Alpha-Adrenergic Blockers

Alpha-Adrenergic Blockers

Action: Acts by binding to a-adrenergic receptors, causing dilation of peripheral blood vessels. Lowers peripheral resistance, resulting in decreased blood pressure.

Uses: Used for pheochromocytoma, prevention of tissue necrosis and sloughing associated with extravasation of IV vasopressors.

Side effects / Adverse reactions: The most common side effects are hypotension, tachycardia, nasal stuffiness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Contraindications: Hypersensitive reactions may occur, and allergies should be identified before these products are given. Patients with cardial infarction, coronary insufficiency, angina, or other evidence of coronary artery disease should not use this products.

Interactions: Vasoconstrictive and hypertensive effects of Ephinephrine are antagonized by a-adrenergic blockers.

Possible nursing diagnoses:
» Altered tissue perfusion [uses]
» Risk for injury [adverse reactions]
» Sleep pattern disturbance [adverse reactions]

Nursing Considerations

» Electrolytes: K, Na, Cl, CO2
» Weight daily, I/O
» B/P lying, standing before treatment, q4h thereafter
» Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
» Skin turgor, dryness of mucous membranes for hydration status

» Starting with low dose, gradually increasing to prevent side effects
» With food or milk for GI symptoms

» Therapeutic response: Decreased B/P, increased peripheral pulses

Teach patient/family:
» To avoid alcoholic beverages
» To report dizziness, palpitations, fainting
» To change position slowly or fainting may occur
» To take drug exactly as prescribed
» To avoid all OTC products (cough, cold, allergy) unless directed by prescriber

Selected Generic Names


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