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
- 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.