Pharmacology Antibiotics #16

Question

The nurse will provide further teaching for a patient taking tetracycline after which statement by the patient?

Answers

  1. "I have a sensitive stomach so I will take the medication 30 minutes after my morning cereal."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the patient needs instruction that dairy products particularly and food will impair absorption of oral tetracycline. It is best to take 1 hour prior or 2 hours after meals, take each dose with a full glass of water, and remain upright to avoid esophageal or GI irritation.

  2. "I will wait two hours after meals prior to taking the antibiotic."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because tetracycline is most effective if taken on an empty stomach and taken with a full glass of water. The patient statement, “I will wait two hours after meals prior to taking the antibiotic” indicates the patient fully understands how to take tetracycline, and adverse side effects of the medication.

  3. "I will avoid direct sunlight or UV light."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a side effect of tetracycline includes photosensitivity. The patient statement, “I will avoid direct sunlight or UV light” indicates the patient fully understands how to take tetracycline, and adverse side effects of the medication.

  4. "I will add extra contraceptive protection while taking a contraceptive pill."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are not usually effective during tetracycline treatment. The patient statement, “I will add extra contraceptive protection while taking a contraceptive pill” indicates the patient fully understands how to take tetracycline.

Overview

Tetracycline should be taken on an empty stomach to provide effective treatment for the condition it is prescribed.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

The tetracycline class of antibiotics include doxycycline, tetracycline, and minocycline. It is prescribed to treat conditions including gram-positive and -negative bacteria, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and mycoplasmas. Tetracycline is most effective if taken on an empty stomach and taken with a full glass of water. Side effects of tetracycline include photosensitivity, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hepatotoxicity, and rash. The patient should be monitored closely for more serious adverse effects including thrombocytopenia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and anaphylaxis. Tooth discoloration can occur if taken during pregnancy (for the child) and if taken by young children. Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are not usually effective during tetracycline treatment, so extra contraceptive protections should be used. The patient should be reminded to complete the entire prescribed antibiotic and to not stop taking the medication when symptoms improve.

Test Taking Tip

An important educational point for all patients taking antibiotics is to remind the patient to take all prescribed antibiotics, even if symptoms improve.

Video Rationale