Preadministration Assessment

Assessment of the patient receiving an androgen or anabolic steroid depends on the drug, the patient, and the reason for administration.

ANDROGENS. In most instances, androgens are administered to the man on an outpatient basis. Before and during therapy, the primary health care provider may order electrolyte studies because use of these drugs can result in fluid and electrolyte imbalances.

When these drugs are given to the female patient with inoperable breast carcinoma, the nurse evaluates the patient's current status (physical, emotional, and nutritional) carefully and records the findings in the patient's chart. Problem areas, such as pain, any limitation of motion, and the ability to participate in the activities of daily living, are carefully evaluated and recorded in the patient's record. The nurse takes and records vital signs and weight. Baseline laboratory tests may include a complete blood count, hepatic function tests, serum electrolytes, and serum and urinary calcium levels. The nurse reviews these tests and notes any abnormalities.

ANABOLIC STEROIDS. The nurse evaluates and records the patient's physical and nutritional status before starting therapy with anabolic steroids. The nurse takes the patient's weight, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. Baseline laboratory studies may include a complete blood count, hepatic function tests, and serum electrolytes and serum lipid levels. The nurse reviews these studies and notes any abnormalities.

ANDROGEN HORMONE INHIBITOR. The nurse questions the patient at length about symptoms of BPH, such as frequency of voiding during the day and night and difficulty starting the urinary stream. The nurse records all symptoms in the patient's chart.

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