Clinical Summary Name: Justine D'Italia Date of Birth: 01/12/1964 Chief Complaint/Identifying Information: Ms. D'Italia is a 45-50 year-old woman with frequent falls with stiffening of her body, easy startling, and gait disturbance since her 20's. She is seeking Best Doctors opinion re the etiology of her symptoms and recommendations for treatment options. History of Present Illness: Ms. D'Italia is a 45-50 year old woman with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed in 2005. She was treated with steroids initially. She is currently on Hydroxychloroquine and Methotrexate. She was diagnosed with right peroneal tenosynovitis in 2009 and underwent debridement in November 2010. She has been using a walker since the surgery. She was found to have left peroneal tendonitis in 2012. She recently started Isoniazid therapy for latent tuberculosis (equivocal PPD and positive Quantiferon gold testing). She reports she has multiple family members, including aunts and cousins, with similar symptoms to the ones she describes below. One aunt has been diagnosed with hyperekplexia. Evidently some of her family members have been treated with anti-seizure medications, but these have not been helpful. (Of note, the available neurology notes do not include this family history.) Ms. D'Italia reports the following history re her falls and gait disturbance: (There are no records available until 2006.) She reports in her 20's, she began to fall frequently. There was no prodrome before falls. She always wore high heels, and she assumed the falls were due to clumsiness. An MRI (NOS) performed in her 20's was a normal study. She was treated with Valproic Acid and then Carbamazepine. She continued to fall. At times, the falls would results in lacerations and concussions. Imaging continued to be negative. She developed a panic disorder because she never knew when she was about to fall. She became afraid to walk. She also reports that she became quite sensitive to environmental stimuli and was easily startled. Whenever she became startled, she would start to fall. She was admitted to the hospital for 4 days for continuous EEG monitoring. She was told that she did not have epilepsy, but ant-epileptic drugs were not discontinued at that time. She was seen at a different neurology clinic in approximately 2006. 48-hour ambulatory EEG monitoring was within normal limits. There were four events on the log which had no EEG correlate. She was started on Lamotrigine to treat a possible seizure disorder at some point with some benefit for a few years. In July 2009, Ms. D'Italia fell after tripping over some clutter on the floor. She hit her head against the arm of a chair and on the tile floor. She did not lose consciousness. She developed nausea and a severe headache at that time. She presented to 3 ED's over the
Microsoft word - 081007 guidelines for the administration of drugs through enteral feeding tubes anonGUIDELINES FOR THE ADMINISTRATION
OF DRUGS THROUGH ENTERAL
2nd Edition October 2003
NJWATT/PHARM/Review Date October 2004 Disclaimer
Representations in this guide are believed to be true and accurate. The Primary Care
Trusts, NHS Trusts, and their employees, or agents accept no liability for loss of any
nature to persons, organisations, or institutions which may arise as a result of errors.
Users of this guide are reminded that crushing medication or opening a capsule to
aid administration results in unlicensed administration.
It is recommended that unlicensed administration methods are authorised by the
prescriber and documented in writing.
Legal aspects of unlicensed administration
General Principles Administration Instructions Interactions with feed Jejunostomy Tubes List of preparations
Although nurses, midwives and health visitors are advised not to crush medication there will be
occasions where the patient is unable to swallow solid oral dosage forms, or medication is required
to be administered via enteral tube.
In many cases an alternative route of administration or suitable liquid formulation is available and
should be used in the first instance.
If alternative formulations or methods of administration are unavailable and the medication is still
indicated then it may be necessary to crush tablets or open capsules. The practitioner involved
should bring this to the attention of the prescriber (and the pharmacist).
Authorisation for this unlicensed administration together with the reasons why must be
documented in the patients medical record by the prescriber.
Crushing medication or opening capsules prior to administration usually results in unlicensed
administration. Under the Medicines Act 1968 only Medical and Dental practitioners can authorise
the administration of unlicensed medicines. It may therefore be illegal to open a capsule or crush a
tablet before administration without the authorisation of the prescriber.
Where such administration results in harm to the patient then the manufacturer has no liability for
any harm that ensues and if the unlicensed administration is unauthorised by the prescribing doctor
then liability may lie solely with the administering nurse.
Where unlicensed administration is authorised by a prescriber then the liability is shared between
the prescriber and the administering nurse. If this is on the advice on a pharmacist then the liability
is shared between all three professionals. The balance of this liability would be assessed in a court
of law on an individual case basis.
In practice providing the prescriber has authorised the administration and advice has been taken
from a pharmacist regarding the suitability of a preparation for unlicensed administration then the
nurse would usually be seen as having acted in an appropriate and professional manner. Providing
these steps have been taken any adverse effects resulting from the unlicensed administration are
unlikely to occur.
