HalfLytely and Bisacodyl Side Effects
Generic Name: bisacodyl / polyethylene glycol 3350 / potassium chloride / sodium bicarbonate / sodium chloride
Note: This page contains information about the side effects of bisacodyl / polyethylene glycol 3350 / potassium chloride / sodium bicarbonate / sodium chloride. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name HalfLytely and Bisacodyl.
For the Consumer
Applies to bisacodyl / polyethylene glycol 3350 / potassium chloride / sodium bicarbonate / sodium chloride: solution, tablet
Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur while taking bisacodyl / polyethylene glycol 3350 / potassium chloride / sodium bicarbonate / sodium chloride:
Discomfort; feeling of being full or bloated; mild stomach pain, cramping, or discomfort; nausea.
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.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to bisacodyl / polyethylene glycol 3350 / potassium chloride / sodium bicarbonate / sodium chloride: oral kit
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 side effects reported with PEG-ELS have rarely included urticaria and dermatitis.[Ref]
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]
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 side effects with PEG-ELS have included rhinorrhea.[Ref]
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]
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]
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. 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
3. DiPalma JA, Brady CE 3d "Colon cleansing for diagnostic and surgical procedures: polyethylene glycol-electrolyte lavage solution." Am J Gastroenterol 84 (1989): 1008-16
4. McBride MA, Vanagunas A "Esophageal perforation associated with polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution." Gastrointest Endosc 39 (1993): 856-7
5. Raymond PL "Mallory-Weiss tear associated with polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution." Gastrointest Endosc 37 (1991): 410-1
6. Brinberg DE, Stein J "Mallory-Weiss tear with colonic lavage." Ann Intern Med 104 (1986): 894-5
7. Korkis AM, Miskovitz PF, Yurt RW, Klein H "Rectal prolapse after oral cathartics." J Clin Gastroenterol 14 (1992): 339-41
8. "Product Information. HalfLytely and Bisacodyl (bisacodyl-PEG 3350 electrolyte (bisacodyl-PEG 3350 with electrolytes))." Braintree Laboratories, Braintree, MA.
9. Santoro MJ, Chen YK, Collen MJ "Polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution-induced Mallory-Weiss tears." Am J Gastroenterol 88 (1993): 1292-3
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
Not all side effects for HalfLytely and Bisacodyl may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
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