Important Drug Tips!!

  1. I am a new nurse. I know I should of learned all of this in pharm... But seriously that was so long ago I can't remember...

    But can some experienced nurses jot down some important drug tips that could possible lead to patient injury/death. Just to remind me and warn me..

    For example:

    Protonix must have it's own line when infusing...
    Never push potassium...
    Lantus must be given with meals or within 15 minutes of eating...
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  2. 35 Comments

  3. by   neneRN
    Never mix Dilantin in anything other than NS, and don't piggyback/push any meds thru same line while infusing. Use a filter.

    Dilute your phenergan, there's a whole post on this right now.

    Check pulse before giving Digoxin, hold if pulse less than 60. That one applies to several meds, but Dig is the one pounded into your head in nursing school.
  4. by   MS._Jen_RN
    Never crush enteric coated or extened release meds(ex Depakote, Oxycontin, Renagel, Ditropan XL, K-dur) (to put down a tube or to mix in applesauce for those who can't swallow whole pills). MDs sometimes order these in error for those who need them crushed. If not sure look it up.
    And from a "stupid mistakes" thread I remember about percocet, never crush up a pill to put in a IV, Central Line, etc. There is a difference between enteral and parentral preperations of drugs.
    ~Jen
    Last edit by MS._Jen_RN on Feb 10, '07 : Reason: add detail
  5. by   SCRN1
    As for the Lantus you mentioned, remember never to draw it up in a syringe with another insulin...can't be mixed.

    As for the ones that CAN be mixed, remember the saying...clear before cloudy.
  6. by   taramayrn
    Dexamethasone -should avoid giving it after 1800 otherwise pts are "wired" for the night.

    Lasix - another one to avoid giving past 1800 unless the pt has a foley.

    If giving Maxeran to prevent nausea, it is usually given qid, but it should be timed before meals and at hs.
  7. by   Tweety
    About Lantus. It is so slow acting, (70 minute onset and duration of 24 hours), it can be given before bedtime without regard to meals.

    Are you thinking of Insulin lispro aka Humalog. This is the very short acting one and needs to be given right before the patient eats. Make sure the meals trays are on the unit.

    It's all very confusing for sure. It just takes time. We tend to get familiar with the drugs we give over and over on our particular units and it gets easier.
  8. by   RoxanRN
    Not only can't Lantus be mixed, it can't be given IV - must be given SQ.

    Dilantin, Mannitol and Prevacid require IV filters.

    Cerebrex is preferred over Dilantin when you don't have a central line (much less irritating and less paperwork ).

    Do not run IV potassium boluses faster than 10meq per hour.

    With Lortab and immediate release potassium (pill or powder), it's generally best to give with a few bites of food (jello, crackers, pudding) or some milk to help avoid N/V.

    If your Mannitol is crystalized when you pull it from the omniscell/pexis, put it on top of the blanket warmer (or wrap in warm blankets) to desolve the crystals. If you need it right away, just pull another non-crystalized one, but put the other in a warm place for later use.

    When giving dilantin suspension, dobbhoffs/NGs need flushed before giving and the tube feedings need to be held for an hour after dose to allow for proper absorption.
  9. by   joyflnoyz
    Lantus must be given with meals or within 15 minutes of eating...[/quote]


    Ok, my experience with Lantus (long acting insulin, given once a day, lasts approx 24 hours) is that it's given at HS. Once is a while I've seen it given in the morning.

    Have I missed something?
  10. by   jamonit
    NCLEXy things i learned:
    if you have a central line (single lumen) being used for TPN, don't run anything else through that lumen, if you need another line, poke a new one peripherally. with kids (and pretty much anyone) attempt IV access distally to AC to preserve those veins for the future (these veins may be needed later for av fistulas or other critical means).
    according to NCLEX, hang blood or packed RBCs with only NS in y-tubing.

    oh and know critical pharm values: digoxin 0.5-2
    dilantin 10-20, lithium 0.5-1.5
  11. by   VegRN
    IV potassium can be run at 20 meq/hr if pt has a central line/PICC.

    Give phenergan as piggyback of 50ml/15 minutes to avoid extroversion/phlebitis and other nasty venous side effects.

    For pts that are constipated and only have orders for MOM, give 30ml MOM/120 prune juice/ about 30ml of 7-up warmed up (not hot). I have rarely seen this not work at getting bowels going.

    Beta blockers like metoprolol/labetolol can mask hypoglycemia symptoms in diabetic pts.
  12. by   TigerGalLE
    Thanks these are very helpful!!
  13. by   TigerGalLE
    Quote from joyflnoyz
    Lantus must be given with meals or within 15 minutes of eating...


    Sorry Joy.. my mistake.. i meant lispro :imbar
  14. by   RoxanRN
    Quote from VegRN
    IV potassium can be run at 20 meq/hr if pt has a central line/PICC.
    This apparently varies from facility to facility. Check your regulations and policies and run accordingly.

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