Diabetes Mellitus: Part 3 – Understanding Health Advice and Treatment Options

In this final post, I examine the rationale behind the “do’s & don’ts” of diabetic health promotion, and provide resources for you to find out more about any pharmacotherapy your service users may be prescribed.     Health Promotion When managing Type 2 diabetes (DM2), health promotion is arguably the most important of interventions: not only can it help to reduce

Diabetes Mellitus: Part 2 – Understanding the Signs and Symptoms

In this post, I focus on the implications of insulin absence/resistance. In other words, the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus. There are numerous signs and symptoms to watch for if the condition goes undiagnosed or untreated. I will categorise these as: Raised blood glucose levels. Tissue degeneration, and immune system / tissue repair dysfunction. Increased cardiovascular disease

Depot Vs. Oral Antipsychotic Efficacy

A recent paper has been published in JAMA Psychiatry. It compares the efficacy of different antipsychotic medications, and the route by which they’re given, and I believe it’s reserach that’s well-worth knowing about. If you would like to see the article first-hand, there is a link to it at the bottom of this page. However,

Diabetes Mellitus: Part 1 – Understanding Glucose and Insulin

In a previous blog post, I explained the relevance of metabolic syndrome to mental health nursing. Elevated fasting blood glucose is a diagnostic criterion of metabolic syndrome, and is caused by a steady increase in insulin resistance. Without intervention or a change in lifestyle, this is likely to develop into Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM2). But what exactly does

Serious Adverse Effects: Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome puts a name to a phenomenon we will all be familiar with as RMNs. It’s both a life-threatening and commonplace adverse effect of commonly-used mental health medications. However, nurses can encourage a range of interventions to significantly reduce the likelihood of it developing. In other words, RMNs need to know about metabolic syndrome.


Mental health service users are more likely than the general population to experience cardiovascular disease. This may be due to ischaemic events through stress or an unhealthy lifestyle, or they can arise from drug-induced QT interval prolongation. As a result, RMNs are likely to encounter service users who require an electrocardiogram (ECG). This post provides

Serious Adverse Effects: Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome

Learn about the signs and symptoms of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS), what causes it, who is most at risk from developing it, how to manage it, and what it has to do with the purple patches in the picture here. Imagine this scenario: There has been a new admission to an acute ward. The service

Serious Adverse Effects: Acute Dystonic Reaction

You are probably very familiar with giving PRN Procyclidine to help patients with extrapyrimidal side effects… but it is worth knowing that occasionally dystonic reactions can be so severe, they can be life-threatening. This post should help you: Identify those most at risk of acute dystonic reaction Understand and identify what are the most life-threatening

Serious Adverse Effects: Agranulocytosis / Neutropenia

Learn about different types of white blood cell, the range of things that can cause agranulocytosis, what the symptoms of agranulocytosis are, and view Trust guidelines on how to manage clozapine.   You’ll know that clozapine can cause agranulocytosis and neutropenia, but unless you work in a Clozapine Clinic, you may not know what these

Serious Adverse Effects: Acquired Long QT Syndrome

Learn about what Acquired Long QT Syndrome is, how it presents, what can induce it, and what mental health medications are associated with it.   How much attention have you drawn to the advice at the top of the Section of Antipsychotics in the BNF? On this page, have a look at point 4 of

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