Pharmacology Skin Meds #4

Question

Which nursing action is priority for a teenage girl seeking isotretinoin treatment for severe acne?

Answers

  1. Obtain a pregnancy test
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because a client should not be pregnant or intend to get pregnant while taking isotretinoin. The nurse should obtain a pregnancy test prior to the health care provider prescribing isotretinoin.

  2. Check for risks of epistaxis
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because nosebleeds are not priority over the risk of birth defects associated with taking isotretinoin when pregnant. A side effect of isotretinoin is a higher risk of nosebleeds (epistaxis).

  3. Perform hearing and balance tests
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because it is not necessary to perform a hearing and balance test prior to taking the medication. Nevertheless, isotretinoin may cause some hearing loss in some people. This generally occurs within the first few weeks of taking the medication. Any hearing loss should be reported immediately.

  4. Assure the client has plenty of contact lenses
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because generally contact lenses are not tolerated due to the intense dryness associated with taking isotretinoin. The client should make sure to have glasses available if correction is needed for eyesight for increased comfort.

Overview

A client should not be pregnant or intend to get pregnant while taking isotretinoin. The nurse should obtain a pregnancy test prior to the health care provider prescribing isotretinoin.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Isotretinoin is a retinoid medication mostly used for treatment of a severe form of acne, cystic acne. This medication is only used if the person has not been responsive to topical medications (benzoyl peroxide or clindamycin) or normal medications (tetracycline or minocycline). The medication decreases facial oil production. Acne may worsen at first when taking isotretinoin, then improve. A client should not be pregnant or intend to get pregnant while taking isotretinoin. The nurse should obtain a pregnancy test prior to the health care provider prescribing isotretinoin.

Test Taking Tip

Remember that good distractors have just enough truth to be associated with the correct answer or be one that can be easily confused with drugs that treat the condition.

Video Rationale