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Phenobarbital Essay

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Seizures are defined as “paroxysmal, uncontrolled electrical discharge of neurons in the brain that interrupts normal function” (Lewis, Dirksen, Heitkemper, Butcher, & Camera, 20011). Seizures can be caused by various things from head trauma to a disease process. There are several types of seizures. These include absence partial and generalized seizures. They can also vary in intensity ranging from mild to full blown. Seizures can cause severe complications and should be treated or the cause of the seizures corrected. (Lewis, Dirksen, Heitkemper, Butcher, & Camera, 20011).
Phenobarbital is classified as an anticonvulsant. This classification of drugs is used to “decrease the incidence and severity of seizures” (Deglin et al, 2011). The
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A common side effect of this medication is hangover. Photosensitivity is also a side effect that the patient may experience when taking this drug. They May also experience constipations or diarrhea when on taking this medication. Some other side effects are “rashes, vomiting, hypotension, delirium, depression, drowsiness, excitation, lethargy, and vertigo” (Deglin et al, 2011). Patients who are taking Phenobarbital may also experience heart complications such as myalgia. (Deglin et al, 2011)
When administering Phenobarbital to the patient, it is important to take the patients vital signs and assess for pain. Since this medication can cause respiratory complications it is important to monitor respirations and lung sounds regularly and to have the appropriate equipment available in case of an emergency. The patient should be assessed for any signs of seizures. Since these medications affect the central nervous system, the patient’s level of consciousness should be monitored before and after administering the medication.
Health teaching is very important when administering Phenobarbital. The nurse should instruct the patient to take this medication as directed and if they miss a dose to not double up on the doses. The patient should be informed that Phenobarbital may cause photosensitivity and they should be instructed to wear protective clothing such as long sleeved shirts, hats and sunglasses and to wear sunscreen when
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