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Huntington's Disease Caregiving

Swallowing~Giving Medication
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                                          Hospice Tip:
                              Giving Medication To
Someone With Dsyphagia
 
Changes in the dosage form of medications may be necessary for the patient with dysphagia (swallowing) difficulty. However, because changes in the dosage form may alter the medication's therapeutic impact, the patient needs to be monitored closely.
NOTE: Please see Feeding Tube Resources for additional information on altering medications.

Follow these guidelines when altering the dosage form of medication

1. If in doubt whether a particular medication can be altered, consult the pharmacist or manufacturer.

2. If the medication is coated, determine the reasons for the coating before crushing.

3. Make sure the medication is not a sustained-release dosage before altering.

4. If the medication is in a sublingual or buccal form, do not crush.

5. Before mixing the medication with food or liquid, make sure the two are compatible.

6. When crushing a tablet at home, instruct the patient/caregiver to put the tablet in a plastic bag and mash it with a blunt instrument.

7. Give medication as soon as possible after crushing/opening.

8. Have patient sit up when given oral medication.

9. Lubricate mouth and throat with liquid before administering medication in powder form and rinse after administration.

10. If medication is given "hs," give 30 minutes before bedtime.