Learn about crushing medications for tube feeding and oral administration. As a nurse, it is important to know how to crush pills into a fine powder when administering medications via a tube feeding (g-tube) or orally. However, it is very important to know what medications can be crushed versus medications that CANNOT be crushed. If you are ever unsure if a medication can be crushed, you should always consult with a pharmacist.
In this video, I give you a mnemonic to help you remember what drugs cannot be crushed. Medication categories you CANNOT crush include: sustained-release, extended-release, controlled-release, enteric-coated, and long-acting.
Patients who have difficulty swallowing may need certain medications crushed and mixed in apple sauce or water, so they can swallow them. In patients with swallowing difficulties, you must always assess their swallowing ability before administering the medication to ensure they are able to swallow the medication. In addition, it is best practice when crushing medications, to crush each medication separately which helps decrease the risk of mixing medications together that are not compatible. In addition, some medications when mixed together can decrease their effectiveness. Always, follow your hospital protocols for crushing medications.
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