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Question

What are the strategies that a nurse would include in the teaching plan for a client who is to receive a drug that is associated with anticholinergic effects?

Answer

The strategies that a nurse would include in the teaching plan for a client who is to receive a drug that is associated with anticholinergic effects include: informing the client to avoid activities that may require alertness and concentration, informing the client to drink enough fluids to avoid constipation and dry mouth, and to avoid alcohol and other CNS depressants.

Anticholinergic effects are caused by the inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling involuntary functions such as salivation, digestion, and bladder control. The nurse should provide education on the common side effects of drugs with anticholinergic effects, which may result in decreased cognition, dry mouth, blurred vision and constipation. Additionally, the nurse should advise the client to avoid driving or any activities that require alertness or concentration, to drink enough fluids to avoid constipation and dry mouth, and to avoid alcohol and other CNS depressants to prevent worsening of anticholinergic side effects.