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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes (Oral)

Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes (By Mouth)

Polyethylene Glycol (pol-ee-ETH-i-leen GLYE-kol), Potassium Chloride (poe-TAS-ee-um KLOR-ide), Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Sulfate

Helps empty your bowels (colon) before medical tests. Also called PEG.

Brand Name(s):

Colyte With Flavor Packs, Golytely, Colyte, Colyte Flavored, PEG 3350 & Electrolytes
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to polyethylene glycol or if you have certain serious problems with your colon. This includes complications of colitis or something blocking your colon.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • It is best if you do not eat any solid food for 3 to 4 hours before you start using this medicine. You must not eat anything for 2 hours before starting to use this medicine. Once you drink your first dose of medicine, do not eat anything until after you are finished with your test.
  • This medicine comes as a powder that you mix with water before using. Some brands of this medicine also come with a packet of flavoring powder. You may use the medicine with or without the flavoring powder.
  • Mix the powder with the correct amount of lukewarm water. If you are using flavoring powder that came with the medicine, add it before you add the water. Do not add any extra flavorings to the medicine. Shake the container to completely mix the powder and water.
  • This liquid may be easier to swallow if it is cold. Do not give cold liquid to a baby.
  • You will need to drink 8 ounces (1 cup) of the medicine and water mixture about every 10 minutes. It is best to drink it fast instead of sipping it.
  • About 1 hour after you drink the first glass of liquid, you should have your first loose stool or mild diarrhea. This is how the medicine cleans out your bowels. You may have bloating or an upset stomach before the loose stools start.
  • Keep drinking 8 ounces of the medicine mixture about every 10 minutes until your stools are clear. Most people need to drink all of the liquid (4 liters) to get completely clear stools.
  • If you cannot swallow the liquid, it can be given through a tube inserted into your nose.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the powder at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. After the powder has been mixed with water, store the mixture in the refrigerator. Use it within 48 hours.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows about any medicines you would normally use during the time you are using PEG. Because PEG cleans out your digestive system, it may keep other medicines from being absorbed the way they should be.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have colitis. Tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing or if you gag or vomit easily.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain or pain when swallowing
  • Severe stomach pain or bloating, bloody or black stools
  • Sudden breathing problems

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild nausea, bloating, feeling "full"
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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