Pharmacology Cholesterol Lowering Agents #3

Question

Which common side effect does the nurse caution the client about when starting a new bile-acid sequestrant for hypercholesterolemia?

Answers

  1. Bleeding
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because bile-acid sequestrant medications do not cause bleeding. Common cardiac-related medications that do have risks of bleeding include anticoagulants, antiplatelets, and thrombolytics.

  2. Diarrhea
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because diarrhea is a common side effect of bile-acid sequestrant medications. Other GI related side effects include constipation, bloating, and flatulence. Clients should be taught these common side effects.

  3. Leg pain
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because leg pain is not a common side effect of bile-acid sequestrant medications. Instead, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and flatulence are commonly seen with this medication. Leg pain is most associated with statin medication used for decreasing cholesterol.

  4. Facial flushing
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because facial flushing is not a common side effect of bile-acid sequestrant medications. This side effect is most commonly seen when a client takes niacin supplements to help reduce cholesterol levels.

Overview

Bile-acid sequestrant medications are prescribed to decrease cholesterol levels and reduce stroke and heart disease risk. The nurse should teach clients just beginning medication therapy of the very common gastrointestinal side effects.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Bile-acid sequestrant medications are prescribed to decrease cholesterol levels and reduce stroke and heart disease risks in clients. The most common side effects noted for this medication are gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances, including diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and flatulence. Due to the nature of these side effects, clients should be informed of them so as not to be surprised, especially in public. A healthy, low fat, low cholesterol diet, moderate exercise, and use of bile-acid sequestrant medications should help a client significantly reduce the incidence of stroke and heart disease.

Test Taking Tip

Even if you do not know the answer to the question that is being asked, try to rule out as many choices as possible. This only increases your chances of picking the correct answer.

Video Rationale