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Alternative Routes of Administration of Drugs Stomach PEGs & Nasogastric (NG) Tubes
People who have difficulty swallowing sometimes have a surgical procedure that allows the introduction of liquid food directly into the stomach. This feeding tube is inserted through the wall of the abdomen and is called a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG tube) ‘stomach peg’.
The administration of drugs is often easier for a person who has a peg. There are no concerns over bitter taste, vomiting, or the person’s ability to swallow the required quantity of the drug. For a person with a PEG, a drug can be injected directly into the stomach.
Nasogastric tubes are also occasionally used to provide fluids to someone who is having difficulty swallowing. This temporary procedure sees a small diameter tube positioned through the nose and down the throat into the stomach. It is possible to deliver fluids directly into the stomach through such a tube.
Lethal drugs given in this way need to be in liquid form. Fig 9.2: Intravenous drug