Most common drugs used in hospital

  1. I will be looking for a job very soon as an RN in a med surg unit. Can anyone help me out by listing some of the most commonly used drugs on the wards? I read earlier about the patient who was given 8000mg of dilantin instead of 800mg and died as a result. Of course I know it is always best to look up info that I don't know. But, while I am in the process of seeking employment I'd like to continue my studies by brushing up on pharmacology.
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    About deb123

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 20


  3. by   PralineLPN
    Here's a few-

    Coumadin-Check your PT/INRS
    Narcotics (Morphine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, Dilaudid) Just be aware of last time given, use the least amt needed for relief, IE don't give oxyIR when 2 Tylenol will suffice. If you find yourself pushing limits with a Pt (hip/knee pts seem to go through a lot- espically before psychical therapy), the MD needs to be consulted. The patients pain is whatever he/she says it is. Don't judge, Let the MD decide what to prescribe.
    Non-Narcotic Pain meds-APAP, Motrin, Naproxin
    Heart meds-Digoxin, B-Blockers, Check your HR and BP's
    Diruetics-Lasix, HCTZ-try to give early as possible, else pt is up all night peeing.
    ACE-Inhibitors, again HR/BP
    Various psych meds-Prozac, etc, anxiolytics-benzodiazapine class, Sleeping pills (ambien, lunesta), rarely a few anti-psychotics
    Phenobarb, Dilantin, Depakote (need levels for all these), neurontin seems to be a biggie for neuropathic pain nowadays, as well as seizure control.
    Don't forget your bowel drugs, -especially- if pt on narcs-sennakot, MOM, psyllium, other laxatives and bulk-formers.
    Anti-Nausea drugs-compazine, phenergan, reglan, (also biggies with narc pts)
    Probably a few other common ones, but you'll definately see these a lot. When in doubt, check your drug book, don't be too proud or afraid to take a extra minute to look something up or call pharmacy-Don't forget to check ROUTE, IV instead of IM seems to be big error point. Also, some orders may be written for 600mg and say nothing about the # of tabs- and pharmacy sends 200 or 300mg tabs. Just take your time and do your checks.
  4. by   INtoFL_RN
    Can't think of a bunch right now, but some that come to mind are insulin and oral hypoglycemics. Try to know the different insulin's onset and duration, what can be mixed together and what can't (like Lantus - can't be mixed in same syringe as other insulins). Seems like most pts in the hospital today are diabetic, so it's important to know
  5. by   deb123
    Thanks for the help Praline and Intofl. This is exactly the kind of advice I was asking for.
  6. by   Jules A
    Hi Deb,
    What I found while I was in school is that it seemed like on each particular unit I was seeing a lot of the same meds. It wasn't hard to get a grip on a majority of them pretty quickly. Don't be too worried. Jules
  7. by   Lawlor
    Great article, would you say this article still applies now
  8. by   talaxandra
    I don't know any of the details about the phenytoin incident you mentioned in the OP but we were taught when I was a student that if the dose is more than two ampoules or three tablets you should always triple-check the dose.
  9. by   thotsalhamo
    Thank you very much these are helpful info.
    Very soon I am going to have pharmacology test for a LPN job and does any body has any idea what are the most commonly asked drugs? Any help si appreciated

    Thank you