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Introduction to Pharmacology - CHAPTER 21 Antineoplastic Drugs

Terms in this set (165)

1. Patients receiving antineoplastic agents are often anxious and upset. Efforts should be made to provide emotional support to patients and their families.
2. The health care provider should instruct the patient about the importance of good nutrition and his or her nutritional requirements. A diet high in protein but low in saturated fat is optimal (e.g., fish, lean poultry, eggs, nonfat dairy products, nuts, seeds, and legumes). Healthy choices include whole legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Dietary supplements may be beneficial but cannot replace a nutrient-rich diet.
3. Assess the patient's understanding of his or her illness and the possible side effects of medication.
4. Hair loss can be an emotional issue. Patients should be advised that hair grows back in time, even if total alopecia results from the treatments. A wig purchased in advance is a good idea.
5. Oral lesions and bleeding from the gums may result from treatment with antineoplastic agents. Good oral hygiene should be promoted, such as the use of lemon-glycerin swabs and the avoidance of irritating foods or acidic juices. Ice chips held in the mouth during chemotherapy administration can dilute these drugs in the oropharynx and decrease mucositis and the metallic aftertaste.
6. Common side effects of antineoplastic agents are fever, sore throat, blood dyscrasias, and infections. Patients should be monitored for these effects. Any fever should be reported to the physician immediately.
7. Patients receiving antineoplastic medications are susceptible to untoward effects from minor illnesses. Patients and families should be counseled about avoiding contact with possibly infected persons.
8. Sedation or antiemetic medication before the administration of intravenous agents may minimize the nausea and vomiting produced as side effects. Administration in the evening may allow remission of the nausea before the next morning. Patients should be encouraged to eat small, frequent meals.
9. The site of injection should be observed carefully for signs of extravasation because these agents may produce sloughing of tissues.
10. Observe patients for therapeutic effects, such as reduction in tumor size and weight gain.
11. A patient may be depressed as a result of having cancer. Observation for depression and recommendation for treatment, if indicated, help in the overall management of the patient.