6-7 Contraindications

LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recall drug contraindications, adverse drug reactions, and interaction

A contraindication is any condition the patient might display that makes a particular treatment or procedure inadvisable. These conditions include, but are not limited to, the disease process and other administered medications.

Adverse Drug Reactions

Adverse drug reactions may occur when a drug, administered in a dose appropriate for human prophylaxis, diagnosis, or therapy, has an unintended and noxious effect on the patient receiving it. As a Hospital Corpsman, you must be aware of the possibility of adverse effects of medications so that you can prevent an occurrence, or at least minimize the impact on the patient.

Drug Interactions

Patients may receive more than one medication at a time (as happens frequently in the case of hospitalized patients). Combining medications can cause the individual drugs to interact with each other—either positively or negatively—to produce an outcome that would not have occurred if each drug had been administered singly. Such interactions may affect the intensity of a drug’s response, the duration of its effect, and side effects that may occur. As stated above, drug interactions can be positive as well as negative, and two or more medications are often administered to achieve a greater therapeutic effect.

Information Concerning Drug Contraindications, Adverse Reactions, and Interactions

Descriptions of drug contraindications, adverse reactions, and interactions may be found in several publications, most notably the Physicians’ Desk Reference. However, the most important location for finding this information is the manufacturer’s package insert and associated literature that accompanies each drug.