Medical Surgical Diabetes #13

Question

The nurse is assessing a diabetic client with frequent exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who has been taking prednisone for 6 months. Which of the following indicate an adverse effect of taking prednisone?

Answers

  1. Increased blood glucose
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because while on corticosteroids, a diabetic client needs additional diabetic medications or will need to increase physical activity or decrease food intake due to the side effect of increased blood glucose. Other side effects of corticosteroids may include mood swings, increased blood pressure, swelling of hands/feet, water retention with weight gain, osteoporosis, cataracts, and immunosuppression.

  2. Photosensitivity
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because photosensitivity is not associated with corticosteroids. Cataracts are a side effect of steroid use. Other side effects may include mood swings, increased blood pressure, swelling of hands/feet, water retention with weight gain, osteoporosis, elevated glucose (especially in diabetes), and immunosuppression.

  3. Hair loss
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because increased body hair (not hair loss) is associated with corticosteroid use. Other side effects may include mood swings, increased blood pressure, swelling of hands/feet, water retention with weight gain, osteoporosis, cataracts, elevated glucose (especially in diabetes), and immunosuppression.

  4. Low blood pressure
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because hypertension (not hypotension) is a potential side effect of corticosteroids related to the side effect of water retention and weight gain. Other side effects may include mood swings, increased blood pressure, swelling of hands/feet, osteoporosis, cataracts, elevated glucose (especially in diabetes), and immunosuppression.

Overview

Corticosteroids such as prednisone are used in treatment of acute exacerbations of COPD. Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, elevate blood glucose, especially in the diabetic client.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Corticosteroids such as prednisone are used in treatment of acute exacerbations of COPD. The drug helps with inflammation of the lining of airway passages in the lungs. Prednisone also enhances the effectiveness of inhaled bronchodilators. Side effects may include mood swings, increased blood pressure, swelling of hands/feet, water retention with weight gain, osteoporosis, cataracts, elevated glucose (especially in diabetes), and immunosuppression. While on corticosteroids, a diabetic client needs additional diabetic medications or will need to increase physical activity or decrease food intake due to the side effect of increased blood glucose.

Test Taking Tip

Most corticosteroids, like prednisone, have the ending of “-sone”. The “so” of “sone” can remind the student that blood glucose levels get “so” high or go to the oz (sone).

Video Rationale