It should be borne in mind that usually it is in the best interests of the patient to administer
the drug even if this is in an unlicensed manner. The consequences of not giving the
medication usually outweigh any risk associated with unlicensed administration.
Nursing staff should take reasonable steps to ensure that unlicensed administration does not cause
harm to the patient even if this is at the request of a prescriber.
Advice from a pharmacist or referral to these guidelines should be the absolute minimum
action undertaken. Within the acute Trust pharmacy advice is available 24 hours a day via
the on call pharmacist.
Any adverse effects, including problems with feeding tubes, should be reported to the prescriber
and pharmacist immediately.
When administering medication via enteral tube consideration needs to be taken regarding drug
formulation, interactions with feed, type of tube, site of placement, and site of drug absorption.
Usually drugs are not licensed for enteral administration and there is little information available in
the literature on any aspects of enteral drug administraton. Most recommendations are therefore
CHOICE OF ROUTE
Where a drug is needed but the oral route is unavailable or available by tube only, consideration
should first be given to alternative methods of administration. Intravenous administration is often an
option but requires trained staff to administer, is associated with increased risk to the patient from
complications and is usually more expensive. Other routes for consideration include transdermal,
rectal, buccal or sublingual, nebulisation, vaginal, as well as alternative parenteral routes – im, iv,
THE NEED FOR MEDICATION SHOULD BE REVIEWED BEFORE SEARCHING FOR AN
In patients who are very unwell previous medication may no longer be necessary both in the short
and long term and prescribed items should be reviewed and stopped if no longer indicated or of
benefit to the patient.
Patients undergoing surgery who are nil by mouth can often have medication discontinued
temporarily without harm e.g. statins or replaced by an alternative agent e.g. sc low molecular
weight heparin in place of warfarin.
Sometimes an alternative preparation from the same or even a different therapeutic group may be
more suitable eg calcium antagonists for hypertension are not available as liquid formulation but
diuretics or beta blockers are.
Where drugs need to be continued and no other route is available then enteral administration may
need to be considered.
Pharmacists should identify patients receiving medication via the enteral route and be proactive in
reviewing their medication and in advising nursing staff / medical staff to facilitate drug
administration. Equally nursing staff should request pharmacy advice in patients where drug
administration via the enteral route is deemed necessary and refer to current policies and
guidelines where available.
Sometimes in patients where the enteral route is not available e.g. after surgery where there is free
drainage or suction where aspirates may be large it may be feasible (after consultation with
medical staff) to suspend drainage or suction for long enough to facilitate administration and
absorption. It should be understood that in such circumstances absorption may be at best be
variable and drug effects should be closely monitored. Prokinetic agents may be used to
encourage the restoration of normal gut function e.g. metoclopramide, erythromycin, or
May include: unavailibility of suitable formulation, blocking of tubes, diarrhoea due to hyperosmolar
formulation, and drug interactions (between different drugs, between drug and feeds, between drug
Fine bore tubes are unsuitable for some thick liquid formulations eg lansoprazole suspension
sachets, cholestyramine. Granules may also block fine bore tubes.
There are more likely to be problems with drug absorption where the tube is placed beyond the
stomach e.g. percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy (PEJ) tubes. Staff should be aware of
situations in which the drug may be administered beyond the drugs main site of absorption eg
digoxin, cephalexin, ketoconazole, phenytoin and other anticonvulsants. In such circumstances it is
important to monitor for signs of reduced drug efficacy. Therapeutic drug monitoring may be
necessary. When a tube is placed beyond the stomach sterile water must be used for flushing and
Drugs for administration via enteral feeding tubes should ideally be liquids or disperible/soluble
formulations. Not all drugs are commercially available as liquids but pharmacy may be able to
organise certain liquid preparations on request if feeding is likely to be long term.
In addition to proprietory products listed in the BNF liquid medicines may also be available as a
'special' from other hospitals or manufacturers.
In exceptional circumstances extemporaneously dispensed liquid formulations may be
manufactured 'in house' by the hospital pharmacy. It should be noted that whilst the use of specials
may be suitable to solve a short term problem in the acute setting this may not always be the most
appropriate or cost effective method for long term use especially where patients are to be
transferred to primary care.
Even when a medicine is available as a liquid formulation several other factors may need to be
considered. E.g. lansoprazole suspension is too viscous for administration via fine bore tube. Some
manufacturers advise dilution of suspension prior to administration through tubes. Augmentin
suspension should be diluted to half strength to avoid 'caking'.The administration of sucralfate
suspension has been associated with 'bezoar' formation in patients with impaired gastric emptying.
Diazepam suspension is not recommended for enteral tube administration as it is absorbed onto
When transferring a patient to a liquid formulation the use of a different salt may require dosage
adjustment due to differing bioavailibilities e.g. phenytoin, mebeverine, and chlormethiazole.
