Practices Involved in the Enteral Delivery of Drugs
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Purpose of Review
While the delivery of medications through enteral tubes is common in critically ill patients, there are complications and a lack of unified practices between institutions. The purpose of this review is to evaluate current practices and literature evidence regarding this administration route. The effect of this administration on the medication’s efficacy, safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics was examined, as well as other considerations to ensure that this route of delivery is both safe and effective for patients.
Studies have found crushed oral tablets are the most frequent cause of obstructed feeding tubes. Complications such as this are primarily due to inadequate personnel training and failure to properly access medications before enteral administration.
There are many factors that should be considered in order to effectively administer drugs via enteral tubes. Formal training and use of a multi-disciplinary approach that includes pharmacists and dieticians has been shown to reduce tube obstructions and administration errors.
KeywordsEnteral nutrition Critical care Drug administration Adverse effects
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Kathryn S. Bandy, Stephanie Albrecht, Bhavyata Parag, and Stephen A. McClave declare they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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