Cough Syrup via PEG Tube

  1. 0
    I am a fairly new LPN working in LTC. Several residents who are NPO have orders for cough syrup to be given via PEG tube for coughs. The cause of the cough varies with each resident. How does cough syrup given via PEG tube help control the cough? Also, when given PO, you don't want to give water after the cough syrup; does the water flush given after PEG tube administration impact its effectiveness?

    I've asked my fellow nurses who work night shift with me and no one seems to know. I'm counting on the expertise here to help me understand. Thank you!
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  3. 23 Comments so far...

  4. 11
    The action of most cough syrups is systemic and it doesnt matter how it is administered. I'm not sure if that answers your question.....were you and your co-workers of the opinion that cough syrups are only topical?
    southern rn, canoehead, michelle126, and 8 others like this.
  5. 5
    I had this very discussion with an MD when he came to make rounds a couple of years ago, his statement to me was that the main active ingredient in the cough syrup worked on the "cough center" in the brain, so therefore worked when given per tube.
    VickyRN, sevensonnets, noahsmama, and 2 others like this.
  6. 1
    If the cough syrup were an expectornat, it would matter.
    VickyRN likes this.
  7. 1
    If you have any doubts look up the ingredients of the cough syrup and read up on their actions.
    Altra likes this.
  8. 0
    Good question. Have seen it ordered to give that way. I wondered myself, but feel it does probably work systemic, as coating the throat is only going to last so long anyways.
  9. 2
    Cough syrup contains drugs. Those drugs are absorbed in the GI tract and distributed throughout the body in the blood, just like all medications.
    BluegrassRN and OgopogoLPN like this.
  10. 0
    I never understood why you can't give someone water to drink with cough syrup. I couldn't take it without a drink of water. It's always worked for me and the residents I give it to.
  11. 3
    Some scary stuff being posted here ...

    OP, get your drug guide and look up "guaifenisin", "dextromethorphan" or whatever the active ingredient is in the cough suppressant that you are administering. You'll have your answer.
  12. 0
    If it has codeine in it, which many of them do, you can give them water with it because it is a cough surpressant.


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