Is there an easy way remembering cardiac medications?

  1. I am in my last semester of the ADN program and graduate in May 2007 ! But I am currently in my med/surg cardiac class and still find it difficult to break down what a beta-blocker, or calcium channel-ion blocker, or ACE inhibitors are. I know somewhat what they do, but I want to be able to just verbalize what they are without looking up the definition in my drug book all the time. I want to go into the ICU as a new grad, do you think they will expect this from me day one?
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    About rn2bn07

    Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 183; Likes: 63
    Specialty: Cardiac Tele (1 year), new MICU RN


  3. by   Daytonite
    congratulations on your upcoming graduation!

    why don't you start a notebook on these major classifications and in your spare time, start doing your own little research and study on them? actually, the more you expose yourself to the topic over shorter periods of time, the more likely you are to learn it. you will also need to know some of this stuff for your nclex exam.

    my copy of saunders comprehensive review for the nclex-rn examination, 3rd edition, by linda anne silvestri has information on cardiovascular medications in chapter 60 starting on page 829. there are sections there on ace inhibitors that include their description, side effects and interventions with a side box that has a list of them. ditto for calcium channel blockers. beta blockers are included under the adrenergic agonists.

    my copy of memory notebook of nursing: pharmacology & diagnostics by tom gaglione, joann zerwekh, jocarol claborn and c.j. miller lists the 4 major ace inhibitors that are used as being: captopril (capoten), lisinopril (zestril), enalapril (vasotec) and quinapril (accupril) and states you need to watch for these side effects/reactions with them: postural hypotension, headache, renal insufficiency and cough. (page 17) on page 22 they talk about fosinopril (monopril), another ace inhibitor, that "control[s] hypertension by decreasing peripheral arterial resistance and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. this improves cardiac output and increases exercise tolerance. ace inhibitors may cause first-dose syncope due to excessive hypotension. as with most ace inhibitors, watch for dizziness, hypotension, nausea, vomiting and cough."

    this can get you started: - net pharmacy from the university of utah. this is a tutorial on cardiovascular drugs. - an online "textbook" of pharmacology. i just went into the link for "pharmacologic management of heart failure" and found very good information there on the pathophysiology of the condition and the drugs used to treat it. there is also a congestive heart failure chapter. - electrolyte and medications: effect on ekgs from kaua'i community college nursing school is just one section from the above site. includes information on beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. - drugs arranged by category from global - a chart listing the medications used for chf. the drugs are arranged by drug categories. initial dose, target dose, recommended maximal dose and major adverse reactions are also listed for each drug. - this is a concept map that shows the drugs used to treat problems with cardiac output. addresses heart rate, stroke volume, preload, afterload and contractility. - nurse bob's micu/icu survival guide. section 14 is where the information on cardiac medications is.
  4. by   TipitiwichitRN
    Daytonite... you are amazing. <3
  5. by   lilykiss6
    have u tried using a med deck, google it
  6. by   Richard_Head
    The simplest way to approach this is to re-read the autonomic nervous system chapter in your A&P book, if you don't have a good recall of the underlying systems it's not very effective to try and understand the pharmakokinetics/dynamics of the meds.
  7. by   egibson
    OMW, that is great! I think I'm going to start studying those, even though i won't need it for a few semesters