Medical Surgical Pharmacology: Antacids & Ulcer Protectant #5

Question

The nurse instructs a client taking a calcium-based antacid about which common side effect?

Answers

  1. Gastric pH of 3
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a gastric pH of 3 (acidic) is an indication for antacids, not a side effect of the medication. Normally, treatment with an antacid should produce a pH level of at least 5.

  2. Miscarriage
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because miscarriage is not associated with calcium-based antacids. It is a serious side effect of misoprostol, an antisecretory drug used for severe gastric ulcers caused by long-term use of steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Misoprostol is also used in obstetrics for cervical ripening and should never be administered to a pregnant woman except for this purpose, due to the risk of miscarriage.

  3. Peptic ulcer
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because this answer is not correct because peptic ulcer disease is an indication of use for a calcium-based antacid, not a side effect of the medication. It is also used for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

  4. Constipation
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because constipation is the most common side effect of calcium-based antacids so the client should be educated about this and actions to take to help reduce this side effect. These actions include increasing non-caffeinated fluid intake, fresh fruits and vegetables, and activity. Occasional use of stool softeners may be necessary to facilitate regular bowel movements.

Overview

Constipation is a common side effect of calcium-based antacids. Clients should be taught this common occurrence and instructed about methods to decrease symptoms.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Calcium-based preparations are commonly used in antacids. As the acids of the stomach are neutralized, acidity of gastric contents are reduced. Constipation is the most common side effect of calcium-based antacids so the client should be educated about this and actions to take to help reduce this side effect. These actions include increasing non-caffeinated fluid intake, fresh fruits and vegetables and activity. Occasional use of stool softeners may be necessary to facilitate regular bowel movements.

Test Taking Tip

Be very careful to re-read the question before selecting the final answer to make sure you are answering the question it is asking. Sometimes the answers may answer the indications for a medication, rather than the side effect the question is asking for. Read very carefully.

Video Rationale