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Old 10-18-2015, 11:55 AM
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Default Labs on drug therapy

Ok, so I was doing my pharm last night and something occurred to me.

If corticosteroids alter labs, won't they (the labs) be inaccurate?

Meaning, one of the interventions for a pt. on cortisone is to monitor their labs, so is that just to make sure nothing is so out of whack that its detrimental? Don't we expect the glucose to be high, etc. ?

Am I making sense?
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Glycerine82 View Post
Ok, so I was doing my pharm last night and something occurred to me.

If corticosteroids alter labs, won't they (the labs) be inaccurate?

Meaning, one of the interventions for a pt. on cortisone is to monitor their labs, so is that just to make sure nothing is so out of whack that its detrimental? Don't we expect the glucose to be high, etc. ?

Am I making sense?

Yes you are making sense, while steroids can increase bs not every patient responds that way, as far as accuracy, if you are looking for a baseline status you are correct but if you are looking for a snapshot it is the true picture of the patient's status
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:46 PM
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The labs are not inaccurate they just reflect the drug(s) the patient is taking. For example, if their glucose is elevated on their lab results, that glucose level is still accurate it just reflects that they are taking a steroid. Yes we expect that number to be high, however, those numbers are monitored for a reason. A baseline is established and we monitor & compare from there.

If it is really "out of whack" interventions should be placed (i.e. changing medications, insulin therapy may be initiated, etc).

So while we may expect abnormal labs and can attribute them to medicine, we still monitor & take action if the labs (and/ or patient s/s) indicate patient harm. Monitoring labs is important with all medications as you are watching for adverse effects & they can help establish if the medication is doing it's job.
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