Impact of direct drug delivery via gastric access devices.

Expert opinion on drug delivery

PubMedID: 25288354

Kurien M, Penny H, Sanders DS. Impact of direct drug delivery via gastric access devices. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2014;1-9.
Introduction: Gastric access devices such as nasogastric tubes and gastrostomy tubes are increasingly being used in clinical practice to provide both short- and long-term nutrition support therapy. Increasingly these devices are being utilized to help deliver oral medications, where swallowing is impaired. This concomitant administration of medications and enteral formulas could derive potential benefits in regard to time and cost; however, uncertainty exists regarding potential drug and nutrient interactions and the influence this may have on both safety and efficacy. Areas covered: This article provides an overview of the differing gastric access devices used in clinical practice and evaluates the evidence base for using oral medications via these routes. Alternative methods of drug administration are discussed, alongside common drug nutrient interactions and potential complications. Expert opinion: Delivering medications via gastric access devices can be performed safely; however, careful consideration needs to be made regarding tube and patient influences, alongside drug-nutrient interactions. Improving practice in this area in the future necessitates enhancement of an evidence base to substantiate the safety of drug delivery via gastric access devices and improvement in education among healthcare professionals about the potential problems.