased BP, N/V, anxiety, ventricular arrhythmias, stroke, tissue necrosis if the line infiltrates.
decreased blood pressure, respiratory depression, bradycardia, toxicity (CNS depression and can lead to a seizure- can occur in infusions greater than 24 hours- so monitor blood levels of lidocaine- Therapeutic range is 1.5- 5 mcg/mL .)
hypotension, widening QRS, dsyrrhythmias, toxicity, and prolonged use can lead to lupus-erythematosus-like syndrome.
dizziness, fatigue, headache, weakness, nausea, bradycardia, shortness of breath, constipation.
Anaphylaxis, tremor, sweating, N/V, heart block, decreased cardiac output, hypertension, angina, intestinal cramps, bronchoconstriction, water intoxication– administration of norepinephrine may exaggerate effects.