A patient is receiving intravenous ceftriaxone for the treatment of pneumonia. A side effect of cephalosporin antibiotics is neurotoxicity. The nurse monitoring the patient knows to watch for which of the following symptoms that would indicate the development of neurotoxicity?

Change in level of consciousness
Confusion
Seizures

Explanation

• Ceftriaxone, and other cephalosporin antibiotics, can cause neurotoxicity. Seizures, confusion, twitching, and somnolence are the most common clinical manifestations. Discontinuation of the drug usually resolves the neurotoxicity.

• Renal impairment puts a patient at greater risk for cephalosporin-induced neurotoxicity.

• Nausea and diarrhea can occur with Rocephin, but are not severe side effects.

• Arrhythmias are not associated with the administration of Rocephin.

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