Liquid formulations of high osmolality particularly those containing sorbitol can be associated with
osmotic diarrhoea, bloating, stomach cramps, and delayed gastric emptying. This is more likely to
be a problem when a lot of medicines are given as liquid formulations in high volumes.
Many liquids have an osmolality as high as 1000 mOsm/kg compared with the normal osmolality of
GI secretions which is 100-400 mOsm/kg. This is not usually a problem where small volumes are
administered e.g. digoxin elixir, but may be avoided by dilution with water immediately prior to
The sorbitol content of most liquid medicines is not readily available but can be obtained where
necessary from individual manufacturers. Cumulative sorbitol doses above 20g may cause
particularly severe adverse effects. Administration of hyperosmolar solutions may be particularly
problematical when administered through a jejunostomy tube.
Generally elixirs or suspensions should be used rather that rather than syrups. Syrups because of
their low pH are prone to clumping in contact with GI feeds.
Where a liquid preparation is unavailable or unsuitable soluble or dispersible tablets may be
available. Often tablets not specifically marketed as dispersible will disperse in water. Again advice
should be sought from pharmacy.
Solid Dosage Forms – tablets and capsules
Sometimes it may be necessary to crush tablets or open capsules prior to flushing down enteral
tubes. Not all solid dosage forms are suitable for crushing. Generally plain uncoated tablets will
either disperse in water or can be crushed to a fine powder for dispersal in water.
Film coated or sugar coated tablets can usually be crushed as the coating is designed to improve
appearance and to mask taste. These obviously do not matter if being administered via enteral
The following formulations should not be administered through enteral feeding tubes
without pharmacy advice
Enteric or other coated tablets
Enteric coatings are designed to protect drugs from attack by stomach acid or to protect the
stomach from irritation by the drug. Beyond the stomach the coating breaks down to allow drug
absorption. Enteric coated tablets should not be crushed as this destroys the coating resulting in
inactivation of drug or increased risk of adverse effect.
Controlled, slow, or extended release products
These products are formulated to allow a gradual release of drug as the preparation passes down
the GI tract. This may enable less frequent dosing or minimise side effects due to peak
concentrations of drug in the body. Crushing controlled release formulations may destroy their
controlled release properties resulting in adverse effects and shortening duration of action.
Deaths have been reported as a result of crushing controlled release morphine
These types of preparation must never be crushed.
Some controlled release products are formulated as granules inside a capsule. Similarly these
granules must not be crushed but may be suitable for administration via enteral tube.
Buccal/ Sublingual tablets should not be crushed and administered via an enteral tube as this can
result in reduced effectiveness due to increased first pass metabolism at the liver.
Hard gelatin capsules may often be opened and the contents mixed with water prior to tube
administration. Some capsules contain enteric coated granules eg lansoprasole, or granules with a
slow release coating eg Slophylline and should not be crushed prior to administration. The
administration of such granules intact may block fine bore tubes.
The contents of some soft gelatin capsules may be withdrawn and administered via tube eg
Doxycycline capsules contain an irritant salt and should not be opened to facilitate administration.
Dispersible tablets should be used instead.
Occasionally parenteral formulations may be given orally e.g. vancomycin injection but this is
usually an expensive option and not all injectable formulations are suitable for this route. eg
gentamcin is not absorbed, amiodarone injection is not suitable because of its high polyethylene
glycol content. Advice should be sought from pharmacy.
Advice must be sought from pharmacy regarding the administration of cytotoxic drugs via enteral
tube. The document ‘Guidelines for the Handling and Administration of Cytotoxic Drugs' should
also be referred to.
Where possible oral syringes should be used to draw up and administer medicines. Fatalities have
been reported when medicines intended for oral administration have accidently been given
intravenously because they were drawn up in IV syringes. Ideally oral syringes should be
incapable of attachment to IV lines or needles by virtue of their design.
Practical Aspects of Administration
Medications should not be added directly to nutrition formulations. Liquid dosage forms should be used where available (Check with pharmacy re liquid availibility.) Most liquid formulations should be diluted with 30ml sterile water to reduce their osmolarity prior to administration. Some liquid medicines however should not be diluted. Please refer to list of preparations. If tablets must be used the nurse should first check to see whether the tablet can be crushed. If so the tablet should be crushed into a fine powder and mixed with 10 to 15ml of water. Generally sustained release or enteric coated medication should not be crushed. If in doubt advice should be sought from pharmacy. If capsules can be opened then they should be opened and the powder mixed with 10 to 15ml of sterile water. In certain circumstances medication formulated for injection may be administered orally
(unlicensed use). Advice on suitability should be sought from pharmacy.
The tube should be flushed with 30ml of sterile water prior to administration of the drug. The medication should be remixed immediately prior to administration by swirling the medication in the cup. In the case of liquid formulations these should be shaken prior to withdrawal from the bottle. The medication should be drawn up into a needleless oral or catheter tipped syringe.
