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Pharmacology for Nursing Care: Painkillers

Acetaminophen IV

Acetaminophen IV infusion lasts for fifteen minutes and blocks pain in a patient (Canbay et al., 2008). However, acetaminophen IV infusion is applicable before and during an intervention method. In using acetaminophen IV, the patient will experience several short-term side effects that include drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, itching and constipation (Canbay et al., 2008). A feeling of the short-term effects takes place in the first days after the medication.

Long-term effects of acetaminophen IV include brain disorders, liver disorders, kidney failures and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (Lehne, 2013). According to the current dosage guidelines from the manufacturer, a physician can instruct a patient to take one to two tablets six times a day (Canbay et al., 2008). However, the prescription depends on the patient.

Acetaminophen IV Administration

There is more than one route for administering acetaminophen IV. Despite the many routes, it is up to the physician to decide the route of administration. On the other hand, the physician’s decision lies on the patient and include patient condition, individual patient differences and the requirements of the patient (Canbay et al., 2008). When administering a drug orally, several advantages come with the method. For example, oral administration is convenient in pre-dosage, the method is non-invasive and it requires no special training for a physician to use it (Canbay et al., 2008). When using intramuscular method for drug administration, a large volume of the drug is taken in while intravenous method is applicable to all patients (Canbay et al., 2008).

Precautions when using Specific Methods of Drug Administration

All the methods of drug administration have specific precautions in their use. For a specific method of drug administration, the physician should consider the age of patient because some methods of administration do not work well for specific age groups (Lehne, 2013). Additionally, the physician needs to know if a specific medication needs ingestion wholly or crushed and how long it will take for the drug to reach its target (Lehne, 2013). Before administration of a drug, it is important to check on its status and if it has expired (Lehne, 2013). On the other hand, the reactions and allergies of a drug need consideration as a precaution. In the use of intramuscular, a patient is positioned well before the drug is administered. On the other hand, when using intravenous method, a secure intravenous route of administration is chosen.


Morphine has a lot of side effects and one in every one hundred patients taking morphine will experience some of the common side effects. Among the side effects of morphine include abnormal muscle movements, nausea, itching, vomiting, drowsiness and difficulty sleeping (Drendel et al., 2009). The normal dosage for morphine depends on the method of administration. For oral, buccal and sub-lingual methods, taking 5-30 mg of the drug every six hours will be effective. Different routes of administration have different responses in patients. Oral administration is among the methods, and when applied, patients tend to vomit and develop ulcers (Drendel et al., 2009). Intravascular and subcutaneous methods have similar effects because they cause drug absorption and lead to delays in drug effects (Drendel et al., 2009).

Side Effects of Ibuprofen

The physician regulates dosage of ibuprofen to fit each patient’s needs, and it should not exceed 3000mg (Lehne, 2013). However, patients experience side effects even after the observation of relevant precautions and procedures. Among the side effects of ibuprofen include diarrhea, gas production and heartburn (Acetaminophen & ibuprofen, 2013). The three are among the most common symptoms, and the patient should seek medical attention if they experience them. Other side effects of ibuprofen include constipation, vomiting, nausea and dizziness (Acetaminophen & ibuprofen, 2013).

General Assessments used to determine whether to use Ibuprofen or Morphine

Morphine and ibuprofen are both painkillers. However, it is important to decide if the pain being experienced is as a result of an inflammation. Thus, if it is due to an inflammation, ibuprofen is preferable because it is an anti-inflammatory pain-killer (Drendel et al., 2009). Assessment of the pain determines if the pain is extreme and if it is for the patient, ibuprofen prescription takes place (Lehne, 2013).


Acetaminophen & ibuprofen. (2013). Acetaminophen & ibuprofen combo no extra help in ED pain. Medscape. Web.

Canbay, O., Celebi, N., Arun, O., Karagöz, A. H., Sarıcaoğlu, F., & Özgen, S. (2008). Efficacy of intravenous acetaminophen and lidocaine on propofol injection pain. British journal of anaesthesia, 100(1), 95-98.

Drendel, A. L., Gorelick, M. H., Weisman, S. J., Lyon, R., Brousseau, D. C., & Kim, M. K. (2009). A randomized clinical trial of ibuprofen versus acetaminophen with codeine for acute pediatric arm fracture pain. Annals of emergency medicine, 54(4), 553-560.

Lehne, R. A. (2013). Pharmacology for nursing care. Elsevier Health Sciences.

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StudyKraken. "Pharmacology for Nursing Care: Painkillers." March 24, 2022.


StudyKraken. 2022. "Pharmacology for Nursing Care: Painkillers." March 24, 2022.


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