polyethylene glycol 3350 (generic name)

It increases the amount of water in the stool
(pol ee ETH i leen; GLYE col)
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What is this medicine?

POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL 3350 (pol ee ETH i leen; GLYE col) powder is a laxative used to treat constipation. It increases the amount of water in the stool. Bowel movements become easier and more frequent.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • a history of blockage of the stomach or intestine
  • current abdomen distension or pain
  • difficulty swallowing
  • diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, or other chronic bowel disease
  • phenylketonuria
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to polyethylene glycol, other medicines, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. The bottle has a measuring cap that is marked with a line. Pour the powder into the cap up to the marked line (the dose is about 1 heaping tablespoon). Add the powder in the cap to a full glass (4 to 8 ounces or 120 to 240 ml) of water, juice, soda, coffee or tea. Mix the powder well. Drink the solution. Take exactly as directed. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Interactions are not expected.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Do not use for more than 2 weeks without advice from your doctor or health care professional. It can take 2 to 4 days to have a bowel movement and to experience improvement in constipation. See your health care professional for any changes in bowel habits, including constipation, that are severe or last longer than three weeks.

Always take this medicine with plenty of water.

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:
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing
  • itching of the skin, hives, or skin rash
  • severe bloating, pain, or distension of the stomach
  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • bloating or gas
  • lower abdominal discomfort or cramps
  • nausea

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: July 20, 2009
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