When more than one medication is administered then 5ml of sterile water should be administered between drugs to avoid drug interactions. Medications should never be mixed together in a syringe. Smaller volumes may be necessary in babies and children. After administration the tube should be flushed with 30ml of sterile water and clamped. The amount of water used should be documented on fluid balance sheets.
Medicines for which there are documented interactions with enteral nutrition
Where there is doubt about compatibility further information should be obtained from pharmacy.
Decreased absorption. Hold enteral nutrition 2hr before and 2hrs after dose. May adhere to tubing. Monitor levels. Suppositories are available. If used the dose will need to be adjusted Absorption decreased by Hold enteral nutrition 1hr before and 2 hrs after dose or 25-50% due to chelation administer higher dose. Consider IV therapy with divalent cations in Absorption decreased by Hold enteral nutrition 1 hr before and 2 hr after dose or presence of feed administer higher dose Decreased absorption Adjust dose. Monitor BP Unpredictable absorption Stop feed 1 hr prior to and 2 hours after administration, or use May be reduced by 30- higher doses, or use amoxycillin. Phenytoin sodium May form phenytoin- Usually given once daily so administer during feeding break or calcium or phenytoin- stop feed 2 hours before and after dose protein complexes with feed Absorption may be reduced by 75% Binds to protein in the Use alternative agent e.g. H2 antagonist, or PPI. Absorption reduced by Consider alternative antibiotic or feeding regimen. Discuss with medical staff and pharmacy. Absorption decreased Stop feed 1 hr before and 2 hrs after administration. This may may be reduced by 60- be impractical due to frequency of administration of non SR liquid preparation. Monitor levels. Reduced absorption. Monitor thyroid function. Particularly with soya Avoid soya based products. May interact with Vit K Monitor INR closely including when changing from or back to and soya proteins in feed. normal diet. In problem patients consider non soya based feed. Holding enteral nutrition in order to administer medications may become problematic. For products that require enteral nutrition to be held for one hour before and one or two hours after drug administration then the following procedure should be adopted. 1) If enteral nutrition is administered in bolus doses then the drug should be scheduled during the off periods. If enteral nutrition is administered continuously and the drug is available in an alternative dosage form (eg suppository, injection) the oral dosage form should be switched to a therapeutically equivalent dosage form and the patients clinical response to therapy monitored. If enteral nutrition is administered continuously and the drug is not available in an alternative dosage form, or the patient does not have intravenous access, enteral nutrition should be withheld for 1 hour before and 1 hour after drug administration. Drug levels should be monitored where appropriate and the patient's clinical response to therapy monitored. If it is not feasable to hold enteral feeding then the oral dosage should be increased by the amount expected to be lost as a result of the interaction. e.g. phenytoin 300mg daily may be changed to 400mg- 500mg daily because of an expected 70-80% reduction in absorption when combined with enteral nutrition and phenytoin levels should be monitored. Advice on dosage adjustments can be obtained from pharmacy. Clinical response and/or drug serum levels should be monitored where appropriate.
Administration of drugs via jejunostomy tube
There are no drugs licensed for intrajejunal administration in the UK and little data on absorpion of
drugs via this route. Other routes or alternative methods of treatment should therefore be sought
wherever possible. Clinical response and drug levels should be monitored as a guide to treatment
The normal secretions in the jejunum has an osmolality of 285±10 mOsm/kg. When a hypertonic
solution is rapidly infused via a jejunostomy tube there is an influx of water and electrolytes into the
small intestine leading to an osmotic diarrhoea. Many liquid drug formulations have osmolalities
exceeding 1000 mOsm/kg particularly those sugar free preparations containing sorbitol. In
circumstances where this is likely to be a problem the following may be considered.
Sterile water should be used to flush jejunostomy tubes and disperse tablets Use disperible tablets or finely crushed tablets dispersed in water as an alternative to liquid formulations If the parenteral form is isotonic or hypotonic this may be used as an alternative to liquid formulations. Check with pharmacy re suitability. Not all injections can be given in this manner. Only where a drug has been shown to be compatible with enteral feed may a liquid preparation be mixed with feeding solution to reduce osmolality. In practice there is little data regarding compatibility with feeds and most feed manufacturers do not recommend this. Drugs for which there is documented advice for administration via jejunostomy tube.
