Cough Syrup via PEG Tube

Updated | Posted
by MisMatch MisMatch, LPN Member Nurse

Specializes in geriatrics. Has 16 years experience.

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!

roser13

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience. 6,504 Posts

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?

indynurse '87

indynurse '87

Specializes in Geriatrics/LTC. 21 Posts

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.

OldNurseEducator

OldNurseEducator

290 Posts

If the cough syrup were an expectornat, it would matter. :confused:

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

If you have any doubts look up the ingredients of the cough syrup and read up on their actions.

steelcityrn

steelcityrn, RN

964 Posts

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.

nurse2033, MSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU. 3 Articles; 2,133 Posts

Cough syrup contains drugs. Those drugs are absorbed in the GI tract and distributed throughout the body in the blood, just like all medications.

DizzyLizzyNurse

DizzyLizzyNurse

Specializes in Peds Medical Floor. Has 12 years experience. 1,024 Posts

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.

Altra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU. 6,255 Posts

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.

BabyLady

BabyLady, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, Post-partum. 2,300 Posts

If it has codeine in it, which many of them do, you can give them water with it because it is a cough surpressant.

rn438

rn438

Specializes in Telemetry. 22 Posts

cough syrup doesnt work by coating the throat. it works by absorbing it systemically, so NG or PEG or swallowing it doesnt make a difference. You should know the mechanism of action for every drug you are giving, look it up in a good drug book. You can still expectorate with an NG or peg in place also. Doesnt matter . Cough syrup is very thick and clogs up tubes! Definitely give water afterward.

morte

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

Altra said:
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.

That is what I was thinking.....I was taught in NS to give water with the cough syrup, r/t aiding in loosening secretions and that it acted centrally, no locally.....for that you want a lozenge..