Introduction to Pharmacology
The given piece strives to put a lot of focus on antibiotics, medications that have helped millions of lives since they were discovered. In this first section, the idea is to provide a comprehensive definition of broad and narrow-spectrum antibiotics. One thing that should be noted before this can be done is that antibiotics, regardless of their class, are used to kill bacteria (Melander et al., 2018). For that reason, these cannot be used for fungal or viral infections. With that already established, it would be essential to define the broad and narrow-spectrum antibiotics and their uses. “Broad spectrum antibiotics” are said to treat various infection types (Melander et al., 2018). The given information means that these antibiotics are used to treat an immune-compromised patient suffering from more than a single bacterial infection. “Narrow spectrum antibiotics,” on the other hand, target a specific of bacterial causing pathogens or ones from one group. Therefore, these do not serve the same sizeable roles as the broad-spectrum antibiotics. Aside from the definition, this section will strive to look at the factors put under consideration when ordering antibiotics. Of course, one of the first things that should be thought about is the level of complications that each medication can cause (Lum et al., 2018). Some antibiotics, such as aminoglycosides, have adverse side effects that may compromise the patient’s health, leading to complications. These include kidney damage, a condition that can possibly be life-threatening. On the upper side, these antibiotics are known to treat severe infections, and thus, if the benefits outweigh the risk, then they should be administered but with constant assessment. The other aspect that should be considered is drug resistance and its patterns of mutation. Bacteria can mutate during treatment, thus decreasing the effectiveness of the antibiotic working (Lum et al., 2018). For example, some infections can mutate to resist penicillin. As much as that is the case, the advantage is that scientists are able to create new forms of penicillin and other antibiotics to fight bacterial infections.
In this section, the idea is to present adverse effects and interventions that can be put in place regarding antibiotics offered to a patient. A 63-year-old man presents to the clinic with a cough, fever, shortness of breath, and sharp stabbing pain in the chest. Upon examination and testing, the doctor diagnoses the patient with pneumonia and puts him on moxifloxacin from the fluoroquinolones group, antibiotics from the quinolones class that are effective in treating respiratory bacterial infections (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2020). As with other antibiotics, these can have side effects, mild and severe, some of which are predictable, and others are not since they do not occur in most patients. The three main adverse side effects that should be watched out for are liver failure, tendon rupture, and gastrointestinal issues (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2020). The given effects should be monitored to reduce the chances of falls due to tendon rupture, discomfort from gastrointestinal problems, and life-threatening complications from liver failure. Nursing interventions that can help assess the patient would be communicating the side effects they develop; that way, they can report to the clinician (Mohsen et al., 2020). The other nursing intervention would be to assess for the level of adverse side effects; that way, the physician can decrease the dose to reduce the chances of further irreversible complications. The nurse in charge should ensure that the antibiotics offered do not cause more harm than good to the patient; otherwise, antibiotic therapy should be withdrawn if that is the case.
Lum, E. P., Page, K., Whitty, J. A., Doust, J., & Graves, N. (2018). Antibiotic prescribing in primary healthcare: Dominant factors and trade-offs in decision-making. Infection, Disease & Health, 23(2), 74-86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.idh.2017.12.002 (Links to an external site.)
Melander, R. J., Zurawski, D. V., & Melander, C. (2018). Narrow-spectrum antibacterial agents. MedChemComm, 9(1), 12-21. https://doi.org/10.1039/c7md00528h (Links to an external site.)
Mohsen, S., Dickinson, J. A., & Somayaji, R. (2020). Update on the adverse effects of antimicrobial therapies in community practice. Canadian Family Physician, 66(9), 651–659. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7491661/ (Links to an external site.)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2020). Fluoroquinolones. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547840/