The nurse observes the patient receiving an androgen or anabolic steroid for signs of adverse drug reactions. In women, virilization may be seen with long-term administration and in many cases must be tolerated to obtain the desired effect of the drug.
When the androgens are administered to a patient with diabetes, blood glucose measurements should be done frequently because glucose tolerance may be altered. Adjustments may need to be made in insulin dosage, oral antidiabetic drugs, or diet. The nurse monitors the patient for signs for hypoglycemia and hyper-glycemia (see Chap. 49).
Sodium and water retention may also occur with androgen or anabolic steroid administration, causing the patient to become edematous. In addition, other electrolyte imbalances, such as hypercalcemia, may occur. The nurse monitors the patient for fluid and electrolyte disturbances (see Chap. 58 for signs and symptoms of electrolyte disturbance).
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