Administer reconstituted injection as suspension has high osmolality Use dispersible tablets Administration by this route may result in decreased plasma concentrations. Company data suggests sufficient absorption via this route. Use crushed tablets dispersed in water. Absorption may be less than conventional oral administration. Do not administer at same time as feed. Monitor clinical response or use IV route. Liquid formulation is hypertonic. Injection may be given via tube Elixir and injection have high osmolalities. Use crushed tablets dispersed in water. Monitor levels and adjust dose as necessary Use reconstituted injection (as amoxycillin). Absorption decreased by food so stop feed at time of administration Possibly reduced absorption when given by this route. Monitor clinical effect and adjust dose as necessary. Not recommended as a low pH is required for absorption Loperamide is thought to act locally in the colon so should be suitable for JEJ tube administration. The commercial liquid formulation should be suitable for JEJ tube administration. Absorption thought to occur in small intestine. Administer contents of capsule immediately as liquid is very sensitive to light. Monitor clinical effect eg Blood pressure Use omeprazole MUPS tabs Good absorption when administered by this route. Do not mix with enteral feed. Monitor levels. Use injection rather than liquid preparation List of Preparations
This list is intended to be used as a guide to the range of medicines which are available as liquid
preparations and which solid dosage forms can be successfully given via tube. This may be useful
when prescribing for patients with swallowing difficulties as well as tube administration. Inclusion in
this list does not always mean that liquids are suitable for enteral administration. A minority of
medicines althougth formulated as liquids may not be suitable for tube administration e.g.
Many tablets not marketed as soluble or dispersible may disperse in water to form a suspension
which is suitable for administration via enteral tube or to patients with swallowing difficulties.
Tablets should only be dispersed immediately prior to, or shortly before administration.
Some hard gelatin capsules may be pulled apart and and the contents dispersed in water prior to
Disperses in water with fine powder sediment. Injection may be given orally. 200mg/5ml Dispersible tablets No liquid formulation available. Ask Pharmacy for advice. Approx 100 nanograms per drop Crush tablets and disperse in water Disperses in water Aluminium Hydroxide May interact with feed to form protein-albumin complexes Sugar free. Contains sorbitol. Phyllocontin tabs should not be crushed. Transfer patient to theophylline (See below) or contact pharmacy for advice. Disperses in water. Injection is not suitable for oral administration because of high polyethylene glycol content. 25mg/5ml 50mg/5ml Disperses in water. Give immediately as light sensitive Crush tablets and disperse in water. Powder for reconstitution with water. Capsules may be opened and contents dispersed in water. Crush tablet in water. Give immediately. Open capsules. Administer granules and dispersible aspirin. Granules must not be crushed. May block fine bore ng tubes Crush tablets and disperse in water Effervescent tablets available Dispersible tablets available. Enteric coated tablets should not be crushed. Suppositories may also be available. Crush and disperse in water. Poorly soluble slurry may block tube. Dispersible tabs Dilute to half strength with water prior to administration via 125/31/5ml 250/62/5ml Disperses in water. Take cytotoxic precautions if crushing tablets. If oral route not feasible injection may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. NJWATT/PHARM/Review Date October 2004 Open capsule and disperse contents in water. May block fine bore tubes. Tablets disperse in water. Liquid formulation may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Injection can be used orally Contact pharmacy for advice. Crush tablets and disperse in water. Do not crush Belazip mono. Contact pharmacy for advice. Crush tablets and disperse in water. Suppositries available. Crush tablets and disperse in water Crush tablets and disperse in water. Crush tabs and disperse in water. Change to alternative preparation eg. Calcium Sandoz syrup. Calcichew D3 Forte Cacit D3 sachets may be available. Ask pharmacy for advice. Contains sucrose Calcium Resonium Contact pharmacy for advice. Suspension may be available. Caffeine citrate Disperses in water with fine powder sediment Shake well before use. Contains sorbitol. Dilute before use with equal volume of water. Use suppositories as an alternative. Suppositories only licensed for 7 days use. 100mg orally is approximately equivalent to 125mg suppository. Retard formulation should not be crushed. Crush tablets and disperse in water. Crush and disperse in water Powder for reconstitution with water. 143mg/5ml Syrup 500mg/5ml Chlordiazepoxide Open capsules and mix powder with water. Store in fridge. 250mg of edisylate salt is equivalent to one capsule. Disperses with fine powder sediment. Suspension may be available. Chlorpheniramine 25mg/5ml Suspension 100mg/5ml Crush tablets and disperse in water. Sugar free. Must not be administered with grapefruit or grapefruit Solution may be mixed with orange juice or apple juice to improve taste. Administer immediately. Monitor ciclosporin level when changing between preparations Sugar free. Must not be administered with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. To mask taste solution may be mixed with cold milk, cold chocolate drink, cola, or orange juice immediately before taking. Do not use plastic cup. Available on a named patient basis only Oral drops may be available. Contact pharmacy. Crush and disperse tablets in water. Disperses in water. Suspension may be available. Absorbed in the duodenum. When administered via the jejunum absorption may be incomplete. Interacts with feed, see above. Oral drops are available but are not directly bioequivalent to the tablets. 