NUR 600 Module 4 Discussion Treatments for Respiratory Disorders STU

Sample Answer for NUR 600 Module 4 Discussion Treatments for Respiratory Disorders STU

Module 4 Discussion 

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  1. Describe the causes of Upper respiratory infections and drug therapy. 

Upper respiratory infections (URIs) are commonly caused by viruses, including rhinovirus, influenza, respiratory syncytial (RSV), adenovirus, and coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Bacterial pathogens like Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae can also contribute to URIs, particularly in cases of bacterial sinusitis or acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic bronchitis. These infections are typically spread through respiratory droplets or contact with contaminated surfaces. Treatment for URIs is primarily symptomatic, focusing on alleviating discomfort and managing symptoms such as nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, and fever. Over-the-counter medications like analgesics (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen) and decongestants (e.g., pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine) can help relieve symptoms. Antiviral medicines like oseltamivir may sometimes be prescribed, especially for influenza infections. Antibiotics are generally not recommended for viral URIs but may be considered in cases of bacterial complications or suspected bacterial co-infections (Cheong et al., 2020). Additionally, supportive measures such as hydration, rest, and humidified air can aid in recovery from URIs. 

  1. Discuss triggers of asthma and treatment options. 

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Various factors can trigger asthma symptoms, including allergens such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold, and cockroach droppings. Environmental irritants like tobacco smoke, air pollution, strong odors, and chemical fumes can also exacerbate asthma. Respiratory infections, exercise, cold air, changes in weather, and emotional stress are additional triggers. Management of asthma involves both long-term control medications to reduce inflammation and prevent symptoms, as well as quick-relief medications to alleviate acute symptoms. Long-term control medications include inhaled corticosteroids (e.g., fluticasone, budesonide), long-acting beta-agonists (e.g., salmeterol, formoterol), leukotriene modifiers (e.g., montelukast), and biologic therapies (e.g., omalizumab, mepolizumab) for severe asthma. Quick-relief medications include short-acting beta-agonists (e.g., albuterol) to relieve symptoms immediately. Additionally, patients may benefit from allergen avoidance strategies, proper inhaler technique, regular lung function monitoring, and an asthma action plan to manage exacerbations effectively. In severe cases, oral corticosteroids or hospitalization may be necessary (Sharma et al., 2020). Overall, personalized management tailored to each individual’s triggers and severity of asthma is crucial for optimal control of the condition. 

  1. Corticosteroids 

Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are naturally produced in the adrenal glands and have potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. They mimic the effects of cortisol, a hormone that regulates metabolism, immune response, and stress. Corticosteroids are widely used in medicine for their therapeutic effects in managing various inflammatory and immune-mediated conditions. Depending on the condition being treated and the desired therapeutic effect, they can be administered orally, topically, intravenously, or by inhalation. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are commonly used to manage asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to reduce airway inflammation and prevent exacerbations. Topical corticosteroids effectively treat inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Systemic corticosteroids, administered orally or intravenously, are used for more severe inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and certain respiratory conditions like acute exacerbations of asthma or COPD (Zajac, 2021). However, long-term use of systemic corticosteroids can lead to various adverse effects, including osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, weight gain, mood changes, and increased susceptibility to infections. Therefore, their use is typically limited to short-term or intermittent courses, and patients are often tapered off gradually to minimize withdrawal symptoms and potential adrenal suppression. Overall, corticosteroids are invaluable in managing various inflammatory and immune-related disorders. Still, their use requires careful consideration of potential risks and benefits and close monitoring for adverse effects. 

Describe chronic bronchitis and treatment options. 

Chronic bronchitis is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to persistent cough with sputum production for at least three months in two consecutive years. It is often caused by long-term exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and occupational dust or chemicals. Chronic bronchitis thickens and narrows the bronchial tubes, leading to difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, and frequent respiratory infections. Treatment options for chronic bronchitis aim to alleviate symptoms, improve lung function, and reduce exacerbations. Smoking cessation is paramount and can significantly slow disease progression. Bronchodilators, such as short-acting beta-agonists (e.g., albuterol) and long-acting anticholinergics (e.g., tiotropium), are commonly used to relax the muscles around the airways and improve airflow. Inhaled corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce airway inflammation and control symptoms in more severe cases or in combination with bronchodilators. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs, including exercise training, education, and breathing exercises, can help improve exercise tolerance and quality of life (Zhang et al., 2020). Oxygen therapy may be necessary in advanced stages to maintain adequate oxygen levels. In some cases, antibiotics are prescribed during exacerbations to treat bacterial infections. Vaccination against influenza and pneumonia is recommended to prevent respiratory infections. Additionally, lifestyle modifications such as avoiding respiratory irritants, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying physically active can help manage chronic bronchitis symptoms and improve overall lung health. 


Cheong, D. H., Tan, D. W., Wong, F. W., & Tran, T. (2020). Anti-malarial drug, artemisinin and its derivatives for the treatment of respiratory diseases. Pharmacological Research, 158, 104901.  

