A patient who is diagnosed with depression is taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). What medication should be immediately available for administration when the nurse is assessing the patient for a hypertensive crisis?


• During a hypertensive crisis, the nurse should administer a fast-acting antihypertensive that directly vasodilates, such as phentolamine, nitroprusside or labetalol. (Labetalol is a combined beta-adrenergic and alpha-adrenergic blocker, which is how it differs from a beta blocker).

• Incorrect: Digoxin and furosemide are not indicated.

• Incorrect: Atenolol is a beta blocker, which is contraindicated.

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