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Bisacodyl / polyethylene glycol 3350 / potassium chloride / sodium bicarbonate / sodium chloride Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 9, 2022.

For the Consumer

Applies to bisacodyl/polyethylene glycol 3350/potassium chloride/sodium bicarbonate/sodium chloride: oral kit

Warning

Use only as directed. Tell your doctor if you use other medicines or have other medical conditions or allergies.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using bisacodyl and PEG-3350 and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • no bowel movement within 6 hours after use;

  • severe nausea, severe stomach pain or bloating;

  • rectal bleeding;

  • irregular heartbeats;

  • headache, confusion, or a seizure;

  • dehydration symptoms--feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin; or

  • signs of an electrolyte imbalance--increased thirst or urination, constipation, muscle pain or weakness, leg cramps, numbness or tingling, feeling jittery, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, or a choking feeling.

Tell your doctor right away if you have trouble drinking clear liquid.

Common side effects may include:

  • feeling full or uncomfortable;

  • stomach cramps;

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • bloating.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to bisacodyl / polyethylene glycol 3350 / potassium chloride / sodium bicarbonate / sodium chloride: oral kit

Gastrointestinal

Mallory-Weiss tears are quite rare with administration of PEG-ELS. In one study it occurred in only 0.06% of over 3,000 patients.

Complete rectal prolapse was reported in a 71-year-old who had been given 4 L of PEG-ELS. The patient was observed for 2 days and had no recurrence of the prolapse.

During administration of PEG-ELS (4 liters) two deaths occurred in patients with end-stage renal failure following the development of vomiting, diarrhea and dysnatremia.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal side effects have been reported the most frequently. These have included nausea (17.1%), cramping (9.1%), abdominal fullness (22.3%), vomiting (5.9%) and overall discomfort (19.1%).

A small percentage of patients who received PEG-ELS have reportedly experienced Mallory-Weiss tears of the esophagus and esophageal perforation. In addition, at least one case of rectal prolapse has been reported.[Ref]

Dermatologic

Dermatologic side effects reported with PEG-ELS have rarely included urticaria and dermatitis.[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Cardiac arrhythmias, especially increased ventricular ectopy, have been associated with PEG-ELS use.

The manufacturer notes an isolated case of asystole following ingestion of PEG-ELS in a geriatric patient (equal to or greater than 60 years of age).[Ref]

Cardiovascular side effects of PEG-ELS have included arrhythmias and asystole.[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

A 70-year-old male developed shortness of breath, wheezing, skin flushing, and lowered blood pressure after drinking a second glass of PEG-ELS.[Ref]

Hypersensitivity side effects with PEG-ELS have rarely included anaphylaxis.[Ref]

Other

Other side effects with PEG-ELS have included rhinorrhea.[Ref]

Respiratory

The manufacturer notes isolated reports of 'butterfly-like' infiltrate on chest X-ray following vomiting and aspiration of PEG-ELS and sudden dyspnea with pulmonary edema in geriatric patients (equal to or greater than 60-years-old).[Ref]

Respiratory side effects with PEG-ELS have included sudden dyspnea with pulmonary edema, and 'butterfly-like' infiltrate on chest X-ray.[Ref]

Nervous system

Tonic-clonic seizures have been reported in patients with and without previous history of seizures following administration of PEG-ELS (4 liters).[Ref]

Nervous system side effects have included tonic-clonic seizures.[Ref]

More about bisacodyl / polyethylene glycol 3350 / potassium chloride / sodium bicarbonate / sodium chloride

Patient resources

Other brands

HalfLytely and Bisacodyl

Related treatment guides

References

1. Andorsky RI, Goldner F "Colonic lavage solution (polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution) as a treatment for chronic constipation: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study." Am J Gastroenterol 85 (1990): 261-5

2. DiPalma JA, Brady CE 3d "Colon cleansing for diagnostic and surgical procedures: polyethylene glycol-electrolyte lavage solution." Am J Gastroenterol 84 (1989): 1008-16

3. Santoro MJ, Chen YK, Collen MJ "Polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution-induced Mallory-Weiss tears." Am J Gastroenterol 88 (1993): 1292-3

4. Bowden TA Jr, DiPiro JT, Michael KA "Polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution (PEG-ELS). A rapid, safe mechanical bowel preparation for colorectal surgery." Am Surg 53 (1987): 34-6

5. Brinberg DE, Stein J "Mallory-Weiss tear with colonic lavage." Ann Intern Med 104 (1986): 894-5

6. Raymond PL "Mallory-Weiss tear associated with polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution." Gastrointest Endosc 37 (1991): 410-1

7. McBride MA, Vanagunas A "Esophageal perforation associated with polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution." Gastrointest Endosc 39 (1993): 856-7

8. Korkis AM, Miskovitz PF, Yurt RW, Klein H "Rectal prolapse after oral cathartics." J Clin Gastroenterol 14 (1992): 339-41

9. "Product Information. HalfLytely and Bisacodyl (bisacodyl-PEG 3350 with electrolytes)." Braintree Laboratories (2022):

10. Marsh WH, Bronner MH, Yantis PL, Kilgore JW, Rickoff MI "Ventricular ectopy associated with peroral colonic lavage." Gastrointest Endosc 32 (1986): 259-63

11. Schuman E, Balsam PE "Probable anaphylactic reaction to polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution." Gastrointest Endosc 37 (1991): 411

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.