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ENTERAL NUTRITION FORMULAS (Systemic)
Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Enteral nutrition formulas are used as nutritional replacements for patients who are unable to get enough nutrients in their diet. These formulas are taken by mouth or through a feeding tube and are used by the body for energy and to form substances needed for normal body functions.
Patients with the following conditions may be more likely to need enteral feedings:
Enteral nutrition formulas are available without a prescription. However, they should only be used under medical supervision.
The benefits of enteral formulas in healthy people have not been proven.
Enteral nutrition formulas are available in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Enteral Nutrition Formula
If you are taking any of these enteral nutrition formulas without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For enteral nutrition formulas, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to any of the ingredients listed for your enteral nutrition formula. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy—Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals.
Breast-feeding—This enteral nutrition formula has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Children—Caution should be used when giving enteral feedings to children less than one year of age. Very young children may not be able to eliminate the feeding from the body. Although there is no specific information about the use of enteral feedings in older children, it is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in these children than it does in adults.
Older adults—Older adults may be at risk of developing problems related to the use of a nasogastric tube (tube going through the nose into the stomach), such as aspiration (sucking fluid into the lungs) or removing the nasogastric tube. The enteral feeding itself has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Medicines—Although certain medications and enteral nutrition formulas should not be used together at all, in other cases they may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of enteral feedings. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Enteral Nutrition Formula
Your enteral feeding may be given by mouth or by a feeding tube. Use the amount recommended by your doctor.
For patients taking the oral liquid form of enteral nutrition:
For patients using the powder form of this preparation:
Storage—To store the unopened container:
Precautions While Using This Enteral Nutrition Formula
Enteral feedings must be handled properly to protect them from bacteria. Enteral feedings should be used for no more than 12 hours at room temperature and then should be discarded.
If you are taking your enteral feeding through a tube, enteral formulas that are too thick may clog the feeding tube. If this happens, check with your doctor, nurse, dietitian, or pharmacist.
Side Effects of This Enteral Nutrition Formula
Some problems may result from improper use of an enteral formula or use of the incorrect formula in your condition. Check with your doctor if any of the following problems occur:
Confusion; convulsions (seizures); decrease in urine volume; dryness of mouth; frequent urination; increased thirst; irregular heartbeat; mood or mental changes; muscle cramps or pain; numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips; respiratory distress, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; unexplained nervousness; unusual tiredness or weakness; weakness or heaviness of legs; weak pulse
Other problems may occur that usually do not need medical attention. They may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the enteral nutrition formula. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Constipation; diarrhea; nausea or vomiting
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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