8mg (4 drops) of liquid may be considered to be therapeutically equivalent to a 10mg citalopram tablet. Tablets may be crushed and dispersed in water. Granules for reconstitution Disperse contents of capsule in water prior to administration. Open capsule and mix contents with water. Special suspension may be available. Please as pharmacy for advice. Disperses in water. Suspension may be available Syrup may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Open capsules and mix contents with water. Catapres injection may be given orally. Please contact pharmacy for advice. Plavix tablets may be crushed and dispersed in water. Special suspension may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Faster onset of action compared to plain tablets. Dose and dosage frequency may need adjustment when changing from other forms. Give at same time each day in relation to feeding. Madopar capsules should not be opened Tabs disperse in water. CR formulations should not be crushed. Dose and dosage frequency may need adjustment when changing from other forms. Give at same time each day in relation to feeding Available as effervescent tablets. Note high sodium content. Paracetamol available as suppositories or liquid. Suspension Strong Change to Co-danthramer suspension Codeine phosphate 15mg/5ml Syrup 25mg/5ml Crush tablets and disperse in water Contains sorbitol Contains sucrose Contents of capsules may be administered in liquid without crushing. For patients with swallowing difficulties mix with fluid or soft food. Sachets may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Crush tablets and disperse in water. Give immediately as light sensitive. Disperses in water Open capsules and mix with fruit juice. Crush and disperse tablets in water Open capsules and flush contents with water. Tablets may be crushed. Consider nasal spray or sc injection Some preparations contain sorbitol. Drug binds to PVC tubing so efficacy may be reduced. Rectal dosage form available. Dispersible tabs Suppositories also available. When changing from tablets patients on larger oral doses may need dose adjustment. Monitor plasma levels.
Bioavailability of the liquid is 80% and the tablets 70%. A
62.5microgram tablet is equivalent to 50 microgram (1ml) of
Do not dilute.
May be given IV as an alternative. If so the dose must be
reduced by 20-30% Monitor plasma levels
Martindale brand contains sucrose. Capsules may be opened and granules administered without Modified release tablets should not be Intact granules from a modified release capsule may be given but may block fine bore tubes. Granules must not be crushed. Contains sorbitol. Suppositories also available Crush tablet and disperse in water. Sugar free. Contains sorbitol. Capsules may be opened and contents dispersed in water. Crush and disperse tablet in sterile water. Do not use tap water.
Do not crush Doxazosin XL
Open capsules and mix contents with water Do not open capsules. Use dispersible tablet. Disperses slowly in water with stirring Crush and disperse tablet in water. May stain the tube orange so flush with plenty of water. For oral administration it may be given in jam, honey or orange juice. Powder for reconstitution Crush tablet and disperse in water. Suspension may be available contact pharmacy for advice. Dicynene tablets may be crushed and dispersed in water. Tablet disperses freely in water. Feed should be stopped 2 hours before and after administration. Do not crush as will lose sustained release properties. Lipantil Micro capsules may be opened and the contents dispersed in water. Ferrous sulphate Use sodium feredetate (ironedetate) elixir. 190mg/5ml equivalent to 27.5mg iron/5ml Powder for reconstitution. 125mg/5ml 250mg/5ml Crush tablets or use injection orally. Do not mix with alkali solutions, sulphate, phosphate or chloride ions. Use sterile water, not tap water. Suspension may be available from Penn pharmaceuticals. Powder for reconstitution with water. 50mg/5ml 200mg/5ml Disperses in water Does not contain sorbitol. Fluoxetine is a severe eye irritant. Administer with care. Crush tablets in fruit juice and give immediately Fucidic acid suspension is incompletely absorbed and doses recommended for suspension are proportionately higher than for sodium fusidate tablets. Open capsules and disperse contents in water. Contents of capsules can be sprinkled on food for patients with swallowing difficulties. Use immediately as drug is rapidly hydrolysed. If given orally fruit juice may be used to mask unpleasant taste. Crush and disperse tablet in water. Crush tablets and mix with water. Monitor blood glucose. Consider insulin. Disperses in water. May be a risk of increased absorption. Monitor blood glucose. Consider insulin as above. Not recommended. Crushing may effect bioavailibility. As for gliclazide. Crush and disperse in water. May be increased rate of absorption so monitor blood glucose. Disperses in water. Hydroxychloroquine Crush and disperse tablet in water. Hyoscine butylbromide Tablets may be crushed and dispersed in water. Hyoscine hydrobromide Injection can be given orally. Consider Patches. Sugar free also available. Tofranil syrup now discontinued. Alternative liquid preparation may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Crush and disperse tablets in water. Do not crush Natrilix SR. Suspension may not be available. Use suppositories as alternative management option. Use alternative NSAID e.g. Diclofenac, ibuprofen. Crush and disperse tablet in water. Isosorbide mononitrate Disperses in water. Increased rate of absorption may lead to increased side effects. Do not take with food Crush tablet and disperse in water. Dispersible tabs The use of lansoprazole suspension via enteral feeding tube is
