Analgesics: Drugs that help relieve pain; narcotic and non-narcotic
Analgesics are important medications. These help relieve pain, which can affect every aspect of a resident’s daily life. It is imperative that you follow instructions carefully, and document precisely. One of the most common, but potentially serious side effects is sedation. If the resident becomes too sleepy, your observation is very important. Always make sure that you give the pain medication at the correct time. Given too early, and the patient may become too lethargic, given too late, and the pain may be hard to control.
Antacids: Helps to reduce indigestion and heartburn: the most antacids include Maalox, Zantac and Tums. These drugs slow down the rate of the stomach emptying and neutralize acids in the stomach.
Antibiotics: Helps to control infections: There are many types of antibiotics, and most have specific targets. Infections can be deadly if not treated quickly and effectively. These medicines must be given exactly as the physician writes the order. If the order is to give 4 times a day for 7 days that is exactly what you do. If the medicine is stopped before the correct doses are given, another infection may occur. Or, even worse, a “super” infection may result. The super infections are very hard to stop once they begin. They are resistant to antibiotics.
Anticoagulants: Helps to thin the blood, slowing clotting. The most common anticoagulant is Coumadin. This drug helps to prevent blood clots. It must be given exactly as ordered. In addition, side effects must be monitored closely. So, as a medication assistant, you must look for new bruises, or actual bleeding.
Anticonvulsants: Controls seizures: When anticonvulsants are given routinely, the chance of seizures is less. These medications should be given on schedule, and at the same time every day. If seizures increase, the physician must be notified.
Antidepressants: Many of the elderly take these drugs because depression is a common diagnosis. Antidepressants are not happy pills. They can only be prescribed by a physician, and come with many risks and benefits (Croft, H., 2010).