NCLEX : Cell Receptors and Ligands

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for NCLEX

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Cell Receptors And Ligands

You start a patient in the intensive care unit on a drip of phenylephrine, as the patient is persistently hypotensive. You think that this will raise the patient's blood pressure because phenylephrine's primary mechanism of action is which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Beta-1 adrenergic agonist

Alpha-1 adrenergic agonist

Beta-2 adrenergic agonist

Alpha-2 adrenergic agonist

Beta-1 adrenergic antagonist

Correct answer:

Alpha-1 adrenergic agonist

Explanation:

The correct answer is "alpha-1 adrenergic agonist." 

Phenylephrine is frequently administered in the intensive care unit setting for patients with hypotension that is refractory to simple fluid resuscitation. It is a vasopressor, as its mechanism of action is to serve as an alpha-1 adrenergic agonist. 

The other choices are incorrect, as they represent the primary mechanisms of action of a handful of medications other than phenylephrine. 

An example of an alpha-2 adrenergic agonist would be methyldopa.

An example of a beta-1 adrenergic agonist would be dobutamine.

An example of a beta-2 adrenergic agonist would be albuterol.

An example of a beta-1 adrenergic antagonist would be atenolol.

Example Question #23 : Pharmacology

You are the nurse taking care of a patient with asthma. The patient reports using his albuterol inhaler about once a month for wheezing and shortness of breath. Albuterol functions by which of the following mechanisms of action?

Possible Answers:

Alpha-1 adrenergic receptor agonist

Beta-1 adrenergic receptor antagonist

Beta-2 adrenergic receptor antagonist

Beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist

Beta-1 adrenergic receptor agonist

Correct answer:

Beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist

Explanation:

The correct answer is "Beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist."

This question tests your knowledge of the mechanism of action of albuterol, a short-acting medication, frequently used in the treatment of acute asthma flares. Albuterol is an agonist of the Beta-2 adrenergic receptor in the bronchial smooth muscle, which helps to dilate the bronchioles, often providing relief to patients who are suffering from asthma flares, as bronchospasm plays a large role in causing their symptoms. Additional effects of albuterol include increased heart rate, increased insulin release, and vasodilation among others.

An example of a beta-1 adrenergic agonist would be dobutamine.

An example of a beta-1 adrenergic antagonist would be atenolol.

An example of a beta-2 adrenergic antagonist would be butoxamine.

An example of an alpha-1 adrenergic agonist would be phenylephrine.

Example Question #24 : Pharmacology

You are taking care of a patient undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and she complains of nausea. Her physician prescribes her ondansetron for nausea relief. What is the mechanism of action of ondansetron?

Possible Answers:

Serotonin 5HT-3 receptor agonist

Dopamine D2 receptor antagonist

Serotonin 5HT-3 receptor antagonist

Dopamine D2 receptor agonist

Serotonin 5HT-3 receptor partial agonist

Correct answer:

Serotonin 5HT-3 receptor antagonist

Explanation:

The correct answer is "Serotonin 5HT-3 receptor antagonist." 

Ondansetron functions by antagonizing the serotonergic 5HT-3 receptors both centrally in the brain and peripherally at vagal nerve endings. It is frequently given as an anti-nausea and anti-emetic agent for patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, as well as in post-operative patients, and for patients with gastroenteritis, among other uses. 

Ondansetron is neither a full nor a partial agonist of the 5HT-3 receptors, making those answer choices incorrect.

Metaclopramide, which is another anti-nausea agent, is an anatagonist of the dopamine D2 receptor, but ondansetron is not, so this choice is incorrect. Neither metaclopramide nor ondansetron is an agonist of the dopamine D2 receptor. 

Example Question #25 : Pharmacology

You are a nurse at a gastroenterology practice and your patient is being started on ranitidine for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Which of the following describes the mechanism of action of ranitidine? 

Possible Answers:

Beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist

Proton pump inhibitor

Histamine-2 receptor antagonist

Direct acid neutralization 

Histamine-1 receptor antagonist

Correct answer:

Histamine-2 receptor antagonist

Explanation:

The correct answer is "Histamine-2 receptor antagonist."

This question tests your knowledge of the mechanism of action of the commonly prescribed antacid medication, ranitidine. Ranitidine functions by antagonizing the histamine-2 receptors within the parietal cells (acid-producing cells) of the stomach. This helps to reduce acid production, which can provide symptomatic relief to patients who suffer from epigastric burning, discomfort, and pain due to gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease, among other conditions.

An example of a histamine-1 receptor antagonist would be diphenhydramine.

An example of a beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist would be albuterol.

An example of a proton pump inhibitor would be omeprazole.

An example of a direct acid neutralizer would be calcium carbonate.

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