NURS 6521 Week 4 Advanced Pharmacology

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  1. Coryza, also known as the common cold, is a viral upper respiratory infection (URI).
  2. Approximately 100 million colds occur each year in the United States. Adults average
  3. three colds per year, and children average six per year (Arcangelo & Peterson, 2013).
  4. The common cold has resulted in 26 million days off from school, and 23 million missing
  5. work days.
  6. The most common pathogen responsible for the common cold is the rhinovirus (30-
  7. 40%), and coronavirus (10-15%). Some other causes can be influenza, parainfluenza,
  8. and adenovirus. Cold viruses can only multiply when they are inside of living cells;
  9. however, they are still infectious if they are transported from an environmental surface
  10. into the nose (, 2015). Symptoms normally include runny or stuffy
  11. nose, sore throat, cough, slight body aches, sneezing, low grade fever, and malaise
  12. (Mayo Clinic, 2016). Nurs 6521 Week 4 Advanced Pharmacology

Pharmacotherapy for the Common Cold

  1. Mistreatment of common colds is common because it is hard to distinguish whether the
  2. cause is viral or bacterial, and patients believe they always need an antibiotic
  3. (Arcangelo & Peterson, 2013). There is no cure for the common cold; however, there
  4. are nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatment options. Nonpharmacologic
  5. alternatives are the first line of treatment. It is important for the patient to get plenty of
  6. rest when he/she has a cold, increase fluid intake will help liquefy secretions, saline
  7. gargles for sore, scratchy throat, menthol rubs for congestion is recommended, and
  8. petroleum based ointments can be used on the macerated shin around nose and lips
  9. (Arcangelo & Peterson, 2013). Polypharmacy is often used to treat intolerable
  10. symptoms.
  11. Decongestants cause vasoconstriction in the respiratory tract improving ventilation.
  12. These are contraindicated in patients with narrow angled glaucoma, hypertension, and
  13. severe coronary artery disease. Side effects can include increased blood pressure,
  14. increased heart rate, headache, dizziness, and tremors (Arcangelo & Peterson, 2013).
  15. Expectorants increase the output of respiratory tract fluid. 

NURS 6521 Week 4 Advanced Pharmacology

  1. Side effects include drowsiness, headache and GI symptoms. Antitussives can be given for cough; however, they are contraindicated in patients with a productive cough, history of substance abuse and COPD. Anti-inflammatories and Antipyretics include NSAIDs which can relieve headache, sore throat, malaise, and fever. Anticholinergics such as Atrovent nasal spray
  2. has been recommended for rhinorrhea associated with the common cold (Arcangelo &
  3. Peterson, 2013).

Patient Factor: Behavior

  1. The behavior that I am going to discuss is patients that drink alcoholic beverages. Many
  2. people that drink do not realize the effect it has when also taking cold medications. A lot
  3. of cold medicines contain at least 10% alcohol. Mixing alcohol with certain medications
  4. can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, fainting or loss of coordination
  5. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIH], 2014). Alcohol can also make
  6. medications less effective or harmful and toxic to the body. Some common cold
  7. medications that interact with alcohol are: Loratidine (Claritin), Diphenhydramine
  8. (Benadryl), Bromphenoramine (Dimetapp), Chlorpheniramine (Sudafed), Cetirizine
  9. (Zyrtec), and Dextromethoprim (Delsymm) (NIH, 2014).

Recent news

  1. Today I saw an article on AANP that stated “NPs (nurse practitioners)
  2. less likely than physicians to prescribe antibiotics inappropriately. (M. Knowles, June
  3. 18,2018) Clinical Leasership and Infection Control, Nurs 6521 Week 4 Advanced Pharmacology


Arcangelo, V. P., & Peterson, A. M. (2013). Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced

practice: A practical approach (3rd ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. (2015). Understanding colds. Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic. (2016). Common Cold. Retrieved from


Megan Knowles, June 18,2018 Clinical Leasership and Infection Control,

This study source was downloaded by 100000866231713 from on 06-05-2023 00:50:13 GMT -05:00

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2014). Mixing alcohol with

medicines. Retrieved from