Drug Study: diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Generic name:
diphenhydramine

Brand name:
Benadryl

Preparations:
PO 25-50 mg q4-6 hr, 50mg 20-30 mins before bedtime

CLASSIFICATION: Antiparkinsonian drug

ACTION:
• Antagonizes the effect of histamine at H1 receptor sites; does not bind or inactivate histamine

INDICATION / USES:
•parkinsonism or drug-induced extrapyramidal effects


COMMON ADVERSE EFFECTS:

•CNS: headache, fatigue, anxiety, tremors, vertigo, confusion, depression, seizures, hallucinations
•CV: tachycardia, palpitations, orthostaic hypotension, heart failure
•EENT: blurred vision
• GI: dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, flatulence
• GU: urinary hesitancy or frequency, urine retention
• Hematologic: leukopenia
• Skin: photosensitivity, dermatitis

CONTRA-INDICATIONS:
• cardiac disease or hypertension
• glaucoma
• gastric or duodenal ulcers

NURSING CONSIDERATIONS:
• Caution the client that the medication may cause drowsiness, creating difficulties or hazards or other activities that require alertness.
• Tell the client to take the medication with food to decrease GI upset.
• Explain to the client that arising quickly form a lying or sitting position may cause orthostatic hypotension.
• When taking these medications, the client needs to have blood cells counts, renal function, hepatic function, and blood pressure monitored.
• Adverse effects of these drugs occur more commonly in elderly clients.
• Explain to the client that use of these drugs in warm weather may increase the likelihood of heatstroke.


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