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All about: Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)

Big Image Pronouncation: (poli-eth-uh-leen gli-cawl)
Class: Bowel evacuant

Trade Names:
- Powder for Oral Solution 255 g PEG 3350
- Powder for Oral Solution 527 g PEG 3350

Mechanism of Action


Acts as an osmotic agent by causing water to be retained with the stool.

Indications and Usage

Treatment of occasional constipation; use should be limited to 14 days or less.


Known or suspected bowel obstruction; allergy to polyethylene glycol.

Dosage and Administration


PO 17 g/day as directed by health care provider in 240 mL of water, juice, soda, coffee, or tea.

General Advice

  • If using bulk powder, measure prescribed quantity using measuring cap supplied with product or use 1 heaping Tbsp. Dissolve powder in 8 oz of water, juice, soda, coffee, or tea before administering.
  • If using individual packet, dissolve contents of 1 packet in 8 oz of water, juice, soda, coffee, or tea before administering.


Store at controlled room temperature (59° to 86°F).

Drug Interactions

None well documented.

Laboratory Test Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions


Nausea; abdominal bloating; cramping; flatulence; diarrhea; excessive stool frequency.



Category C .


Safety and efficacy not established.

Evaluation of constipation

Patients with complaints of constipation should have a thorough medical history and physical examination to detect associated metabolic, endocrine, and neurogenic conditions, and medications.

Symptoms of bowel obstruction

Patients with symptoms of bowel obstruction (eg, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or distention) should be evaluated to rule out this condition before starting therapy.




Patient Information

  • Explain name, dose, action, and potential side effects of drug.
  • Educate patient regarding good defecatory and eating habits (eg, high fiber diet) and life-style changes (eg, adequate dietary fiber and fluid intake, regular exercise) that promote more regular bowel habits.
  • Advise patient that PEG should be used for 2 wk or less unless specified otherwise by health care provider. Caution patient that prolonged, frequent, or excessive use may result in electrolyte imbalance and dependence on laxatives.
  • Instruct patient to dissolve prescribed dose in 8 oz of water, juice, soda, coffee, or tea before taking.
  • Advise patient that medication does not work immediately and that 2 to 4 days of therapy may be required to produce a bowel movement.
  • Advise patient to notify health care provider if constipation does not improve, worsens, or if nausea, cramping, bloating, or diarrhea occur.
  • Caution patient not to take any prescription or OTC drugs, dietary supplements, or herbal preparations unless advised by health care provider.
  • Advise women to notify health care provider if pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Advise patient that follow-up visits may be necessary to monitor therapy and to keep appointments.

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