HalfLytely solution

Generic Name: polyethylene glycol/electrolytes (POL-ee-ETH-i-leen GLYE-kol/e-LECK-troe-lites/bis-AK-oh-dil)
Brand Name: HalfLytely and Bisacodyl Tablet Bowel Prep Kit

HalfLytely solution is used for:

Cleaning out the bowel before a certain medical procedure (colonoscopy). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

HalfLytely solution is a combination of 2 laxatives. They work to increase the frequency of bowel movements by retaining water in the stool and by moving contents through the bowel.

Do NOT use HalfLytely solution if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in HalfLytely solution
  • you have certain stomach or bowel problems (eg, blockage, retention, perforation, toxic inflammation, megacolon, ileus)
  • you have abnormal blood electrolyte levels (eg, potassium, sodium, magnesium)
  • you are using other laxatives or bowel cleansing products

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using HalfLytely solution:

Some medical conditions may interact with HalfLytely solution. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of blood electrolyte problems, seizures, kidney problems, or stomach or bowel problems (eg, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis)
  • if you have a history of irregular heartbeat (eg, prolonged QT), a recent heart attack, a certain type of chest pain (unstable angina), or other heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure, heart muscle problems)
  • if you have an impaired gag reflex, trouble swallowing, or gastric reflux, or you are at risk of aspiration (inhaling foreign matter into the airway or lungs)
  • if you are dehydrated or on a low-salt (sodium) diet
  • if you drink alcohol or you are having withdrawal symptoms from stopping alcohol or benzodiazepines (eg, diazepam)
  • if you also take medicines for blood pressure, heart problems, kidney problems, or seizures
  • if you take any medicine that may increase the risk of seizures, irregular heartbeat, or kidney problems. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines may increase the risk of these problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with HalfLytely solution. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of seizures may be increased
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, lisinopril), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (eg, losartan), diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen, naproxen), or other laxatives or bowel cleansing products because they may increase the risk of HalfLytely solution's side effects

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if HalfLytely solution may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use HalfLytely solution:

Use HalfLytely solution as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • HalfLytely solution comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. It also comes with detailed instructions for use. Read them carefully. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about HalfLytely solution.
  • Do not eat any solid foods or drink milk on the day that you use HalfLytely solution. Drink only clear liquids and do not eat any solid foods from the time you start HalfLytely solution until your procedure is complete.
  • If you wish to use the Flavor Pack that comes with HalfLytely solution, add the contents of the Flavor Pack into the bottle before you add the water. If you do not use the Flavor Pack, throw it away.
  • To mix the solution, fill the container with the amount of water indicated on the package label. Use lukewarm water to mix HalfLytely solution to help the medicine dissolve faster. Shake well.
  • Chilling HalfLytely solution improves the taste. Do not add sugar, sweetening agents, or other additives to HalfLytely solution.
  • To use the bisacodyl tablet - Swallow the tablet with water unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • Do not take an antacid within 1 hour before or after you take the tablet.
  • After taking the bisacodyl tablet, wait until a bowel movement occurs (or a maximum of 6 hours) and then begin drinking the solution, unless your doctor has given you different instructions.
  • To use the solution - Shake well before each use. Unless your doctor has given you different instructions, drink 8 ounces (240 mL) of the solution every 10 minutes until it is completely gone. It is best to drink each portion quickly rather than sipping it. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash after each glass of medicine may help get rid of the taste.
  • Drinking extra fluids before, during, and after you take HalfLytely solution is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • Medicines taken by mouth within 1 hour of the start of the solution may not be absorbed or be effective. Contact your doctor or pharmacist with any concerns you might have about taking your other medicines.
  • If you miss a dose of HalfLytely solution, take it as soon as you remember. Continue to take it as directed by your doctor. Notify your doctor right away if you are unable to finish taking HalfLytely solution before your test.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use HalfLytely solution.

Important safety information:

  • If you experience stomach discomfort, pain, or bloating, you may need to stop the solution for a short time or allow a longer time between doses. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Notify your doctor right away if you are unable to finish taking HalfLytely solution before your test.
  • Contact your doctor right away if severe vomiting or diarrhea occurs, or if you become dehydrated after taking HalfLytely solution. These effects may lead to abnormal blood electrolyte levels, which may cause certain serious side effects (eg, irregular heartbeat, kidney problems, seizures). Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Do not use any other laxative products or enemas while you are using HalfLytely solution.
  • Lab tests, including blood electrolyte levels, heart function, and kidney function, may be performed while you use HalfLytely solution. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use HalfLytely solution with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • HalfLytely solution should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using HalfLytely solution while you are pregnant. It is not known if HalfLytely solution is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use HalfLytely solution, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of HalfLytely solution:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Discomfort; feeling of being full or bloated; mild stomach pain, cramping, or discomfort; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); decreased urination; fainting; irregular heartbeat; rectal bleeding; seizures; severe or persistent nausea; severe or persistent stomach pain, bloating, cramping, or discomfort; symptoms of dehydration (eg, very dry mouth or eyes, increased thirst, fast heartbeat, dizziness, headache, sluggishness); vomiting.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of HalfLytely solution:

Store HalfLytely solution at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. After mixing the solution, it may be stored in the refrigerator. Use the solution within 48 hours. Discard any unused portion of HalfLytely solution. Keep HalfLytely solution out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about HalfLytely solution, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • HalfLytely solution is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take HalfLytely solution or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about HalfLytely solution. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to HalfLytely solution. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using HalfLytely solution.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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