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Ask the Registered Dietitian: Can I Use Coke to Unclog My Feeding Tube?

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
07/12/13  7:14 PM PST
Can I Use Coke to Unclog My Feeding Tube?

Can I use Coke to unclog my feeding tube? It’s not recommend by registered dietitians. Soda and juice are acidic and can react with any formula left in the tube, making the clog worse.

Research shows that the best way to resolve a feeding tube clog is to use warm water and a “push-pull” motion with a 60-mL syringe.

Prevent clogs by frequently flushing your tube with water, especially before and after every use.

You may hear from others that they have had success with using Coke, or other types of sodas, when clearing a clog in their tube, but water is the only method recommended by registered dietitians.

You can also find a video and an article with instructions about how to unclog a feeding tube.

Check out these links for more information and resources about feeding tubes:

You can find more support for tube feeding at the Oley Foundation or the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation.

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  1. After blending real food for my son for the past two years, I tell every tubie I know to FLUSH with water after every meal and every medicine. Only time we’ve ever had a clog is with Prevacid!

  2. My husband has feeding tube and he is in rehab center. After giving him Flomax through g tube gets clogged. Twice he was taken to hospital. How can we unclogg tune and how to prevent.

    1. Hello Mohini,
      I am sorry to hear that your husband’s g-tube keeps becoming clogged. A clogged g-tube can happen if dried formula or medications are not flushed out all the way. One of our Registered Dietitians wrote and an article and filmed a video regarding this common issue, Ask the RD: How Can I Unlgog a G-tube at Home?

      Try these simple steps to unclog a G-tube at home:
      Attach a 60mL syringe to the feeding tube and pull back on the plunger to remove as much fluid as possible.
      Administer 10mL of warm water. Gently move the plunger back and forth to help loosen the blockage.
      If the blockage does not clear, clamp the tube for at least 5-15 minutes, allowing the warm water to soften the clog. If you can see the clog, massage that portion of the tube gently with your fingers.
      Unclamp the tube and repeat steps 2 and 3.
      Prevent clogs by flushing the tube with water before and after each use, administering medications separately from one another and using diluted liquid forms of medications when possible.
      I hope this helps and wish the best for you and your husband.
      – Sarah, Shield HealthCare

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