Polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes (Oral)
pol-ee-ETH-i-leen GLYE-kol 3350, poe-TAS-ee-um KLOR-ide, SOE-dee-um bye-KAR-bo-nate, SOE-dee-um KLOR-ide, SOE-dee-um SUL-fate
Medically reviewed on September 3, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Colyte with Flavor Packs
- GaviLyte-C with Flavor Pack
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Laxative, Hyperosmotic
Uses For polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes
The polyethylene glycol (PEG) and electrolytes solution is used to cleanse the colon (bowel) before certain medical tests (eg, colonoscopy, barium enema X-ray exam) or colon surgery.
The PEG-electrolyte solution is a laxative. It works by causing you to have diarrhea to clean your colon. Cleaning your colon will help your doctor see the inside of your colon more clearly during colonoscopy or other procedures.
Polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of PEG-electrolyte solution in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of PEG-electrolyte solution in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have serious side effects (eg, upper GI bleeding, trouble breathing), which may require caution in patients using polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Belladonna Alkaloids
Using polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Enalapril Maleate
- Mefenamic Acid
Using polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Angina (chest pain), unstable or
- Electrolyte imbalance (eg, low calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium in the blood) or
- Fluid imbalance or
- Heart attack, recent or
- Heart disease (eg, cardiomyopathy) or
- Withdrawal from alcohol or benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, Xanax®)—May increase risk for seizures, arrhythmia, or kidney problems.
- Congestive heart failure or
- Dehydration or
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, prolonged QT interval, uncontrolled arrhythmia), history of or
- Inflammatory bowel disease or
- Kidney problems or
- Seizures, history of or
- Trouble swallowing or
- Ulcerative colitis, active and severe—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Gastric retention (problems with emptying of food or fluid from the stomach) or
- Intestinal problems (eg, blockage, ileus, perforation) or
- Toxic megacolon (a very dilated intestine)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper Use of polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes
Your doctor may have special instructions for you, depending on the type of test you are going to have. If you have not received such instructions, or if you do not understand them, check with your doctor in advance.
Take polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes exactly as directed. Otherwise, the test you are going to have may not work and may have to be done again.
Polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes comes with a Medication Guide. You must read, understand, and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
It is best if you do not eat any solid food for 3 to 4 hours before you start using polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes. You must not eat anything for 2 hours before starting to use polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes. Once you drink your first dose of medicine, do not eat anything until after you are finished with your test.
You may drink clear liquids (eg, water, ginger ale, decaffeinated cola, decaffeinated tea, broth, gelatin) up until 2 hours before the time of the test. However, check first with your doctor. Do not drink red and purple liquids.
To use the medicine:
- The powder must be mixed with water before it is used. Do not swallow the powder directly. Add lukewarm water to the fill mark on the bottle. If you are using flavoring powder that came with the medicine, add it before you add the water. Do not add any extra flavorings to the medicine.
- Shake well until all the ingredients are dissolved.
- After you mix the solution, you must use it within 48 hours.
- You will need to drink 240 milliliters (mL) of the mixed medicine about every 10 minutes. It is best to drink it fast instead of sipping it.
- About 1 hour after you drink the first glass of liquid, you should have your first loose stool or mild diarrhea. This is how the medicine cleans out your bowels. You may have bloating or an upset stomach before the loose stools start.
- Keep drinking 240 mL of the mixed medicine about every 10 minutes until your stools are clear. Most people need to drink all of the liquid (4 liters) to get completely clear stools.
- If you cannot swallow the liquid, it can be given through a tube inserted into your nose.
The dose of polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For cleansing of the colon:
- For oral dosage form (powder for oral solution):
- Adults—240 milliliters (mL) every 10 minutes.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For oral dosage form (powder for oral solution):
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes
It is important that your doctor check you closely for any problems or unwanted effects that may be caused by polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Contact your doctor right away if you have decreased urination, dizziness, headache, or vomiting. These could be symptoms of a loss of too much body fluid (dehydration).
Do not take any medicine by mouth within 1 hour before taking PEG and electrolytes solution. Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- difficulty swallowing
- fast heartbeat
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- shortness of breath
- skin rash
- tightness in the chest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Abdominal or stomach fullness
- Abdominal or stomach cramps
- irritation of the anus
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 2018 Truven Health Analytics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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