Over-the-Counter Medications for HEENT Symptoms Essay

Over-the-Counter Medications for HEENT Symptoms Essay

Over-the-Counter Medications for HEENT Symptoms Essay

As a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), my primary goal is to provide safe and effective care to patients in the primary care setting. One common aspect of my practice is helping patients manage HEENT symptoms through over-the-counter medications. It is important to educate patients in selecting appropriate OTC medications for patients based on their unique presentations and factors, analyzing therapeutic and adverse responses, and determining the suitability of pharmacologic therapy (Chang et al., 2020).

One of the fundamental steps in my practice is understanding the patient’s presentation thoroughly. I encounter patients seeking relief from a range of HEENT symptoms, from nagging headaches to bothersome nasal congestion. For each patient, I take the time to gather information about their symptoms, medical history, allergies, and current medications. This helps me tailor my approach to select the most appropriate OTC medication for their needs (Eccles, 2020).

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Selecting the right OTC medication involves considering various factors. Age plays a crucial role, as pediatric patients have different dosing requirements compared to adults (Chang et al., 2020). Pregnant or breastfeeding women require special consideration, as some OTC medications may not be safe for them or their babies. Patients with pre-existing medical conditions, such as hypertension or liver impairment, may have limitations on the types of medications they can use (Chang et al., 2020). Therefore, being attentive to these unique patient factors is vital in making informed decisions.


As an FNP, I believe patient education is key to ensuring the safe and effective use of OTC medications. I take the time to discuss the expected therapeutic responses with each patient. For instance, when recommending acetaminophen or ibuprofen for headaches, I explain that they should experience relief from pain within a certain time frame. Additionally,  I also discuss potential adverse responses or side effects. For example, some OTC decongestant nasal sprays may provide temporary relief, but prolonged use can lead to rebound congestion, making the condition worse (Marathe et al., 2020). By educating patients about these possibilities, I empower them to make informed choices about their healthcare.

While OTC medications are useful for symptom relief, they may not always be suitable for addressing the root cause of certain conditions. For instance, allergies might require more than just antihistamines for long-term management (Marathe et al., 2020). I ensure patients understand the limitations of OTC medications and encourage them to seek follow-up care if symptoms persist or worsen (Tung et al., 2020).



Chang, A. B., Oppenheimer, J. J., Irwin, R. S., & CHEST Expert Cough Panel. (2020). Managing chronic cough as a symptom in children and management algorithms: CHEST guideline and expert panel report. Chest, 158(1), 303–329. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2020.01.042

Eccles, R. (2020). What is the role of over 100 excipients in over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines? Lung, 198(5), 727–734. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00408-020-00390-x

Marathe, P. A., Kamat, S. K., Tripathi, R. K., Raut, S. B., & Khatri, N. P. (2020). Over-the-counter medicines: Global perspective and Indian scenario. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 66(1), 28–34. https://doi.org/10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_381_19

Tung, A., Fergusson, N. A., Ng, N., Hu, V., Dormuth, C., & Griesdale, D. E. G. (2020). Medications to reduce emergence coughing after general anesthesia with tracheal intubation: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 124(4), 480–495. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bja.2019.12.041


Patient Education: OTC Medications: DUE WEDNESDAY



The purpose of this assignment is to explore over-the-counter (OTC) medications for HEENT symptom management. This assignment will allow for discovery into commonly used OTC agents and associated patient education points required for the safe, effective use of these agents. Formulation of a patient-education infographic supports professional formation, communication, and dissemination skills relevant to the FNP.

Course Outcomes

This assignment enables the student to meet the following course outcomes:

CO 1: Select appropriate medications according to patient presentation and unique patient factors. (POs 1, 2)

CO 2: Analyze factors pertinent to making the most effective drug selection for a client with a specific diagnosis in the primary care setting. (POs 1, 2)

CO 3: Analyze client indicators of therapeutic, ineffective, adverse responses and side effects to drug therapy. (POs 1, 2)

CO 6: Analyze whether pharmacologic therapy is appropriate for individual patients. (POs 1, 2)

Due Date

Original post due Wednesday with peer responses due on Sunday, 11:59 MT (Mountain Time) of Week 3.

A 10% late penalty will be imposed for initial discussions posted after the deadline on Wednesday at 11:59 pm MT, regardless of the number of days late. NOTHING will be accepted after 11:59 pm MT on Sunday (i.e., the student will receive an automatic 0).

A 10% penalty will be imposed for not entering the minimum number of interactive dialogue posts (3) OR not posting on the minimum required number of days (3). NOTHING will be accepted after 11:59 pm MT on Sunday (i.e., the student will receive an automatic 0).

Total Points Possible: 150

Preparing the Assignment

Follow these guidelines when completing each component of the assignment. Contact your course faculty if you have questions.

Use Canva.com Links to an external site.or another infographic development to design a patient teaching aid about OTC treatments for colds and cough. Use PO drugs only.

Include the following required six sections. You do not have to use these exact words for headings, but they should be labeled to identify the intended topic.

What OTC drugs (active ingredients) are available to treat the following common cold and cough symptoms?

Nasal decongestants

Cough suppressants



Pain relievers

What is the recommended dose and frequency for each generic drug (active ingredient)?

How do I know which one to take?

How do I know which OTC medications are safe to take with others?

When should I stop taking the OTC medication selected?

When should I see my healthcare provider?



Lay language for patients rather than professional language


Use of graphics, images, etc.

Use PO drugs only

References & Participation

References used should be noted at the bottom of your infographic in a smaller font as not to distract from information provided but also validating the information came from a reliable source within the last 5 years.

References should be from either your textbook or a professional source such as American Gastroenterological Association, Prescriber’s Desk Reference, etc.

References should not be from sources such as MayoClinic, WebMD, etc.

Additionally, avoid use of journal articles for this assignment as you are looking for a more global consensus than that of one journal article.

Student provides a response to at least one topic-related post of a peer.

Student responds to all direct faculty questions OR if student was not asked a direct question student responds to either a 2nd peer post or a faculty question directed towards another student.


Provide a screenshot of your completed infographic.

Highlight the date the infographic was created (see example in image).

The infographic submitted must match the screenshot submitted with the assignment.

The date the infographic is created must coincide with the session in which it is submitted.

Submit your infographic and screenshot to the course discussion board by Wednesday 11:59 PM MT.

You must submit the infographic itself (not a screenshot of the infographic) and the screenshot showing the completion date each as their own file. Each can be either a PDF, JPG, or DOCX – but each must be its own separate file.

Subsequent posts, including substantive responses to peer(s) and faculty questions, must occur by Sunday, 11:59 PM MT. A total of three substantive posts are required on two different days.

Infographic: Design an Infographic using Canvasbacks to an external site. by following the video instructions below.

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