Pharmacology Myocardial Infarction Meds #5

Question

Which medication does the nursing instructor teach that, when taken with nitroglycerin, can cause profound hypotension?

Answers

  1. Calcium channel blockers
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because, although calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are used to decrease the blood pressure, they do not cause the extreme hypotension associated with taking phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme inhibitors with nitroglycerin. CCBs cause the blood vessels to relax and are effectively and safely used with nitroglycerin to help the heart profuse during a myocardial infarction.

  2. Angiotensin II receptor blockers
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are antihypertensive medications yet do not cause the extreme amount of hypotension as with the combination of phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme inhibitors and nitroglycerin.

  3. Phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme inhibitors
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme inhibitors, such as the brand-name medications of Viagra and Cilias, treat erectile dysfunction through vasodilation. This added affection with another vasodilator, nitroglycerin, can cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. The nurse should always ask the client about home medications so the healthcare provider will know before prescribing and administering nitroglycerin.

  4. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-inhibitors) are antihypertensive medications yet do not cause the extreme amount of hypotension as with the combination of phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme inhibitors and nitroglycerin.

Overview

Phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme inhibitors used to treat erectile dysfunction cause vasodilation. When combined with nitroglycerin for treatment of angina and myocardial infarction, profound, life-threatening hypotension can occur.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme inhibitors, such as the brand-name medications of Viagra and Cilias, treat erectile dysfunction through vasodilation. When taken with nitroglycerin, the blood pressure can drop so significantly, the treatment could be deadly. Therefore, the nurse should obtain a careful medication history before administering nitroglycerin. The nurse should ask specifically if the client takes phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme inhibitors, to make sure all efforts have been made to not have a potentially deadly adverse medication reaction.

Test Taking Tip

Remember, if there are four good answers in a multiple choice question, there is one that is the most correct due to something unique about that answer. Compare and contrast the answer to see why one answer is most correct.

Video Rationale