We understand that it’s important for families to know what medications their loved ones are taking, what they do, and the importance of them. We encourage family members to be aware and involved in resident care. A resident and their sponsor has the right to be informed about the resident’s condition, treatment options, risks and benefits of treatment, expected outcomes of treatment, and the right to refuse care and treatment including medications. Medications can be addressed and explained in care plan meetings. While we will only cover a few medications in this blog, please feel free to ask your loved one’s nurse about their current medication regime.
Medications play an integral role in care in the nursing home. They are administered to achieve various outcomes such as curing illnesses, reducing or eliminating symptoms, or slowing or preventing a disease process. Using medications to care for residents promotes maintenance or enhancement of quality of life. Proper medication selection may help stabilize or improve a resident’s care outcome and functional capacity. Each medication is carefully considered before administration due to possibilities of adverse reactions or multiple medication interactions. Below are some common medications that may be seen due to common disease processes throughout the nursing home. Although a single medication may be prescribed for a number of different reasons, these frequently prescribed medications are most commonly used as listed below.
Lasix- loop diuretic used for treating high blood pressure or water retention
Coumadin- anticoagulant used to treat or prevent blood clots
Synthroid- thyroid hormone used to treat low thyroid activity
Lisinopril- angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used for treating high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and to improve survival after a heart attack
Remeron- an antidepressant used for treating depression
Zoloft- antidepressant used for treating depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Protonix- a proton pump inhibitor which decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach used to treat erosive esophagitis and other conditions involving excess stomach acid
Aricept- used for treating dementia of the Alzheimer’s type
Ativan- anti-anxiety medication used to treat anxiety or anxiety associated with symptoms of depression
Seroquel- an anti-psychotic medication used to treat the symptoms of conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
Morphine- an opioid used for treating pain
Reglan- an antiemetic used for nausea/vomiting, constipation
The most frequently occurring side effects of these medications are as follows:
As healthcare professionals, our nursing staff works closely with our medical director physician to provide the best possible care and outcomes for our patients and residents. This includes constantly assessing our residents to identify, track and document possible side effects. We also immediately consult with our medical director regarding concerns when medication side effects appear to be impacting therapy outcomes. For more information or specifics on medications, please see one of our nurses.