Medicines & Tubes
These resources are for healthcare professionals and individuals with enteral feeding tubes or their carers.
Using an enteral feeding tube to administer medication should only be considered if the oral or another route is not appropriate. It is important that patients and healthcare professionals have the correct information to ensure the safe administration without causing patient harm, or changing the intended medication effect.
Most medicine administration via a feeding tube falls outside the product license for that medicine, as does crushing tablets and opening capsules not specifically designed for this purpose. In these circumstances the prescriber and practitioner accept liability for and adverse effects resulting from the administration of that medicine.
The BPNG updated recoursed were produced in 2023.
BPNG Resources Available to Download
The poster highlights the key considerations and is in a printable format to place in a clinical area or pharmacy.
The patient information leaflet can be completed electronically with patient medication details, with the correct formulation and administration advice. It can be printed or shared electronically with the patient.
Administration poster Patient Information Leaflet (PIL)
BPNG NutritionBites Videos - new content coming soon!
Independent resources and further information
- Overview of medicines administration through enteral feeding tubes
- Introduction to enteral feeding tubes
- Understanding tube blockage
- Interactions between medicines and enteral nutrition
BPNG Handbook of Drug Administration via enteral feeding tubes - further information from Pharmaceutical Press
NEWT Guidelines - Wrexham Maeolor Hospital Pharmacy Department have resources available here
Specialist Pharmacy Services provide some additional information here
Background to these resources
In 2003 the BPNG led a working group to develop materials to support the safe administration of medication via enteral feeding tubes in collaboration with BAPEN. BPNG led a new working group in 2022 which included different healthcare professions, from primary and secondary care backgrounds, and patient representation. This group have been committed to updating these materials in line with new guidance.
These guidelines were produced by the Drugs and Enteral Tubes Working Group and BPNG. The group was presented by hospital/primary care pharmacists from adult and paediatric backgrounds, dietitians, nutrition nurses and patient.
Working group members:
Priya Mistry, Rebecca White, Nina Taherzadeh, Emma Wilkinson, Claire Sheikh, Claire Campbell, Jessica Quayle, Lucy Harrison, Michelle Sutcliffe, Andrew Wignall, Jeremy Robson, Carolyn Wheatley. Also thanks to Drs Emma Harris and Majid Jalil, and members of Patients on Intravenous and Naso-gastric Nutrition Treatment (PINNT) for reviewing documents.