Generic Name: polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution (pall ee ETH il een GLYE kol ee LEK troe lyte)
Brand Name: Colyte with Flavor Packs, GaviLyte-C, GoLYTELY, MoviPrep, NuLYTELY Orange, NuLYTELY with Flavor Packs, PEG-3350 with Electolytes, Suclear, TriLyte with Flavor Packs
What is polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution?
Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution is a laxative solution that increases the amount of water in the intestinal tract to stimulate bowel movements. This medication also contains potassium, sodium, and other minerals to replace electrolytes that are passed from the body in the stool.
Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution is used to clean the bowel before colonoscopy, a barium x-ray, or other intestinal procedures.
Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution?
Do not use this medication if you have a perforated bowel, a bowel obstruction or severe constipation, or colitis or toxic megacolon. Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects in people with these conditions.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to polyethylene glycol or any other electrolyte solutions (such as Pedialyte or Gatorade), or if you have:
a perforated bowel;
a bowel obstruction or severe constipation; or
colitis or toxic megacolon.
Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects in people with these conditions.
People with eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia) should not use this medication without the advice of a doctor.
To make sure polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
nausea or vomiting;
a stomach disorder such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or slow digestion;
a history of seizures;
low levels of sodium in your blood;
a history of bowel obstruction, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, or other chronic bowel disease;
if you take any medications; or
if you have recently used alcohol.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Moviprep contains phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
How should I take polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution?
Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution is a powder medicine that must be mixed with water before using it. Follow all directions on your medicine label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not add any flavorings to this medicine, such as sugar, honey, artificial sweetener, fruit juices, or other beverages.
Do not take polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution if it has been less than 1 hour since you last ate solid food. For best results, take the medicine 2 to 4 hours after you last ate.
Store unmixed medicine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Store the mixed medicine in a refrigerator in an upright position.
Drink plenty of clear liquids (such as water, broth, black coffee, tea, clear soda) before, during, and after your treatment. Avoid foods and beverages that contain pulp or are red or purple in color. You may also eat popsicles (not fruit bars or fudge bars) or gelatin without fruit pieces or toppings.
This medicine comes with instructions about when and what to eat or drink on your first day of treatment. Each brand may have different instructions.
Shake the liquid well just before you measure a dose. Drink this medicine in the exact portions at the exact time intervals prescribed by your doctor.
The usual dose of the medication is 8 ounces every 10 to 15 minutes. Drink each portion as quickly as possible, rather than sipping it slowly. The first watery stool should appear within 1 hour after you start drinking polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution.
Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution will produce watery diarrhea. Keep taking the medicine until your stool is watery and clear. In most cases, at least 3 liters of polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution is needed for the full effect.
Throw away any polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution you have not used within 24 to 48 hours after it was mixed (follow directions for your specific brand of this medicine).
Do not eat or drink anything within 2 hours before your medical test.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Talk to your doctor if you cannot drink all of the medication prescribed for you. Your test or procedure may need to be rescheduled if your bowel is not completely cleansed.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution?
Avoid taking other medications, vitamins, or mineral supplements within 1 hour before drinking polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution. Any medications you take just before a bowel cleansing will not be properly absorbed into your body.
Do not use other laxatives while using polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution unless your doctor has told you to.
Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
If you have any of these side effects, you may need to drink the medication more slowly, or stop using it for a short time. Call your doctor for instructions if you have:
gagging, choking, severe stomach pain or bloating;
no bowel movement within 2 hours after use;
nausea, vomiting, trouble drinking liquids, headache, little or no urinating; or
fever, sudden or severe stomach pain, severe diarrhea, rectal bleeding or bright red bowel movements.
Common side effects may include:
mild stomach cramps, gas, or bloating;
rectal pain or irritation;
hunger, thirst, mild nausea;
passing gas; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution?
Other drugs may interact with polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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