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Chapter 36: Antihistamines, Decongestants, Antitussives, and Expectorant Test, Antihistamine

The key terms in this Pharmacology course include Antihistamines, Decongestants, Antitussives, Expectorant, Antihistamine, Pharmacology for Nurses: Practical Applications

During a routine checkup, a patient states that she is unable to take the prescribed antihistamine because of one of its most common adverse effects. The nurse suspects that which adverse effect has been bothering this patient?

Decreased libido



Abdominal cramps

Drowsiness is usually the main side effect that bothers people who take antihistamines.

A patient asks the nurse about the uses of echinacea. Which use will the nurse include in the response?

Promoting relaxation

Memory enhancement

Improving mood

Boosting the immune system

Common uses of echinacea include stimulation of the immune system, antisepsis, treatment of viral infections and influenza-like respiratory tract infections, and promotion of the healing of wounds and chronic ulcerations. The other options are incorrect.

A gardener needs a decongestant because of seasonal allergy problems and asks the nurse whether he should take an oral form or a nasal spray. Which of these is a benefit of orally administered decongestants?

A more potent effect

Shorter duration

Lack of rebound congestion

Immediate onset

Drugs administered by the oral route produce prolonged decongestant effects, but the onset of action is more delayed and the effect less potent than those of decongestants applied topically. However, the clinical problem of rebound congestion associated with topically administered drugs is almost nonexistent with oral dosage forms.

A patient is taking guaifenesin (Humibid) as part of treatment for a sinus infection. Which instruction will the nurse include during patient teaching?

Increase fluid intake to help loosen and liquefy secretions.

Avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery because of the sedating effects.

Report symptoms that last longer than 2 days.

Report clear-colored sputum to the prescriber.

Increasing fluid intake helps to loosen and liquefy secretions. The patient must be fully aware that any fever, chest tightness, change in sputum from clear to colored, difficult or noisy breathing, activity intolerance, or weakness needs to be reported. The patient must also report to the prescriber a fever of higher than 100.4° F (38° C) or symptoms that last longer than 3 to 4 days. Decongestants do not cause sedation, and therefore the patient does not need to avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery.

A patient with a tracheostomy has difficulty removing excessive, thick mucus from the respiratory tract. The nurse expects that which drug will be ordered to aid in the removal of mucus?

Guaifenesin (Mucinex)

Benzonatate (Tessalon Perles)

Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM)

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Expectorants such as guaifenesin work to loosen and thin sputum and the bronchial secretions, thereby indirectly diminishing the tendency to cough. The other drugs listed do not have this effect.