NU 641 Assignment 1: Interactive Upper Respiratory Case Study

Sample Answer for NU 641 Assignment 1: Interactive Upper Respiratory Case Study Included After Question


In this assignment, you will review the interactive Upper Respiratory Case Study patient scenario and analyze the data to determine the health status of the patient. You will need a minimum of two evidence-based practice articles to include clinical practice guidelines, as well as the course textbook.

All papers must conform to the most recent APA standards.


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A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NU 641 Assignment 1: Interactive Upper Respiratory Case Study

Title: NU 641 Assignment 1: Interactive Upper Respiratory Case Study

The case study depicts Laura, a 55-year-old White female accompanied by her daughter for her annual exam. The daughter expresses concerns about Laura being sleepy all the time and significant weight loss of 25 lb over the past two months with no dieting. Laura reports having increased fatigue and low energy levels. Besides, she has diminished interest in her hobbies because she frequently feels sad. She is diagnosed with Major Depression. Her medical history is positive for hypothyroidism, hyperlipidemia, and newly-diagnosed hypertension. The purpose of this assignment is to answer questions regarding the patient’s treatment approaches. 

List specific goals for treatment for Laura.

The specific treatment goals for Laura include improving her overall mood and interest/pleasure in activities she previously found enjoyable. Treatment will also seek to alleviate symptoms of depression such as hypersomnia, low energy levels, and fatigue.

What drug therapy would you prescribe? Why?

The drug therapy for Laura will include Fluoxetine (Prozac) 20 mg orally once daily.

Prozac would be prescribed because it is an antidepressant under selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs are the recommended first-line antidepressants for mild to moderate depression due to their minimal anticholinergic effects (Clevenger et al., 2018). Besides, Prozac was selected because it has a modest adverse-effect profile which promotes better treatment compliance.

What are the parameters for monitoring the success of the therapy?

The success of Prozac therapy will be monitored by re-evaluating the severity of depressive symptoms in the patient after 4-6 weeks of treatment. A depression screening tool such as the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) can be used to assess the severity of depressive symptoms and monitor if the therapy has been effective in alleviating depression (Clevenger et al., 2018).

Discuss specific patient education based on the prescribed therapy.

The patient education based on prescribed Prozac therapy will include the potential side effects of the drug such as nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, dry mouth, anorexia, headache, drowsiness, nervousness, and decreased sexual arousal (Edinoff et al., 2021). However, the patient will be informed that most of these side effects are immediate and abate with time. Therefore, it will be ideal to wait for the side effects to abate before changing treatment. Besides, the patient will be educated that most side effects are dose-dependent and time-dependent and thus will abate with time.

List one or two adverse reactions for the selected agent that would cause you to change therapy.

Prozac may cause induction of mania or activation of suicidal ideations and behavior in patients (Edinoff et al., 2021). If the two adverse reactions were to occur in Laura, the drug would be changed to another SSRI or antidepressant.

What would be the choice for second-line therapy?

The second-line drug of choice will be Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg orally once daily. Duloxetine is an antidepressant under Serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It was selected because it is recommended as a second-line agent in individuals who do not exhibit an adequate response to SSRIs (Gautam et al., 2017). Besides, its safety, side-effect, and tolerability profiles are comparable to SSRIs.

What over-the-counter and/or alternative medications would be appropriate for Laura?

Amitriptyline is an alternative medication appropriate for Laura. It is a Trycyclic antidepressant indicated for major depressive disorder. Amitriptyline would be appropriate since it has established efficacy in treating depression (Gautam et al., 2017). However, the drug is associated with side effects, such as sedation, weight gain, and anticholinergic effects, which might lower the compliance rate.

What lifestyle changes would you recommend to Laura?

Lifestyle modifications to be recommended to Laura based on her current major depression and history of hypothyroidism, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension include dietary changes. The patient would be recommended on diets like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet (Lassale et al., 2019). The DASH diet is a low-sodium diet established to promote healthy weight loss, lower hypertension, and reduce the risk of stroke.

The diet is high in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy foods, which lower caloric dietary intake and thus promote weight loss. Studies show that the DASH diet is promising in warding off depression (Lassale et al., 2019). The patient will be recommended to lower the intake of foods high in fats, sodium, and sugar as well as processed foods and carbonated drinks to promote weight loss.

 Lifestyle modification will also include increasing levels of physical activity. Physical activity is fundamental to promoting weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and improving mood. Physical exercise promotes recovery from major depression (Bushman, 2019). Thus, the patient will be recommended to engage in moderate aerobic exercises at least 40 minutes per day for not less than five days a week.  

Describe one or two drug-drug or drug-food interactions for the selected agent.

Drug-drug interactions occur with the administration of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) prescribed to treat psychiatric disorders since it may cause serotonin syndrome v. In addition, dug–drug interactions occur with linezolidand increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.

What labs would you order and why?

Laboratory tests that would be ordered for Laura include Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to assess the thyroid levels and the patient’s progress with levothyroxine treatment. A Lipid profile would also be requested to monitor the patient’s cholesterol levels and response to Simvastatin therapy.  

When would you have the patient return to your office?

The patient would be scheduled for a follow-up visit after four weeks. The visit would include assessing the patient’s response to antidepressant therapy. Laura’s depression symptoms would be assessed, including measuring the severity of depressive symptoms (Gautam et al., 2017). The patient will also be assessed for side effects and asked about side effects that might hinder her compliance to treatment.  


Bushman, B. A. (2019). Physical activity and depression. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal23(5), 9-14.

Clevenger, S. S., Malhotra, D., Dang, J., Vanle, B., & IsHak, W. W. (2018). The role of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in preventing relapse of major depressive disorder. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology8(1), 49–58.

Edinoff, A. N., Akuly, H. A., Hanna, T. A., Ochoa, C. O., Patti, S. J., Ghaffar, Y. A., Kaye, A. D., Viswanath, O., Urits, I., Boyer, A. G., Cornett, E. M., & Kaye, A. M. (2021). Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Adverse Effects: A Narrative Review. Neurology International13(3), 387–401.

Gautam, S., Jain, A., Gautam, M., Vahia, V. N., & Grover, S. (2017). Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of Depression. Indian journal of psychiatry59(Suppl 1), S34–S50.

Lassale, C., Batty, G. D., Baghdadli, A., Jacka, F., Sánchez-Villegas, A., Kivimäki, M., & Akbaraly, T. (2019). Correction: Healthy dietary indices and risk of depressive outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Molecular psychiatry24(7), 1094-1094.