Pharmacotherapy for Respiratory Disorders

Review Chapter 26 of the Arcangelo and Peterson text.

  • Research emphysema and consider types of drugs that would be prescribed to patients to
    treat symptoms associated with this disorder.
  • Select one of the following factors: genetics, gender, ethnicity, age, or behavior. Reflect on
    how this factor might impact effects of prescribed drugs, as well as any measures you might
    take to help reduce negative side effects.
  • Write a description of the respiratory disorder you selected including types of drugs that
    would be prescribed to patients to treat associated symptoms. Then, explain how the factor
    you selected might impact effects of prescribed drugs, as well as any measures you might
    take to help reduce negative side effects.
    USE CURRENT RESOURCES NOT OLDER THAN 5 YEARS.
    Arcangelo, V. P., & Peterson, A. M. (Eds.). (2013). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced
    practice: A practical approach (3rd ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
    [Chapter 26, “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” (pp. 366-374)

Pharmacotherapy for Respiratory Disorders

Emphysema is a form of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) where the
alveoli get damaged. Resultantly, the body is unable to get the needed oxygen. In addition,
catching a breath becomes difficult and a person may have trouble breathing when exercising
and a persistent chronic cough (Arcangelo & Peterson, 2013).
Drugs for treating the symptoms include bronchodilators that assist in opening the
airways in lungs through relaxing the smooth muscles around airways. They can be long or short
acting. Anti-inflammatory medications assist in preventing and reducing inflammation inside
airways. Some of these medications include corticosteroid pills and inhaled corticosteroid. Viral
or bacterial infections worsen emphysema’s symptoms, referred to as exacerbation (Arcangelo &
Peterson, 2013). Antibiotics assist in fighting bacterial infections while anti-viral medications
fight viral infections.
Exercise is one behavior that impacts on the effects of the prescribed drugs. As a person
with the disease is exercising, blood flow relocation away from the kidneys and liver leads to a
decreased clearance time for particular medications such as theophylline; improper dosing results

PHARMACOTHERAPY FOR RESPIRATORY DISORDERS 2
to toxicity, causing challenges of nausea, rapid heart rate, headache, diarrhea, and vomiting
(Arcangelo & Peterson, 2013). So as to avoid this, caution should be taken by having a
discussion with a client’s physician before an exercise program. Using almost all kinds of
respiratory drugs improves exercise tolerance through minimizing breathing resistance in people
with the disease. However, there can be an effect on exercise monitoring since a majority of the
drugs bring about an alteration in exercising and resting heart rate. Therefore, there is a need to
consider this prior to using heart rate for monitoring training intensity and providing aerobic
fitness estimates based on heart rate response.

PHARMACOTHERAPY FOR RESPIRATORY DISORDERS 3

Reference

Arcangelo, V. P., & Peterson, A. M. (Eds.). (2013). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced
practice: A practical approach (3rd ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
[Chapter 26, “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” (pp. 366–374).

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