NCLEX Pharm Focus
Does Pharmacology cause you much anxiety? According to the National Council State Board of Nursing (NCSBN), Pharmacological and Parental Therapy represent 12-18% of the RN NCLEX exam while 11-17% represent a portion of the PN NCLEX exam. With this in mind, familiarizing yourself with the commonly asked medications is an important part of your NCLEX preparation.

Aluminum hydroxide

Brand Name(s):

  • Amphojel, AlternaGEL, Alu-Cap, Alu-Tab, Dialume

Pharmacologic Class:

  • Aluminum salt
  • Acid indigestion


  • Neutralizes acid in GI tract, elevates gastric pH to reduce pepsin activity, strengthens gastric mucosal barrier, and increases esophageal sphincter tone.
Adverse Reactions:
  • CNS: encephalopathy
  • GI: constipation, intestinal obstruction
  • Metabolic: hypophosphatemia
  • Musculoskeletal: osteomalacia

Nursing Considerations:

  • May decrease the effect of tetracycline absorption. Give antacid 1 to 2 hours before tetracycline.
  • May decrease quinolone effect. Give antacid at least 6 hours before or 2 hours after quinolone.
  • Enteric-coated drug may be released prematurely in stomach. Separate doses by at least 1 hour.
  • Use cautiously in patients with chronic renal disease.
  • Shake suspension well.
  • May interfere with imaging techniques using sodium pertechnetate Tc-99m or technetium-99m sulfur colloid.
  • Watch for aluminum toxicity in patients with severe renal impairment (dialysis encephalopathy, osteomalacia). Aluminum isn’t well removed by dialysis.

Patient Teaching:

  • Instruct patient to shake suspension well and to follow with a small amount of milk or water to facilitate passage.
  • Urge patient to notify prescriber about signs and symptoms of GI bleeding, such as tarry stools or coffee-ground vomitus.
Phone: 1-650-303-5488
Office: 90 So. Spruce Ave. Suite P
South San Francisco, CA 94080

D&D Nursing Educators, Inc., 90 So. Spruce Ave. Suite P South San Francisco, CA 94080

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