8 Drugs that ICU Nurse need to know: Drugs guide

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.

Adenosine

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.
adenosine
Amiodarone
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.
amiodarone
Epinephrine
epinephrine
Potent cathcholamine. Increases heart rate, blood pressure. Used to treat Asystole, V tach, V fib, or bradycardia.
Lidocaine
Antiarrhythmic used alternatively to Amioderone. Treats V fib or V tach.
lidocaine
Procainamide
procainamide
Antiarrhythmic, used to treat sustained V tach.
Sotalol
sotalol
Beta Blocker. Treats A fib or A flutter.
Vasopressin
Synthetic antiarrhythmic. Used to treat Asystole, V tach, or V fib.

vasopressin

 

 

Side Effects of the Drugs

Adenosine

Side effects: if the rhythm is worsening, if the patient’s blood pressure drops, shortness of breath, facial flushing, chest pain, tingling.

 

Amiodarone

hypotension, anaphylaxis, heart failure, cardiogenic shock, decreased potassium, decreased magnesium, nausea, liver injury.

 

Atropine

tachycardia, dry mouth, blurred vision, dilated pupils, tremor, nausea, vomiting, urinary retention.

Epinephrine

increased BP, N/V,  anxiety, ventricular arrhythmias, stroke, tissue necrosis if the line infiltrates.

Lidocaine

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 .)

 

Procainamide

hypotension, widening QRS, dsyrrhythmias, toxicity, and prolonged use can lead to lupus-erythematosus-like syndrome.

 

Sotalol

dizziness, fatigue, headache, weakness, nausea, bradycardia, shortness of breath, constipation.

 

Vasopressin

Anaphylaxis, tremor, sweating, N/V, heart block, decreased cardiac output, hypertension, angina, intestinal cramps, bronchoconstriction, water intoxication– administration of norepinephrine may exaggerate effects.

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