Medical Surgical Thyroid #10

Question

A nurse is performing a follow-up assessment for a client taking methimazole for hyperthyroidism. On assessment the nurse documents a weight gain of 8 pounds over the past two weeks. Which action is most important by the nurse?

Answers

  1. Offer suggestions to alter the drug schedule to every other day.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because methimazole should be taken consistently to maintain blood levels to be most effective. Furthermore, the nurse does not have the authority to make prescription changes.

  2. Report weight gain to the health care provider.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the client should report weight gain to the health care provider. Monitoring the weight gain will help determine if it is just a consequence of gradual decline in thyroid hormone or if the client has developed hypothyroidism.

  3. Do nothing since weight gain signifies drug efficacy.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because it is important to monitor weight gain since it will help determine if it is just a consequence of gradual decline in thyroid hormone or if the client has developed hypothyroidism. The health care provider should monitor blood tests to assure the medication is causing the goal of therapy.

  4. Instruct the client to maintain a low salt diet.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because, although it is usually preferred for individuals to maintain a low-salt diet, the likely cause of weight gain is associated with thyroid hormones declining. Reporting this finding is important because monitoring the weight gain will help determine if it is just a consequence of gradual decline in thyroid hormone or if the client has developed hypothyroidism.

Overview

Methimazole is an anti-thyroid medication so weight gain in a client should be reported. Monitoring the weight gain will help determine if it is just a consequence of gradual decline in thyroid hormone or if the client has developed hypothyroidism.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Methimazole is an anti-thyroid medication prescribed for the treatment of hyperthyroidism. While the desired outcome is the reversal of symptoms of hyperthyroid, which includes gaining weight, significant changes in weight should be reported to the health care provider. The client taking this medication needs to be monitored for development of hypothyroidism which may cause weight gain (along with other hypothyroid symptoms). Monitoring the weight gain will help determine if it is just a consequence of gradual decline in thyroid hormone or if the client has developed hypothyroidism.

Test Taking Tip

Avoid choosing answers where a nurse is performing duties outside their scope of practice, such as changing medication dosages or encouraging changing how often to take a medication.

Video Rationale