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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Co-Lav
  • Colovage
  • Colyte
  • Colyte-flavored
  • Colyte with Flavor Packs
  • Go-Evac
  • GoLYTELY
  • NuLYTELY
  • NuLYTELY, Cherry Flavor
  • OCL

In Canada—

  • Colyte
  • GoLYTELY
  • Klean-Prep
  • Peglyte
  • PEG-3350 & Electrolytes

Category

  • Evacuant (bowel)

Description

The polyethylene glycol (pol-ee-ETH-i-leen GLYE-col) (PEG) and electrolytes solution is used to clean the colon (large bowel or lower intestine) before certain tests or surgery of the colon. The PEG-electrolyte solution is usually taken by mouth. However, sometimes it is given in the hospital through a nasogastric tube (a tube inserted through the nose).

The PEG-electrolyte solution acts like a laxative. It causes liquid stools or mild diarrhea. In this way, it flushes all solid material from the colon, so the doctor can have a clear view of the colon.

The PEG-electrolyte solution is available only with your doctor's prescription. It is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral
  • Oral solution (U.S. and Canada)
  • Powder for oral solution (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

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 the PEG-electrolyte solution, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to PEG. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals. Before taking the PEG-electrolyte solution or having a colon examination, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether PEG-electrolyte solution passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—Although there is no specific information comparing use of PEG-electrolyte solution in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults—This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other 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. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any of the following:

  • Any other oral medicines—Any medicines taken within 1 hour of the PEG-electrolyte solution may be flushed from the body and not have an effect

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of PEG-electrolyte solution. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Blockage or obstruction of the intestine or
  • Paralytic ileus or
  • Perforated bowel or
  • Toxic colitis or
  • Toxic megacolon—PEG-electrolyte solution may make these conditions worse; in some cases the colon may rip open or tear

Proper Use of This Medicine

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 the PEG-electrolyte solution exactly as directed . Otherwise, the test you are going to have may not work and may have to be done again.

It will take close to 3 hours to drink all of the PEG-electrolyte solution. The first bowel movement may start an hour or so after you start drinking the solution. Continue drinking all the solution to get the best results , unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Do not eat anything for at least 3 hours before taking the PEG-electrolyte solution . If you do so, the colon may not get completely clean. If you are drinking the PEG-electrolyte solution the evening before the test, you may drink clear liquids (e.g., water, ginger ale, decaffeinated cola, decaffeinated tea, broth, gelatin) up until the time of the test. However, check first with your doctor.

For patients using the powder form of this medicine :

  • The powder must be mixed with water before it is used . Add lukewarm water to the fill mark on the bottle.
  • Shake well until all the ingredients are dissolved.
  • Do not add any other ingredients, such as flavoring, to the solution.
  • After you mix the solution, you must use it within 48 hours.

Dosing—Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the usual amount taken of PEG-electrolyte solution. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so:

  • For cleaning the colon:
    • For oral dosage forms (oral solution and powder for oral solution):
      • Adults and teenagers—Drink one full glass (8 ounces) of the PEG-electrolyte solution rapidly every ten minutes. If you sip small amounts of the solution, it will not work as well.
      • Children—The amount of PEG-electrolyte solution taken is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. It is usually 25 to 40 milliliters (mL) per kilogram (kg) (11.3 to 18.2 mL per pound) of body weight per hour.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Store the solution in the refrigerator to improve the taste. However, keep the medicine from freezing.
  • Do not keep any leftover solution. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Side Effects of This Medicine

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 as soon as possible if the following side effect occurs:

Rare

Skin rash

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Bloating; nausea

Less common

Abdominal or stomach cramps; irritation of the anus; vomiting

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your health care professional.

Revised: 08/29/2000

The information contained in the Thomson Healthcare (Micromedex) products as delivered by Drugs.com is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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