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How to Study PNS Drugs (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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      Slides 12-01 PNS Drugs.pdf
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    00:00 Okay, so here's the best study tip I have for you for studying PNS drugs.

    00:05 If I'm looking at a drug, all I need to know is what receptors are involved in that drug.

    00:10 Is it alpha-1, is it beta-1, is it dopamine? Which receptor is involved? Then I need to know, is the drug an agonist? Remember, winner key - is that gonna activate that receptor or is it an antagonist meaning it's going to bind to the receptor but block the action of that receptor.

    00:30 So you see why that chart is so important.

    00:33 If you know what the receptor is, where it's located and what happens when that receptor is activated, then you've got the key to PNS drugs.

    00:43 So if I look at a drug, I know which receptors are involved with that drug, it might be one or more.

    00:48 I know if the drug is an agonist or an antagonist, that will tell me what to expect of the drug.

    00:54 Now, in case you're not processing this, that is really good news.

    00:59 Because you don't have to memorize so much, you just need to understand which receptors are involved, if it's an agonist or an antagonist and then you know what the drug does.

    01:08 Let's walk through some examples.

    01:10 Okay, look at this simple chart.

    01:12 Epinephrine, it involves alpha-1, alpha-2, beta-1 and beta-2.

    01:19 Now what I want you to do is look at your downloadable material.

    01:23 Look at where you have where alpha-1's located, what happens when the receptor is stimulated.

    01:29 Look at alpha-2s, where are they located, What happens when alpha-2 is stimulated? Same thing with beta-1s and beta-2s.

    01:39 Go ahead, I'll wait just a minute.

    01:43 Okay, when you look at all that epinephrine can do, you'll understand why we use it.

    01:49 Now I'll go into that in a little more detail in just a minute but I want you to see, you can do the same thing with dopamine.

    01:54 You see the receptors that are involved when we give the drug dopamine, so you know what to expect.

    01:59 Dobutamine is only beta-1s, right? so it's only gonna go after the things on your heart.

    02:06 And where's the other location of your beta-1s? right, the kidneys.

    02:10 Norepinephrine, well that's a name of a neurotransmitter but it's also the name of the drug.

    02:16 and it's going to hit alpha-1, alpha-2 and beta-1.

    02:20 So this is it, if you can look at a simple chart like this and re-create it, you'll have the key to understanding adrenergic agonist.

    02:28 So let's talk about it.

    02:30 Epinephrine, we look at those four receptors, you already compared them to your chart, now that would make sense.

    02:35 Why would it help us in acute asthma? sweet! because it goes after the beta-2s that will help us bronchodilate.

    02:42 What about anaphylactic shock? well, it's that whole response system that we've got.

    02:47 Alpha-1, alpha-2, beta-1 and beta-2 are gonna be really helpful in the series of anaphylactic shock.

    02:53 We also can use it in local anesthetics because it'll help increase the duration of action.

    03:02 Well that sounds really fancy but what does that mean? Well if I put epinephrine, just put it on subq on your skin, it's gonna cause, vasoconstriction.

    03:12 If I cause vasoconstriction then when I put in a local anesthetic, it's gonna stay in that area longer.

    03:19 So look at all that I can use epinephrine for.

    03:21 I can use it for an asthma attack, I can use it for anaphylactic shock or I could use it to make sure a local anesthetic stays right where I need it to for a longer period of time.

    03:32 All by understanding which receptors are involved.

    03:36 Now norepinephrine, we've got alpha-1, alpha-2, we could use that in shock.

    03:41 Now think about how that helps also some beta-1.

    03:45 Isoproterenol, beta-1, beta-2, we can use that for asthma.

    03:49 I want you to work your way through the rest of your chart and see if you can figure out how these would each be helpful.

    04:01 Okay, now as you work through those on your own, I hope you'll see the benefit of understanding what the receptors do and how they work.

    04:08 That's why we use norepinephrine in shock for example, because of it's impact on the alpha-1 and alpha-2s.

    04:15 Isoproterenol helps asthmatic patients 'cause beyond those beta-2 receptors, we can also use it as a cardiac stimulant because of it's effect on the beta-1 receptors, and so on and so on.

    04:26 See, the key is not just memorizing every drug and every side-effect and every impact.

    04:31 Know the receptors, know where they're located, know what their job is and if that drug is an agonist or an antagonist and that's gonna make your studying much more straightforward.

    04:42 Then you'll still have to invest a lot of effort but I promise you, you're much less likely to get confused as you're wrapping all that up.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture How to Study PNS Drugs (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) Medications (Nursing). It contains the following chapters:

    • How to Study PNS Drugs
    • Adrenergic Agonists
    • Adrenergic Drugs

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. The receptors involved, whether it is an agonist or antagonist, and the location of the expected response
    2. The neurotransmitters involved, where the receptors are located, and the outcome of the activation response
    3. The neurotransmitter involved, whether it is an agonist or antagonist, and its intended effect
    4. The receptors involved, the neurotransmitter that is involved, and its intended effect
    1. It will cause bronchodilation
    2. It will cause bronchoconstriction
    3. It will cause tachypnea
    4. It will cause apnea
    1. It causes contraction of the smooth muscle to increase blood pressure and the heart's strength of contraction
    2. It causes relaxation of the smooth muscle to decrease blood pressure and lower the heart afterload
    3. It causes contraction of the smooth muscle to increase the heart rate and decrease the blood pressure
    4. It causes relaxation of the smooth muscle to decrease the heart rate and lower the blood pressure

    Author of lecture How to Study PNS Drugs (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes


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