Drugs Every ICU Nurse Need to Know

The Intensive Care Unit Nurse is always alert and quick to notice change in patients' conditions and knows when to call for help. During emergencies, certain drugs may need to be administered and the ICU Nurse needs to know which and when to administer.

Intensive Care Unit

Here is a list of drugs every ICU nurse should know:

1. Adenosine 
An endogenous nucleoside, slows conduction down through the AV node. Treats supraventricular tachycardia and sometimes atrial tachycardia. Extremely short half life- <10 seconds.

2. Amiodarone
Antiarrhythmic that effects the sodium, potassium, and calcium channels. Vasodilates. Used in V-tach, V-fib, and sinus tachycardia.

3. Atropine Antocholinergic, 
It enhances the conduction in the AV node. Drug of choice in treating bradycardia.

4. Epinephrine
Potent cathcholamine. Increases heart rate, blood pressure. Used to treat Asystole, V tach, V fib, or bradycardia.

5. Lidocaine
Antiarrhythmic used alternatively to Amioderone. Treats V fib or V tach.

6. Procainamide
Antiarrhythmic, used to treat sustained V tach.

7. Sotalol
Beta Blocker. Treats A fib or A flutter.


Synthetic antiarrhythmic. Used to treat Asystole, V tach, or V fib.

What other drugs do you think an ICU nurse use during emergencies?

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