• CoronaCoronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

    In an effort to support our members with the most updated information on COVID-19 we developed this resource page to easily access current CDC information and other resources to assist you professionally and personally.

    We will continue to update this page with more information as it becomes available and welcome your input as we navigate through this situation. As health care professionals it is our job to educate our patients and families on prevention and the what to do if someone is symptomatic.

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  • 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference: Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older AdultsGAPNA Pharmacology Conference:
    Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults

    Rescheduled, so you won't miss a thing! Find out what to do next!

    April 20-24, 2021, Honolulu, Hawaii

    More Information

  • AwardCall for Excellence Award Nominations

    The awards are: Emerging Chapter Award, Established Chapter Excellence Award, Special Interest Group Excellence Award, Excellence in Clinical Practice Award, Excellence in Community Service Award, Excellence in Education Award, Excellence in Leadership Award, and Excellence in Research Award.

    The nominations are tallied in July and the winners are announced every year during the Awards Celebration at the GAPNA Annual Conference.

    Now is the time to nominate a colleague or yourself - DEADLINE is June 1, 2020.

    Get started... nominate today!

  • FREE CE for GAPNA MembersFREE continuing education credit is available for the following session:

    "Safety and Utility of Cannabis in the Elderly"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)

    For March/April 2020 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

Clinical Pearls

Medication Considerations with Parkinson’s Disease: Case Study

by Tamatha (Tammy) Arms

A 72-year-old male patient living in an assisted living facility is diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

He is independent with feeding himself after a meal set up and needs assistance with bathing and dressing at his baseline status. He is able to stand and pivot from bed to wheelchair and mobilizes throughout the facility independently in wheelchair.

An on-call provider, who was not familiar with this patient, was called over a holiday weekend and notified that staff were unable to bathe patient due to “agitated behaviors.”

Haldol® 0.5 mg 1-tab PO daily PRN for agitated behaviors was ordered. Haldol 0.5 mg PO was given by the medical techs daily for a week.

Patient developed psychomotor retardation, was unable to feed himself, and was unable to self-propel the wheelchair with overall worsening symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. A family member called the provider’s office with concerns. An adult/geriatric and family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner visited the patient. After an assessment and medication review, new orders were placed.

Haldol was discontinued due to the dopamine-blocking properties of conventional antipsychotics. This medication blocks D2 in the nigrostriatal pathway (Stahl, 2016). Therefore, it is useful in treating tics associated with Tourette’s syndrome but will worsen physical signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

If this patient truly needs an antipsychotic medication, Seroquel® 25 mg is the medication of choice. Seroquel blocks 2A receptors which causes enhanced dopamine release in certain areas of the brain, reducing motor side effects (Stahl, 2016). Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic and will treat psychosis which may be displayed as “agitated behaviors,” while not causing the side effects conventional antipsychotics will for a person with Parkinson’s Disease.

Tamatha (Tammy) Arms, DNP, PMHNP-BC, NP-C

Stahl, S. (2016). Essential psychopharmacology prescriber’s guide (5th ed.). San Diego, CA: Cambridge University Press

Plan your trip to the nation’s capital during GAPNA’s Annual Conference, September 26-29, 2018 by checking out all the things to do, places to eat, and ways to have fun.

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