Welcome to Episode 71

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Tip of the Week– Macrolide Antibiotics

Macrolide antibiotics are commonly prescribed to patients and are important medications for nurses and nursing students to learn about.  This is part of an ongoing series on antibiotics for student nurses and RNs and is included in the featured medication review study aids at NursingTopStudent.com.

You may not recognize the name macrolide but will certainly recognize the specific drug names of the antibiotics in this class of meds (trade names in bold):

  • erythromycin (E-mycin)
  • azithromycin (Zithromax)
  • clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • dirithromycin (Dynabac)

These meds are used to treat infections classified as mild or moderate in nature.  Most commonly used for respiratory and sinus infections, as well as some GI, STD, and skin or soft tissue infections.

Some other medications’ actions can be potentiated by the effects of macrolide antibiotics including the effects of anticoagulants so review all drug interactions and educate patients about warning signs of their other medications as well.  Common side effects of macrolides include, GI symptoms including mild nausea, diarrhea, heartburn, and occasionally, vomiting.  Other rare but more serious side effects include:

  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • tachydysrhythmias
  • anaphylaxis
  • hearing loss (usually reversible)
  • potentiation of resistant infections (superinfection)

More info for RNs, nursing educators, and student nurses can be found at the link below or online at NursingTopStudent.com for members there.

AllNurses.com Forum Entries for Antibiotic Review


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This week- Winter Circle with, “Streetlight Flicker

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