not recommended due to its high viscosity and adherence to
Use lansoprazole fast tabs or consider changing to omeprazole
Crush and disperse in water. Kepra tablets may be crushed and dispersed in water. Manufacturers recommend half a glass. Injection may be given orally. Contact pharmacy for advice. A special suspension may be available from Boots specials unit. Modified release tablets should not be crushed. Lithium carbonate 200mg is broadly equivalent to lithium citrate 509mg. Plasma levels should be monitored when changing between preparations. Adjustment of dose and frequency may be necessary. Tablets slowly disperse in water Does not contain sorbitol. Should not be diluted as this may reduce efficacy. Crush and disperse in water. Sublingual tablet may be available. Please ask pharmacy for advice. Crush tablets and mix with water. Consider alternative benzodiazepine. See Co-beneldopa 15ml mebeverine pamoate 50mg/5ml is broadly equivalent to 135mg mebeverine hydrochloride. Medroxyprogesterone Provera tablets may be crushed and dispersed in water. Crush and disperse tablets in water. Crush and disperse in water. phosphate Metformin Suspension is unlicensed. Suspension may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Consider alternative anti-hypertensive. Suppositories available or change to alternative product eg sulphasalazine. Crush and disperse in water. Increased bioavailibility may cause postural hypotension. Monitor patient carefully. Disperses very slowly in water. Consider change to atenolol
which is available as a liquid.
Requires activation by stomach acid. Do not administer via nasojejunal or jejunostomy tube. Presence of enteral feed may interfere with activation. Use tablets dispersed in water instead or suppositories or administer 1 hour before or 2 hours after feed. Crush tablet and disperse in water. Liquid preparation may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Tablets may be crushed and mixed with water. Tablets may be crushed and mixed with water. Morphine Sulphate Morphine sulphate controlled release products must never be crushed for administration via feeding tube as this destroys the modified release mechanism resulting in highly dangerous peak and trough levels. The granules from contolled release morhine capsules can be administered via PEG tube but extreme care must be taken to avoid inadvertent crushing or damage to the coating on the granules. For this reason more frequent administration of non controlled release morphine (Oramorph) is the preferred option. Administration of the granules from Zomorph capsules is licensed providing the tube has a diameter of more than 16 french gauge. If morphine is given via NJ or jejunostomy tube dose adjustment may be necessary because of reduced transit time and extent of absorption. Open capsule and immediately flush contents with water. Liquid suspension may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Contains 1.7mmol sodium in 5ml Crush tablet and disperse in water. Give immediately. Controlled release Coracten capsules may be opened and the contents given. Do not crush the granules. Granules may block fine bore tubes. Change to a long acting calcium antagonist eg amlodipine. Give liquid contents of nifedipine capsules using 1ml syringe and needle. Pull back plunger while squeezing capsule. May need more than one capsule to obtain required dose. 5mg = 0.17ml, 10mg = 0.34ml. Monitor for side effects. Eg Hypotension. Flush liquid down tube using saline not water. Must be given as a tds dosing schedule. This is extremely light sensitive and must be given immediately. Crush tablets and administer immediately or give IV. IV infusion is not suitable for oral administration as it contains ethanol and polyethylene glycol. Open and disperse Macrodantin capsules. Disperses slowly in water. Place tablet in syringe. Fill with 10ml water and 5ml air. Shake for 2 minutes to disperse tablet. Granules may block tubes
smaller than 7F. For alternative management options please
contact pharmacy for advice. MUPS tablets must not be
Use Zyprexia Velotabs Open capsule disperse contents in water. Melt tablets may also be available. Suppositories may also be available. Warning: Do not crush controlled release formulations. Contact pharmacy for advice. Use alternative tetracycline if possible eg. doxycycline dispersible tabs. Capsules of tetracycline may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Pancreatic enzymes Seek advice from pharmacy. Soluble tablets are preferable to suspension. Suspension is hyperosmolar and may cause diarrhoea when administered via the NJ or J routes. Soluble tabs contain 388mg sodium per tablet. Suppositories are an alternative management option. All various strengths Powder for reconstitution with water. 125mg/5ml 250mg/5ml Disperse tablet in water. May take up to 15 minutes for disintegration. Crush and disperse tablet in water. Crush and disperse in water. Contains alcohol 38% Special alcohol free suspension may be available. Please ask pharmacy for advice. Phenytoin suspension and capsules are not equivalent. 