Info

General Comments: Phenylephrine and antitussive agents such as terpln hydrate with codeine are often prescribed to relieve nasal congestion and coughing. In patients with influenza that is complicated by pneumonia, antibiotics may be administered to treat a bacterial superinfection.

Medication or Drug Class

Dosage

Description

Rationale

Antipyretics Amantadine

Varies with drug

100-200 mg PO qd, bid for several days

Aspirin, acetaminophen Antiviral infective

Control fever and discomfort; generally aspirin is avoided to reduce the risk of Reye's syndrome

Provides antiviral action against influenza (prophylaxis and symptomatic); usually prescribed for outbreaks of influenza A within a closed population, such as a nursing home

Other Drugs: Neuraminidase Inhibitors (oseltamlvlr and zanamlvlr) for use In treatment and prophylaxis of influenza A and B; rimantadine for treatment and prophylaxis of influenza A only; antiviral treatment should be initiatied within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms to be effective.

Independent

The most important nursing intervention is prevention. Encourage all patients over 65 years or those with chronic conditions to receive annual influenza vaccinations. Teach the patient about potential side effects of vaccination, such as fever, malaise, discomfort at the injection site, and in rare instances, Guillain-Barre syndrome. Note that influenza vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women unless they are highly susceptible to influenza.

Instruct patients and families to cover the mouths and noses when coughing, to dispose of used tissues appropriately, and to wash their hands after patient contact to prevent the virus from spreading. Limit visitors when necessary. Encourage a fluid intake of3000 mL/day for adults. Explain that warm baths or the use of a heating pad may relieve myalgia. Provide cool, humidified air; maintain bedrest; and monitor vital signs to detect any change in the rhythm or quality of respirations.

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