A nurse administers piperacillin/tazobactam intravenously to a patient with aspiration pneumonia. The patient has never taken a penicillin antibiotic. The nurse should assess for which indications that a serious side effect is developing?


• Administration of a penicillin can cause a severe hypersensitivity reaction and result in a medical emergency. Urticaria (hives) is a common characteristic of a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction along with nausea, vomiting, pruritus, tachycardia, dyspnea, and diaphoresis. Dyspnea is defined as a shortness of breath.

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