8.1 Central Nervous System Introduction

Open Resources for Nursing (Open RN)

Learning Objectives

  • Cite the classifications and actions of central nervous system drugs
  • Cite the classifications and actions of drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders
  • Give examples of when, how, and to whom central nervous system drugs may be administered
  • Identify the side effects and special considerations associated with central nervous system drug therapy
  • Identify considerations and implications of using central nervous system medications across the lifespan
  • Apply evidence-based concepts when using the nursing process
  • Identify indications, side effects, and potential drug interactions associated with the use of herbal supplements
  • Identify and interpret related laboratory tests

The nervous system is a very complex organ system. Even though progress has continued at an amazing rate within the scientific disciplines of neuroscience, our understanding of the intricacies within this science are limited. The nervous system may be just too complex for us to completely understand, and you may notice evidence of this within some of the “Mechanisms of Action” statements later in this chapter where exact understanding is unknown. The complexity of the nervous system and understanding of the brain can make treating and preventing diseases that affect this system complicated.[1]


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