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Polyethylene glycol 3350/electrolytes (By mouth)

Polyethylene Glycol (pol-ee-ETH-i-leen GLYE-kol), Potassium Chloride (poe-TAS-ee-um KLOR-ide), Sodium Bicarbonate (SOE-dee-um bye-KAR-bo-nate), Sodium Chloride (SOE-dee-um KLOR-ide), Sodium Sulfate (SOE-dee-um SUL-fate)

Helps empty your bowels before medical tests. Also called PEG.

Brand Name(s):

Colyte with Flavor Packs, GaviLyte-C with Flavor Pack, GaviLyte-G with Flavor Pack, Golytely

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use if you had an allergic reaction to polyethylene glycol, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, or sodium sulfate. Do not use if you have serious problems with your digestion, such as gastric retention.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • 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. After you drink your first dose of medicine, do not eat anything until after you are finished with your test.
  • You may drink water or clear liquids up until 2 hours before the time of the test, if your doctor says it is okay. Do not drink red or purple liquids.
  • This medicine comes as a powder that you mix with water before you drink it. Do not swallow the powder directly. Some brands of this medicine also come with a packet of flavoring powder. You may use the medicine with or without the flavoring powder.
  • To use the medicine:
    • Mix the powder with the right 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. Use the mixed medicine within 48 hours.
    • Drink 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of the mixed medicine 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 mixed medicine about every 10 minutes until your stools are clear. Most people need to drink all of the liquid (1 gallon).
    • If you cannot swallow the liquid, it can be given through a feeding tube.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how PEG electrolyte solution works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • diuretic (water pill)
    • blood pressure medicine (such as an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker)
    • medicine for depression
    • NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
    • another laxative
  • Do not take any medicine by mouth within 1 hour before you take PEG electrolyte solution.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, digestion problems (such as ulcerative colitis), trouble swallowing, or a mineral imbalance. Tell your doctor if you have angina, heart failure, heart disease, recent heart attack, or a history of seizures or heart rhythm problems (such as arrhythmia, prolonged QT).
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Dehydration
    • Heart rhythm problems
    • Seizures
    • Colon ulcers, ischemic colitis
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, or muscle cramps
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Seizures
  • Severe stomach pain or bloating, bloody or black stools

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

  • Mild nausea, bloating, full feeling, cramps

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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