If you need medicines via your NG feeding tube, please follow these instructions:

How do I take my medicines?

  1. Aspirate the NG and check the pH is 5.5 or below if no feed is running.
  2. Switch off the feed, if it’s still running.
  3. Flush the tube with 30ml of water.
  4. Prepare your medicines as instructed on your medicines chart.
  5. Each medicine should be given one at a time.
  6. Flush 10mls of water between giving each medication.
  7. Once you have finished giving your medication, flush the tube with 30ml of water.
  8. Restart feed if necessary. You may need to allow some time for the medicine to work. (See the special instructions section on your medicines chart)
  9. If any of your medicines or feeds change please contact your local pharmacy, nutrition nurse, or GP for further advice.

Types of medicines to be given via NG feeding tube


  • Immediate release tablets – these are ‘ordinary’ tablets, sometimes they can be sugar or film coated. Some of these tablets will disperse if left in water.
  • Soluble tablets – these tablets dissolve completely to leave a clear or coloured solution.
  • Dispersible tablets – these tablets break down to a fine powder when put in water.
  • Special release – these tablets can be called slow release, modified release or enteric coated and usually have the letters XL, LA, SR, MR, EC or CR in the name. These should NOT be crushed. If you need advice speak to your pharmacist.

Methods of crushing tablets

You should only crush tablets to put down your NG feeding tube if your pharmacist has told you to do so.


Most capsules have a gelatin shell with loose powder inside that can be mixed with water. Some contain granules and others are soft capsules filled with liquid. Advice should be sought before giving these via your NG feeding tube.


Liquid medicines can be solutions, syrups or suspensions. Some liquid medicines are very thick and you may be told to mix them with water before putting them down the tube - This should be done just before giving the dose.

If you have any queries please contact the Macmillan Nutrition Nurse Practitioner on 0151 556 5323 (Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm)

Outside of these hours please contact The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Hotline on 0800 169 5555 for advice.