Administration of medicines via enteral feeding tubes

Administration of medicines via enteral feeding tubes – Quick tips

  • Narrow tubes and long tubes are more likely to become blocked.
  • In general for tubes <8Fr diameter, check with your clinical pharmacist before administering dose
  • The correct formulation and effective flushing is required to prevent blockage.
  • Do not administer medicines via tubes being used for aspiration or those on free drainage
  • For jejunally placed tubes, some medicines may have decreased absorption due to pH if administered via a jejunal tube. Discuss with your clinical pharmacist.
  • Consider withholding non-essential treatment if enteral tube administration is necessary
  • Do not crush long acting/slow or controlled release tablets
  • Do not crush enteric coated tablets
  • Preferentially use liquid formulations where available
  • If in doubt, check with your clinical pharmacist before administering medicines via enteral feeding tubes
  • There may be differences in enteral tube administration between brands available. If in doubt check with your clinical pharmacist

Janice Young, ICU Pharmacist , August 2010

Reference:

  • RPS Publishing Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. London UK. White R, Badnam V (authors). Handbook of Drug Administration via Enteral Feeding Tubes. 2007 edition.

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