What is this medicine?
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL; ELECTROLYTES (pol ee ETH i leen GLYE col; i LEK truh lahyts) is a laxative. It is used to clean out the bowel before a colonoscopy.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- any chronic disease of the intestine, stomach, or throat
- bloating or pain in stomach area
- difficulty swallowing
- G6PD deficiency
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- low levels of sodium in the blood
- an unusual or allergic reaction to polyethylene glycol, other medicines, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth. Before using this medicine you or your pharmacist must fill the container with the amount of water indicated on the package label. Chill solution before using to improve taste. Shake well before each dose. Your doctor will tell you what time to start this medicine. Take exactly as directed. You will usually have the first bowel movement about 1 hour after you begin drinking the solution. After that, you will have frequent watery bowel movements.
You will need to follow a special diet before your procedure. Talk to your doctor. Do not eat any solid foods for 3 to 4 hours before taking this medicine.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
You should talk to your doctor if you are not able to complete the bowel preparation as advised.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take any other medicine by mouth starting one hour before you take this medicine. Talk to your doctor about when to take your other medicines.
This medicine may interact with the following medications:
- certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
- certain medicines for kidney disease
- certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- NSAIDS, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor if you experience any changes in bowel habits that are severe or last longer than three weeks.
Do not inhale dust from the solution powder. This can make breathing difficult or may cause sneezing or an allergic-type reaction.
Bloating may occur before the first bowel movement. If your discomfort continues while you are drinking the solution, stop drinking the solution temporarily or drink each portion with longer spaces in between until your symptoms disappear. Contact your doctor or health care professional if you have any concerns.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- chest tightness
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- anal irritation
- bloating, pain, or distension of the stomach
- increased hunger or thirst
- stomach gas
- trouble sleeping