90mg suspension is approximately equivalent to 100mg tablets or capsules. Diluting suspension decreases its viscosity and aids administration. Suspension is hyper-osmolar and may cause diarrhoa when administered via the NJ and J routes. Phenytoin interacts with feeds. See above. Konakion MM injection may be given orally. Consider alternative NSAID available as a liquid. Crush and disperse in water. Crush and disperse in water. Crush tablets and mix with water. Use soluble tabs Prochlorperazine Suppositories also available. Crush and disperse in water. May not be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Crush tablets and administer orally in 5% glucose. Propylthiouracil Crush and disperse tablet in water. Liquid may be available from pharmacy. Do not crush modified release preparations. Contact pharmacy for advice on conversion to liquid formulation. Consider alternative beta blocker. Crush tablets and administer with water. Stop feed half an hour before and after administration. Crush tablets and flush with water. Disperses slowly in water. Crush and disperse in water. Quinine Sulphate Crush and disperse in lager volume of water. Sugar coating should dissolve. Open capsules and flush contents with water. Ranitidine syrup contains sorbitol and may cause diarrhoea. Effervescent tabs 150mg Crush and disperse tablet in water. Stop feed 30 minutes before and after administration. Crush and disperse in water. Open Exelon capsules and disperse contents in water. May be diluted with mineral water, orange juice or black coffee. Liquid formulation may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Do not crush modified release tablets. If changing from modified release to liquid dosage frequency will need to be increased. Liquid or oral lyophilisates may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Crush and disperse in water. See Co-careldopa Crush tablets and administer in water immediately. Sodium feredetate Equivalent to 27.5mg iron/5ml See Fusidic acid above Sodium clodronate Open capsules and administer with water. Stop feeds for 2 hours before and after administration. Sodium picosulphate Sodium valproate Contains sorbitol. If patient on Epilim chrono will need to adjust dosage frequency. Ask pharmacy for advice. Crush tablets and administer with water. Interacts with enteral feeds. Forms insoluble complexes with protein in enteral feeds. May block tubes or cause intestinal obstruction (bezoar formation). Avoid combined administration with enteral feed. Use alternative agent. Contact pharmacy for advice. Open capsule and administer granules with water. Do not crush the granules. Crush tablets and disperse in water. Consider alternative antibiotic. If tetracycline in indicated doxycycline dispersible tablets are available. Increase in dosage frequency is required if transferring from a SR formulation to a short acting formulation. Sustained release theophylline tablets must not be crushed. Slophylline capsules may be opened and the granules administered without crushing (granules may block the tube). Nuelin tablets are dispersible in water and may be used as an alternative to Nuelin liquid. Theophylline doses may need to be adjusted when changing between preparations. Monitor theophylline levels. Theophylline interacts with feeds. See above. Crush tablets and administer with water. Disperses in water after crushing. Crush and disperse in water. Crush and disperse in water. Crush and disperse in water. Monitor blood glucose. Consider alternative sulphonylurea which can be more easily crushed. Crush and disperse in water. Do not crush Detrusitol XL Crush tablets and administer with water. Open capsule and administer contents with water. Injection may be given orally after dilution, or suspension made by pharmacy. Contact pharmacy for advice Trifluorperazine Liquid formulation may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Does not contain sorbitol. 7.5mg/5ml 30mg/5ml Contains sorbitol. Ursodeoxycholic acid Ursofalk suspension may be available. Contact pharmacy for advice. Open capsules and give contents in water immediately as it is not very stable. Use injection orally for administration via enteral tube. NB for treatment of antibiotic associated colitis only. Oral vancomycin is not suitable for the treatment of systemic infections since it is not significantly absorbed. Efexor tablets can be crushed and dispersed in water. Efexor XL capsules can be opened and the contents administered with water. Do not crush the granules. If patient taking modified release verapamil. contact pharmacy for advice on dose and dosage frequency adjustment. Contact pharmacy for advice. Preparations Vitamin E Effects of warfarin can be reduced by vitamin K in enteral feeds. Monitor INR and adjust dose as necessary. Crush and disperse tablet in water. Clopixol tablets may be crushed and dispersed in water. Consider depot injection.
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The Royal Hospitals Belfast
Adams D ‘Administration of Drugs through a jejunostomy tube. An overview of compatibility and efficacy' B J Int Care 1994;4: 10-17
Cerrulli J, Malone M, ‘Assessment of drug related problems in clinical nutrition patients' J Parent Ent Nutr 1999;23:218-221
E.K.Kelly, Hannawa T ‘Techniques for administering oral medications to critical care patients receiving continuous enteral nutrition'
Am J Health-Syst Pharm 1999;56:1441-1444
A-Z guide to administration of drugs via nasogastric/PEG Tube
Matthews E, Stockton L, Thomson F
Thomson FC, Naysmith MR, Lindsay A, ‘Managing drug therapy in patients receiving enteral and parenteral nutrition' Hospital
Reeves V J, Hopkins S, ‘The administration of medication via a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube'
Broomfield Hospital, Mid Essex Hospitals Services NHS Trust
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