• Narrow tubes and long tubes are more likely to become blocked.

  • In general for tubes <8 French 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
Written by Janice Young, Wellington ICU Pharmacist

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.