Pharmacology Skin Meds #5

Question

Which teaching should the nurse include during client education about isotretinoin?

Answers

  1. Wear long sleeves when outdoors
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because one important side effect to educate the client about is the risk for sun sensitivity. The client should wear at least SPF 30 and wear clothes to protect the skin to avoid severe sunburn.

  2. Discoloration of contacts can occur
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because discoloration of body fluids, including tears, is not associated with isotretinoin. Medications including rifampin and phenazopyridine are medications that discolor body fluids.

  3. Report darkening of teeth
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because darkening of teeth is not associated with isotretinoin. Tetracycline, a medication used for treatment of acne, can cause tooth discoloration if a pregnant mother takes tetracycline or it is taken at an early age.

  4. Rotate injection sites each week
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because isotretinoin is an oral medication, not an injection. The medication is weight based and the capsules taken once or twice daily for around 4 to 6 months.

Overview

Client education about isotretinoin should include the side effect of sun sensitivity. The client should wear at least SPF 30 and wear clothes to protect the skin to avoid severe sunburn.

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. One important side effect to educate the client about is the risk for sun sensitivity. The client should wear at least SPF 30 and wear clothes to protect the skin to avoid severe sunburn.

Test Taking Tip

Discoloration of body fluids are unique characteristics of certain medications (rifampin and phenazopyridine) and should be put to memory. Also, tooth discoloration is a unique risk of tetracycline. Remembering unique side effects will help rule out answers.

Video Rationale