Pharmacology Seizure meds #7

Question

The nurse is assessing a female 30–year-old patient with a history of seizures, which are controlled with the medication clonazepam. What questions are important for the nurse to ask? Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. Is the patient pregnant?
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the nurse should determine if the patient is pregnant because clonazepam is in the pregnancy D category. Clonazepam crosses the placental barrier and can cause an increased incidence of birth defects, including cleft palate and cleft lip if taken in the first trimester.

  2. Does the patient drink alcohol?
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because ingestion of alcohol while taking clonazepam potentiates the action of clonazepam and increases the central nervous system effects, including dangerous respiratory and CNS depression. Also, taking clonazepam while drinking alcohol can greatly increase the risk of addiction. The nurse should educate the patient to not combine alcohol and clonazepam.

  3. When was the last seizure?
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because determination of the type and most recent seizure is important. This assessment will help understand the effectiveness of clonazepam treatment and if there is a need to make changes.

  4. Does the patient drink sugary carbonated beverages?
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because determination of intake of sugary carbonated beverages is not the most important assessment question. Knowing if the patient is pregnant, drinking alcohol, and information about the effectiveness of clonazepam is more important than knowing if the patient drinks sugary carbonated beverages. This is because the priority questions have much more serious consequences and assessment value in comparison.

  5. How much clonazepam does the patient take daily?
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because clonazepam is habit forming therefore should be taken exactly as prescribed. Monitoring addiction-prone patients for drug dependence. It is also important for the patient to not discontinue the drug without consulting the physician

Overview

Clonazepam is used to manage seizures in patients with seizure disorders. The nurse should assess the patient prior to administration to determine education needs, safety, and risk factors associated with use of this medication.

Explanation

The nurse should ask if the client is pregnant because clonazepam (Klonopin) crosses the placental barrier. The nurse should also ask if the client drinks alcohol since it potentiates the action of clonazepam (Klonopin). It is important to ask the number and type of seizures experienced since starting the medication. Drinking sugary carbonated beverages are not important questions to ask.

Learning Outcomes

Clonazepam is in the benzodiazepine class of medication used as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic. It is used to control and prevent seizures by decreasing stimulation to the nerves in the brain that cause seizures. The nurse should assess the patient prior to administration to determine education needs, safety, and risk factors associated with use of this medication. The nurse should determine if the patient is pregnant because clonazepam is in the pregnancy D category. Clonazepam crosses the placental barrier and can cause an increased incidence of birth defects, including cleft palate and cleft lip if taken in the first trimester. Ingestion of alcohol while taking clonazepam will increase the central nervous system effects, including dangerous respiratory and CNS depression. Also, taking clonazepam while drinking alcohol can greatly increase the risk of addiction. The nurse should educate the patient to not combine alcohol and clonazepam. Determination of the type and most recent seizure is important. This assessment will help understand the effectiveness of clonazepam treatment and if there is a need to make changes.

Test Taking Tip

Remember to prioritize according to airway, breathing, and circulation (ABCs). Other information is insignificant, if these are not prioritized.

Video Rationale