Postpyloric feeding probably reduces the incidence of tracheobronchial aspiration and improves feeding tolerance. However, duodenal intubation is often unsuccessful in critically ill patients due to gastric atony. Metoclopramide improves gastric emptying. In a pilot study, 12 adult patients were administered 10 to 20 mg of intravenous metoclopramide after weighted nasal feeding tubes had failed to spontaneously pass distal to the pylorus. In no patient did metoclopramide induce transpyloric passage of the tube. A randomized prospective study involving 10 adult patients was conducted to examine the effect of preinsertion intravenous metoclopramide on transpyloric intubation. All patients had failed to achieve spontaneous duodenal intubation. Five patients received 20 mg of metoclopramide 10 min prior to nasal insertion of a weighed feeding tube. Five control patients received no premedication. Four metoclopramide patients achieved duodenal intubation immediately. In none of the control patients did transpyloric intubation occur (p = 0.048). Metoclopramide, administered after nasogastric intubation, is ineffective in promoting transpyloric advancement of feeding tubes. There is a significant increase in transpyloric intubation when metoclopramide is administered prior to tube insertion.