Giving Your Child Medications Through a Feeding Tube

NG/OG Tube

  1. Check placement (the pH) of your child's NG/OG tube with an oral syringe BEFORE giving any medications and before giving anything to eat or drink.
    • If you are giving several medications at the same time, check placement (the pH) before the first medication.
    • For bolus or overnight feedings:
      • Check placement of the feeding tube every time you give medications.
    • For continuous feedings:
      • Check placement of the feeding tube once a day as long as your child's condition has not changed.
      • Remember to stop your child's feeding for 1 hour then check the pH.
    • If the pH is greater than 5 and your child is not having any trouble breathing or changes in behavior, wait 15-30 minutes and recheck the pH.
      • After rechecking, if the pH is still greater than 5, remove the tube and reinsert it. After reinserting the tube, if the pH is still greater than 5, call your doctor or nurse practitioner.
  2. Before giving medication through the tube:
    • Stop the feeding and clamp the tubing or plug the feeding port.
    • Flush the tube with the amount of water or air as you have been taught.
  3. Attach the oral medication syringe to the port on the feeding tube and gently push on the plunger until all of the medication has been given. Cap or pinch the tube so that medicine does not leak out. Please note:
    • Do not mix medications in the same syringe.
    • Do not mix medications with formula.
    • Do not give medication beads through the tube (they will clog the tube).
  4. Flush the tube again with the amount of water or air as you have been taught. Flush the tube with the amount of water or air as you have been taught in between each medication.

Gastrostomy, Gastrostomy/Jejunostomy, Jejunostomy, ND, or NJ Tubes (G, G/J, J, ND, or NJ Tubes)

If your child has a G-tube, G/J-tube, J-tube, ND tube, or NJ tube follow Steps 2 through 4 above.

07:B:11a

Written: 2/99

Revised 6/02, 3/06, 7/11, 4/8/14, 5/13/14

©The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 2014. Not to be copied or distributed without permission. All rights reserved.

Patient family education materials provide educational information to help individuals and families. You should not rely on this information as professional medical advice or to replace any relationship with your physician or healthcare provider. 


Next Steps
New Patients, Referrals and 2nd Opinions
Existing Patients or Family Members

Get a Second Opinion

Our experts are here to review your child’s diagnosis and treatment plan, and work with primary oncologists as needed.

Oncology patient with Mom

Patient-Family Education

Review educational information for individuals and families facing childhood cancer.