Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary System

Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary System Symptoms of various gastrointestinal (GI) and Hepatobiliary disorders often overlap making diagnosis and treatment challenging.

Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary System
Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary System

Consider the case of a 21-year-old female who is rushed to the hospital by her roommate. The patient is not conscious enough to describe her symptoms or medical history to the health care provider. However, the roommate is able to share that the patient has experienced abdominal pain for the past three days, as well as vomiting, constipation, and bloating. After unsuccessful attempts at contacting the patient’s family, the roommate decided to bring her in for care.

Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary System and the Medical History

At this point, medical history and currently prescribed drugs are unknown. However, this patient requires treatment for symptoms that could be the result of various underlying disorders. As an advanced practice nurse, you could potentially be responsible for this patient’s care. How would you proceed to care for this patient? What type of drug therapy would you recommend not knowing if she is currently taking other prescribed drugs? Are there certain drugs you should avoid in order to prevent a drug-drug interaction?
This week you examine diagnoses for patients with potential GI and Hepatobiliary disorders. You also develop a drug therapy plan based on patient history and diagnosis.
Learning Objectives
students will:
Assess patients with gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary disorders
Develop drug therapy plans based on patient history and diagnosis
Understand and apply key terms, concepts, and principles related to prescribing drugs to treat gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary disorders
Photo Credit: PIXOLOGICSTUDIO/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary System Learning Resources

This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of this week’s assigned Learning Resources. To access select media resources, please use the media player below.
Required Readings
Arcangelo, V. P., Peterson, A. M., Wilbur, V., & Reinhold, J. A. (Eds.). (2017). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: A practical approach (4th ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Chapter 28, “Nausea and Vomiting” (pp. 429-446)
This chapter focuses on the etiology of nausea and vomiting, as well as body systems that impact or trigger nausea and vomiting. It also covers various drugs used to treat nausea and vomiting including the process of selecting, administering, and managing drug therapy for patients.
Chapter 29, “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Peptic Ulcer Disease” (pp. 447-462)
his chapter begins with an overview of risk factors, symptoms, and clinical stages of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It then examines drugs used to treat GERD and peptic ulcer disease (PUD), including proper dosages, possible adverse reactions, contraindications, and special considerations.
Chapter 30, “Constipation, Diarrhea, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome” (pp.465-494)
This chapter begins by exploring disorders associated with constipation and diarrhea, as well as drugs used in treatment. It also covers the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome and related drug therapies.  Chapter 31, “Inflammatory Bowel Disease” (pp. 497-515)
This chapter examines the causes, pathophysiology, and diagnostic criteria of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. It also identifies drugs used to treat IBD, including proper dosage, adverse reactions, and special considerations.
Starr, S., & Raines, D. (2011). Cirrhosis: Diagnosis, management, and prevention. American Family Physician, 84 (12), 1353–1359.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article examines the clinical presentation, pathophysiology, diagnosis, management, and prevention of cirrhosis. It also provides methods for managing complications of cirrhosis. (2012). Retrieved from
This website presents a comprehensive review of prescription and over-the-counter drugs including information on common uses and potential side effects. It also provides updates relating to new drugs on the market, support from health professionals, and a drug-drug interactions checker.

Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary System Required Media

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Pharmacology for the gastrointestinal system. Baltimore, MD: Author.
This media presentation outlines drug treatment options for disorders of the gastrointestinal system.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.
Optional Resources
Refer to the Optional Resources listed in Week 1.

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