The endocrine and musculoskeletal systems play important roles in the regulation and coordination of activities throughout the body. When alterations of these systems occur, many patients require long-term drug therapies. In addition to drugs prescribed by their health care providers, patients with these disorders also often take herbal and dietary supplements. According to the American Diabetes Association, 22 percent of diabetic patients use herbal therapy and 31 percent use dietary supplements (American Diabetes Association, 2009). This may impact the effects of prescribed drugs, as well as pose a concern of adverse drug reactions in patients. When treating patients with endocrine and musculoskeletal disorders, it is important to educate patients on associated risks. As an advanced practice nurse prescribing drugs, you must carefully consider all drug, herbal, and dietary therapies prior to finalizing treatment plans
Patients with endocrine and musculoskeletal disorders often require long-term treatment and care resulting in the need for extensive patient education. By appropriately educating patients, advanced practice nurses can assist patients with the management of their disorders. In clinical settings, patients with endocrine and musculoskeletal disorders typically seek treatment for symptoms that pose problems to their everyday lives as ordinary tasks may become difficult to complete. For instance, patients might have difficulty walking short distances, preparing meals, or even running errands. To reduce these symptoms and additional health risks, it is essential to develop drug therapy plans with individual patient factors in mind. To prepare: • Select one of the following endocrine or musculoskeletal disorders: thyroid disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatic arthritis, gout, multiple sclerosis, or fibromyalgia. Consider the types of drugs that would be prescribed to patients to treat symptoms associated with this disorder. • Select one of the following factors: genetics, gender, ethnicity, age, or behavior. Reflect on how this factor might impact the effects of prescribed drugs, as well as any measures you might take to help reduce negative side effects.