Skip to content
Drugs & Medications

peg-electrolyte solution

Uses

PEG (polyethylene glycol) with electrolyte is used to clean out the intestines before certain bowel exam procedures such as colonoscopy or barium enema X-rays. It is a laxative that works by drawing large amounts of water into the colon. This effect results in watery bowel movements. Clearing stool from the intestines helps your doctor to better examine the intestines during your procedure.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved US professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may be used, only as directed by your doctor, for constipation. However, when treating constipation, you should use milder products (such as stool softeners, bulk-forming laxatives) whenever possible. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other treatment options.

How to use peg-electrolyte solution

Some brands of this product come with a Medication Guide. If available, read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking this product. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Follow any special diet instructions provided by your doctor. Do not eat solid food, usually starting on the day before your procedure until after your procedure, as directed by your doctor.

This product must be mixed with water as directed before use. Read and follow all directions with the product package to mix this product. After mixing, place the container in the refrigerator until ready to drink. Chilling the mixed liquid will improve its taste. Do not mix with other flavorings/liquids. Do not drink with ice.

Drink the mixed solution by mouth. It may also be given through a nose-to-stomach (nasogastric) tube. Dosage is based on your medical condition, procedure, and response to treatment.

Drink one 8-ounce glass (240 milliliters) of the mixture every 10 minutes until your watery stool is clear and has no solid matter. Most people need to drink 3 to 4 liters of solution, or take as directed by your doctor. It is best to drink the mixed liquid quickly instead of sipping slowly. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about how to mix or take this product or what to expect after taking this product.

If severe bloating or abdominal pain occurs, wait longer (15-30 minutes) between each glass of the mixture, or temporarily stop drinking the mixture until the symptoms improve.

Watery bowel movements usually begin within 1 hour after you start to drink the mixed liquid. Drink plenty of clear liquids as directed by your doctor to prevent losing too much body water (become dehydrated).

Do not take any other medications by mouth within 1 hour of starting to drink the mixed liquid because your body may not absorb the other medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure when to take your other medications.

Side Effects

Nausea, bloating, or feelings of fullness in the stomach/abdomen are very common. Stomach/abdominal cramps, vomiting, and anal irritation occur less often. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds, chest pain, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, sudden shortness of breath, severe or persistent stomach/abdominal pain, bloody stools, rectal bleeding, seizure.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking electrolyte with PEG, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain stomach/intestinal problems (such as toxic colitis, obstruction), severe ulcers/swelling of the colon (ulcerative colitis), trouble swallowing (such as poor gag reflex, aspiration), history of vomiting easily/often, heart problems (such as heart failure, irregular heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), kidney problems, seizure disorder, mineral imbalances (such as low level of sodium in the blood).

Special caution should be taken if this medication is given to an unconscious or partly conscious person.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dehydration. Room temperature solution is better for infants. Children younger than 2 years may be more likely to develop low blood sugar from not eating. Get medical help right away if you notice symptoms of low blood sugar in your child, such as shakiness, unusual sleepiness, abnormal/prolonged crying.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

See also How to Use section.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

Not applicable.

Storage

Store the unmixed powder at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. After mixing the solution, store it in the refrigerator and use within 48 hours. Discard any unused mixture. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Different products may have different storage needs. Refer to storage information printed on the package. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist.

If your doctor has prescribed this product for constipation, keep the mixed solution in the refrigerator. Do not keep mixed solution longer than 30 days.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Information last revised September 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.

Images

Sorry. No images are available for this medication.

Add to Cabinet

Add Adderall to my medicine cabinet.

Did you know?

With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.

Go to medicine cabinet

Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

More about Drugs and Medications

Newsletters

Subscribe to free WebMD newsletters.

  • WebMD Daily

    WebMD Daily

    Subscribe to the WebMD Daily, and you'll get today's top health news and trending topics, and the latest and best information from WebMD.

  • Men's Health

    Men's Health

    Subscribe to the Men's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, nutrition, and more from WebMD.

  • Women's Health

    Women's Health

    Subscribe to the Women's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, diet, anti-aging, and more from WebMD.

By clicking Submit, I agree to the WebMD Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices