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Need help with my cardiac drugs

Emergency   (32,495 Views 9 Comments)
by jaquelynne jaquelynne (Member)

1,266 Profile Views; 19 Posts

I'm taking my ER certification now.....and kep getting my "A" drugs mixed up" Atropine, Amiodarone & Adenosine.

Anyone have any good ways to remember these drugs/when they were used, or to tell them apart?

Thanks!

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2,438 Posts; 16,501 Profile Views

Atropine is an anticholinergic....it's going to dry things up and will increase HR....usually give with pre-op meds to dry secretions up and also during symptomatic bradycardia.

Amiodarone is a Class III antiarrhythmic which prolongs phase 3 of the cardiac action potential. It also has some beta-blocker and CCB like effects on the AV and SA node. Commonly used in afib, vfib, and vtach.

Adenosine causes a transient AV Block. Useful for pharmacological conversion of SVT.

As far as how to keep them straight, I have no ideas for you. Good luck.

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AnnieOaklyRN is a BSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

1 Follower; 2,577 Posts; 34,126 Profile Views

The best way to keep them streight is to study them and understand how they work and why you would give them.

Sweetooth

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luvkitties specializes in geri, med/surg, neuro critical care.

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atropine is an anticholinergic....it's going to dry things up and will increase hr....usually give with pre-op meds to dry secretions up and also during symptomatic bradycardia.

just wanted to add that a neat phrase i learned in school was an anticholinergic "dries the licker and speeds the ticker"

~lori

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19 Posts; 1,266 Profile Views

Thanks everyone....I vaguley know what they are, but I confuse them right now because I've done the theory but not yet used them a lot in practice. I'm sure once I use them and see more cardiac patients it will be clearer. What can't they call them "speeditupitus", "slowerdowner", etc!? :)

Luvkitties, I like that one!

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kmoonshine is a RN and specializes in Emergency.

346 Posts; 6,581 Profile Views

"Just wanted to add that a neat phrase I learned in school was an anticholinergic "dries the licker and speeds the ticker"

Good one! My pharmacology teacher had this saying:

"Anticholinergics are anti-SLUD medications" ("anti" meaning a decrease in the following: Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Defecation). Obviously, cholinergics are the exact opposite.

For some reason, this has always stuck with me! Med students get a kick out of it.

Anyways, back to the OP:

I'd suggest learning what the medication does. For example, adenosine naturally occurs in the body (for example: ATP=adenosine triphosphate) and is broken down by the body extremely fast. Therefore, adenosine is given rapid IV push (it is metabolized by the body very fast; I want to say less than 13 seconds). It is given for conditions like SVT (fast heartrate) and typically stops the heart briefly.

Amiodarone can cause "smurf syndrome" (this sorta rhymes); it can cause the skin to appear bluish/grey with long term use. It is used for acute and chronic arrythmias.

I find that learning quirky things about meds helps me remember them.

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EDValerieRN is a ASN, RN and specializes in ER, Peds, Charge RN.

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Another one for anticholinergics:

Can't see

Can't pee

Can't spit

Can't sh*t

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swartzrn specializes in CCU/CVICU, Hemodialysis, ER, PALS Inst..

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For me, understanding how they worked helped me remember them. In our ED we use Adenosine and Atropine more often than Amiodorone. All 3 of them are used in ACLS and it is easy to confuse them. Also, the more you use them and actually see the results, the more you will understand what they do and how they do it!

BTW, Valerie--I haven't heard your saying for anticholinergics! It's a good one!

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