Benzodiazepine & Amnesia – Pharmacology for Nurses

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Chapter 12: CNS Depressants and Muscle Relaxants Test & Benzodiazepine

The key terms in this Pharmacology course include CNS Depressants and Muscle Relaxants, Amnesia, Hypnotic Effect, Surgery, Injury, Sedative-Hypnotic Drugs, Charcoal, Benzodiazepine, Pharmacology for Nurses: Practical Applications

An intravenous dose of midazolam (Versed) has been prescribed for a patient before a colonoscopy. What does the nurse teach the patient is the most common adverse effect of this medication?


Chest pain

Dry mouth


Versed is known to cause amnesia and anxiolysis (reduced anxiety) as well as sedation and is most commonly used preoperatively for certain procedures.

Which statement is accurate for the nurse to use when teaching a patient the difference between a sedative and hypnotic effect of a drug?

“There really is no difference; the terms are used interchangeably.”

“Whereas sedative drugs induce sleep, hypnotic drugs induce a state of hypnosis.”

“Sedatives are much stronger than hypnotic drugs and should only be used for short periods of time.”

“Most drugs produce sedation at low doses and sleep, the hypnotic effect, at higher doses.”

Many drugs have both sedative and hypnotic properties, with the sedative properties evident at low doses and the hypnotic properties demonstrated at larger doses.

The nurse would monitor an older adult patient prescribed a benzodiazepine for treatment of insomnia for which potential adverse effect?

Muscle spasms

Shortness of breath

Red rash

Unsteady gait

Benzodiazepine doses for children and older adults should be small with gradual increases to avoid ataxia (unsteady gait) and excessive sedation. Thus, these patients should be closely monitored for these adverse effects.

The health care provider prescribes dantrolene (Dantrium) to a patient immediately after surgery. The nurse is aware this medication is used to treat what condition?

Delirium tremens

Respiratory arrest

Tonic-clonic seizure

Malignant hyperthermia

Dantrolene is a direct acting skeletal muscle relaxant and is the drug of choice to treat malignant hyperthermia, a possible complication of generalized anesthesia.

A patient is admitted to the emergency department after taking an overdose of a barbiturate 15 minutes before arrival. The nurse can anticipate that which drug will be prescribed?

Charcoal (Activated charcoal)

Ipecac syrup

Naloxone (Narcan)

Flumazenil (Romazicon)

There is no antidote for barbiturates. The use of activated charcoal binds to the drug in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, preventing absorption.

A patient is admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of benzodiazepine overdose. The nurse anticipates the health care provider will prescribe which antidote for benzodiazepine overdose?

Flumazenil (Romazicon)

Naloxone (Narcan)

Nalmefene (Revex)

Naltrexone (ReVia)

Flumazenil is the antidote for benzodiazepine overdose. The other options are only effective against opioid agonist effects.

Which nursing diagnosis is appropriate for a patient who has just been administered a sedative-hypnotic drug?

Imbalanced nutrition

Risk for infection

Risk for injury and falls

Deficient knowledge

Sedative-hypnotic drugs cause central nervous system depression, putting the patient at risk for injury and falls.