Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)

Pronunciation

Pronunciation: POL-ee-ETH-i-leen GLYE-kol
Class: Bowel evacuant

Trade Names

Dulcolax Balance
- Power for oral solution 17 g of PEG 3350

GlycoLax
- Powder for oral solution 255 g of PEG 3350
- Powder for oral solution 527 g of PEG 3350

MiraLax
- Powder for oral solution 17 g of PEG 3350
- Powder for oral solution 119 g of PEG 3350
- Powder for oral solution 238 g of PEG 3350
- Powder for oral solution 510 g of PEG 3350

Pharmacology

Acts as an osmotic agent by causing water to be retained with the stool.

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Indications and Usage

Treatment of occasional constipation; limit use to 14 days or less.

Unlabeled Uses

For constipation and bowel cleansing in children.

Contraindications

Known or suspected bowel obstruction; allergy to polyethylene glycol (PEG).

Dosage and Administration

Adults

PO 17 g/day as directed by health care provider in 240 mL of water, juice, soda, coffee, or tea.

General Advice

  • If using bulk powder, measure prescribed quantity using measuring cap supplied with product, or use 1 heaping Tbsp. Dissolve powder in 8 oz of water, juice, soda, coffee, or tea before administering.
  • If using individual packet, dissolve contents of 1 packet in 8 oz of water, juice, soda, coffee, or tea before administering.

Storage/Stability

GlycoLax

Store at 59° to 86°F.

Dulcolax Balance , MiraLax

Store at 68° to 77°F.

Drug Interactions

None well documented.

Laboratory Test Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

GI

Abdominal bloating; cramps; diarrhea; excessive stool frequency; flatulence; nausea.

Precautions

Pregnancy

Category C .

Children

Safety and efficacy not established.

Evaluation of constipation

Patients with complaints of constipation should have a thorough medical history and physical examination to detect associated metabolic, endocrine, and neurogenic conditions, and medications.

Symptoms of bowel obstruction

Evaluate patients with symptoms of bowel obstruction (eg, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or distention) to rule out this condition before starting therapy.

Overdosage

Symptoms

Diarrhea.

Patient Information

  • Educate patient regarding good defecatory and eating habits (eg, high-fiber diet) and lifestyle changes (eg, adequate dietary fiber and fluid intake, regular exercise) that promote more regular bowel habits.
  • Advise patient that PEG should be used for 2 wk or less unless specified otherwise by health care provider. Caution patient that prolonged, frequent, or excessive use may result in electrolyte imbalance and dependence on laxatives.
  • Instruct patient to dissolve prescribed dose in 8 oz of water, juice, soda, coffee, or tea before taking.
  • Advise patient that medication does not work immediately and that 2 to 4 days of therapy may be required to produce a bowel movement.
  • Advise patient to notify health care provider if constipation does not improve or if it worsens, or if nausea, cramping, bloating, or diarrhea occur.

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