- Take the Pancreatitis Quiz
- Boost Digestive Health
- Digestive Distress Slideshow: Problem Foods to Avoid
- What are PEG and electrolytes?
- What are examples of PEG and electrolytes available in the United States?
- What are the side effects of PEG and electrolytes?
- What drugs interact with PEG and electrolytes?
- What formulations of PEG and electrolytes are available?
- What about taking PEG and electrolytes during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
What are PEG and electrolytes?
PEG and electrolytes are oral solutions used prior to colonoscopy and other examinations or procedures to cleanse the intestines, in particular, the large bowel or colon. The PEG remains in the intestines where it retains water by producing an osmotic effect. This causes a watery stool, in fact, diarrhea, which rapidly cleanses the bowel within hours. Polyethylene 3350 is used in all of the formulations. Since electrolytes (sodium, potassium, etc.) are lost with diarrhea, electrolytes are added to the PEG to replace or prevent the losses. The electrolytes and their concentrations may vary from product-to-product. PEG and electrolyte containing products are mixed with water and drunk for the cleanse.
What are examples of PEG and electrolytes available in the United States?
Examples of PEG and electrolytes brand names are:
- peg/electrolyte (Colyte)
- peg/electrolyte (Gavilyte-C)
- peg/electrolyte (Golytely)
- peg/electrolyte (Nulytely)
- polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium sulfate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium ascorbate, and ascorbic acid oral solution (Moviprep)
- peg-3350, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and potassium chloride for oral solution (Trilyte)
What are the side effects of PEG and electrolytes?
Side effects of PEG and electrolytes are:
What drugs interact with PEG and electrolytes?
Oral medications administered within one hour of the start of PEG and electrolytes may be flushed from the body and may not be absorbed.
What formulations of PEG and electrolytes are available?
PEG and electrolytes are available as oral powder for solution.
- Colyte, Golytely, and Gavilyte contain polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and sodium sulfate.
- Moviprep contains polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium sulfate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid.
- Nulytely contains polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and potassium chloride.
- Trilyte contains polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and potassium chloride.
- Colyte, Nulytely and Trilyte are available with flavor packs.
What about taking PEG and electrolytes during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
The FDA classifies PEG and electrolytes as pregnancy category C, which means that there is no evidence of safe and effective use of PEG and electrolytes for pregnant women. PEG and electrolytes should be given to pregnant women only if clearly needed.
It is not known whether PEG and electrolytes enter breast milk; therefore, PEG and electrolytes must be used with caution in mothers who are breastfeeding.
Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) and electrolytes are oral solutions prescribed to a patient by a health-care professional prior to colonoscopy and other examinations or procedures to cleanse the intestines, the colon (the large bowel) in particular. Side effects, drug interactions, brand names, formulations, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to using this product.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Ulcerative Colitis Quiz: Diet, Symptoms & Treatment
What is ulcerative colitis and what risks are associated with suffering over the long term? Take this Ulcerative Colitis Quiz to...
Stomach Pain Quiz: Nausea & Other Causes
Tummy Troubles? Get a better idea of what's causing the nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, pain, and other...
Crohn's Disease Quiz
What causes Crohn's disease? What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease? How is Crohn's treated? Take this quiz to get the facts...
Picture of Colon
The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. See a picture of the Colon and learn more about the...
Picture of Colon
The part of the large intestine that serves to remove water from digested food and let the remaining material, solid waste called...
Picture of Diverticulitis
Diverticula can be seen via barium x-ray (barium enema). See a picture of Diverticulitis and learn more about the health topic....
Picture of Diverticulosis
Diverticulosis is a condition where a patient has diverticula in the colon. See a picture of Diverticulosis and learn more about...
Picture of Colon Cancer
Most, if not all, of these cancers develop from colonic polyps. Removal of these precancerous polyps can prevent colon cancer....
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Ulcerative Colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease and is slightly different than Crohn's disease. Your diet can impact...
IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Symptoms, Diet, Treatment
What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Learn about symptoms, causes, and foods that trigger IBS. Get lifestyle tips for managing...
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
What is inflammatory bowel disease? IBD can include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Learn more about testing, treatments,...
Colon Cancer: Symptoms, Signs, Screening, Stages
Colorectal cancer (colon cancer) is the cause of many cancer deaths. Learn about the warning signs, symptoms, screening process,...
Worst Foods for Digestion
Discover which foods to avoid in order to prevent diarrhea and digestive problems. Find out which foods can trigger diarrhea and...
Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis) Symptoms, Diet, Treatment
Diverticulitis (diverticulosis) is a condition in which the diverticulum or diverticula rupture in the colon causing infection....
Crohn's Disease Causes, Symptoms, Diet
What is Crohn's disease? Get more information on this digestive disorder and how Crohn's can affect your diet. Learn more about...
Nasal Irrigation: Natural Relief for Cold & Allergy Symptoms
Nasal irrigation can relieve sinus symptoms associated with colds & allergies. Learn how nasal irrigation can help unclog sinuses...
Abdominal Pain: Common Causes of Stomach Pain in Children
Abdominal pain in children can be more than just a tummy ache. What are the common causes of abdominal pain in children? Learn...
Related Disease Conditions
Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form
Stool color changes can very from green, red, maroon, yellow, white, or black. Causes of changes of stool color can range from...
Colitis (Symptoms, Types, and Treatments)
Colitis refers to inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. Symptoms of the inflammation of the colon lining include...
Abdominal Pain (Causes, Remedies, Treatment)
Abdominal pain can have many causes that range from mild to severe. Some of these causes include bloating, gas, colitis,...
Blood in the Stool (Rectal Bleeding)
Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding (hematochezia) refers to the passage of bright red blood from the anus. Common causes...
Diarrhea (Causes, Medicine, Remedies, Treatment)
Diarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal...
Internal Bleeding (Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Treatment)
Internal bleeding occurs when an artery or vein is damaged and blood to escapes the circulatory system and collects inside the...
Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis, Diverticular Disease)
Most people with diverticulosis have few if any symptoms at all. When people do experience signs and symptoms of diverticulosis...
Colon cancer is a malignancy that arises from the inner lining of the colon. Most, if not all, of these cancers develop from...
Constipation (Relief, Home Remedies, Treatment Medications)
Constipation is defined medically as fewer than three stools per week and severe constipation as less than one stool per week....
Colon Polyps (Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatment, Prevention)
Colon polyps are common growths on the inner lining of the colon. Colon polyps may become cancerous. There are several different...
Indigestion (Dyspepsia, Upset Stomach Pain) Symptoms, Relief Remedies, Medicine
Indigestion (dyspepsia) can be caused by diseases or conditions that involve the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and also by some...
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a GI (gastrointestinal) disorder with signs and symptoms that include abdominal pain, bloating,...
Crohn's Disease (Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Treatment, Life Expectancy)
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect...
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding....
Microscopic Colitis (Lymphocytic Colitis and Collagenous Colitis)
Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis) is a disease of inflammation of the colon. Microscopic colitis...
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Intestinal Problems of IBD)
The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The intestinal complications of...
Melanosis coli is a condition that is often associated with prolonged laxative use. Dark pigment forms in the wall of the large...
Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in children is a functional gastrointestinal disorder with signs and symptoms of: Abdominal...
Colon Cancer Prevention
Colorectal cancer is both curable and preventable if it is detected early and completely removed before the cancerous cells...
Disease Prevention in Men
Disease prevention in men includes routine screening tests that are part of basic prevention medicine. Take an active role in...
Disease Prevention in Women
Disease prevention in women includes screening tests that are a basic part of prevention medicine. All screening tests are...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Informaiton.