The nurse is working in the mental health unit and is educating a group of student nurses about atypical antipsychotics. Which statement by one of the student nurses requires further teaching about this class of drugs?

  1. “These drugs can cause bradycardia.”
  2. “This class of drugs can cause diabetes.”
  3. “Weight gain and obesity are side effects of these drugs.”
  4. “Rarely, neuroleptic malignant syndrome can occur and may be fatal.”
Number 1 is correct.
Rationale: Atypical antipsychotics can cause tachycardia, not bradycardia. Diabetes can occur due to changes in glucose metabolism. These drugs can cause weight gain and obesity. Although rare, neuroleptic malignant syndrome can occur and cause death. Signs and symptoms include muscle rigidity, fever, confusion, and elevated creatinine levels.