Links to an external site. 

Sharma, A., Tiwari, S., Deb, M. K., & Marty, J. L. (2020). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2): a global pandemic and treatment strategies. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 56(2), 106054.

Sample Answer 2 for NUR 600 Module 4 Discussion Treatments for Respiratory Disorders STU

  1. Causes and Pharmacotherapy of Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs): 
    Viral infections, specifically rhinovirus, coronavirus, and adenovirus, are the primary culprits behind upper respiratory infections (URIs), commonly known as the common cold. In addition, influenza viruses play a role in the occurrence of seasonal outbreaks (Ferrara et al., 2019). 
    Bacterial infections, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophiles influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis, can lead to more severe symptoms and complications, although they are not as prevalent as viral upper respiratory infections. Allergies, specifically allergic rhinitis, can cause upper respiratory symptoms when exposed to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. 
    Alleviation of symptoms: Non-prescription drugs like decongestants (e.g., pseudoephedrine), antihistamines (e.g., loratadine), and pain relievers (e.g., acetaminophen) can alleviate symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, and pain. Antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), may be prescribed to lessen the length and intensity of symptoms in cases of influenza infection. Antibiotics are generally not advised for viral upper respiratory infections (URIs), but they may be prescribed if there is a suspicion or confirmation of a bacterial infection, particularly in cases of sinusitis or otitis media (Ferrara et al., 2019). 
  1. Triggers of Asthma and Available Treatment Methods: 
    Allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, and cockroach droppings, have the potential to induce asthma symptoms in individuals who are susceptible to allergies. 
    Environmental factors such as air pollutants (such as smoke, smog, and strong odors), cold air, respiratory infections, and occupational irritants (such as chemicals, dust, and fumes) can worsen asthma symptoms. Physical activity can trigger asthma symptoms, which is referred to as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) or exercise-induced asthma (EIA). 
    Possible courses of treatment: 
    Short-Acting Beta Agonists (SABAs) such as albuterol are medications that rapidly alleviate asthma symptoms by relaxing the muscles in the airways, facilitating easier breathing during an asthma attack or prior to physical activity. Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICS) are essential medications for maintaining asthma. They have anti-inflammatory properties and effectively reduce airway inflammation, thus preventing asthma symptoms. Examples of ICS include fluticasone and budesonide. Long-Acting Beta Agonists (LABAs) such as salmeterol are frequently utilized alongside Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICS) to enhance asthma management. They offer prolonged bronchodilation and alleviation of symptoms. Leukotriene Modifiers drugs such as montelukast inhibit the activity of leukotrienes, which are inflammatory substances implicated in asthma, in order to diminish airway inflammation and bronchoconstriction. 
  1. Corticosteroids: 
    Corticosteroids are artificial medications that imitate the actions of cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. 
    Due to their powerful anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive characteristics, they are highly effective in treating a range of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, allergic reactions, and autoimmune diseases. Corticosteroids can be given via different routes, including oral, topical (such as creams or ointments), inhalation (for asthma), or injection (such as intra-articular injections for joint inflammation). Common side effects of corticosteroids include weight gain, fluid retention, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, bone loss, and increased vulnerability to infections. 
    Systemic corticosteroids should be used with caution for an extended period of time, and close monitoring is necessary to gradually reduce the dosage and minimize the potential for negative consequences (Hodgens & Sharman, 2023). 
  1. Chronic bronchitis and available treatments: 
    Chronic bronchitis is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that is distinguished by inflammation and constriction of the airways, resulting in a persistent cough accompanied by the production of sputum. Possible factors contributing to this condition are tobacco use, prolonged inhalation of environmental pollutants, and repeated respiratory infections (Singh et al., 2023). 
    Possible courses of treatment: 
    Smoking cessation is the most crucial measure to take in order to decelerate the advancement of chronic bronchitis and minimize exacerbations. 
    Bronchodilators, such as short-acting beta agonists (SABAs) and long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs), work by relaxing the muscles in the airways, which leads to improved airflow (Singh et al., 2023). 
    Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICS): Inhaled corticosteroids are commonly prescribed alongside bronchodilators to diminish airway inflammation and manage symptoms. 
    Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Inclusive programs incorporating exercise training, education, and support can enhance lung function, exercise tolerance, and quality of life in individuals diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. 
    Oxygen Therapy: In advanced cases, supplemental oxygen therapy may be required to enhance oxygen levels and alleviate symptoms of hypoxemia. 
    Understanding the etiology, stimuli, and therapeutic alternatives for upper respiratory infections, asthma, corticosteroids, and chronic bronchitis is crucial for proficient control and enhancing patient results. 



Ferrara, P., Cutrona, C., & Sbordone, A. (2019). Which treatment for upper respiratory tract infections? Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 41(S2). 

Hodgens, A., & Sharman, T. (2023, May 1). Corticosteroids. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. 

Singh, A., Avula, A., & Zahn, E. (2023). Acute bronchitis.; StatPearls Publishing. 

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