Background Liquid formulations of medicines are required for administration through enteral feeding tubes (EFTs). Due to the limited availability of liquid medicines, crushing or dispersing tablets is frequently undertaken by nurses, carers and patients using a variety of different methods. The most accurate method of tablet manipulation has not been determined.
Purpose To determine the best method of tablet manipulation through comparison of dose recovery.
Materials and Methods Naproxen was selected as the model drug as no liquid formulations are available. The tablet was prepared using one of 6 methods identified from a previous survey: Dispersion in a syringe, dispersion in a medicine pot, crushed and dispersed using a crushing syringe, crushed and dispersed using a crushing device, crushed and dispersed in a pestle and mortar or crushed using two spoons. The resulting dispersion was flushed via an 8Fr polyurethane EFT (Corpak) into a receiving flask; repeated 6 times for each method. Dose recovery was determined using HPLC. Excel and statistical software was used for data analysis.
Results Tablet dispersion in the barrel of a syringe produced the highest dose recovery. All other methods delivered a dose outside the BP acceptable range of 95–105%. Full results in table 1.
Conclusions Dispersal in the barrel of a syringe did not significantly affect dose recovery. This study demonstrates that methods currently in use may deliver an insufficient dose; further research is required using different medicines and the effect of dispersion particle size on tube blockage.
No conflict of interest.
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