Drugs Home > Polyethylene Glycol Electrolyte Solution Overdose

Although no cases of an overdose with polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution have been reported, taking too much of this laxative may result in severe diarrhea, cramping, and vomiting. The specific effects, however, will depend on how much of the laxative was taken and whether it was combined with other medications. Treatment options may include "pumping the stomach" or providing supportive care.

Can You Take Too Much Polyethylene Glycol Electrolyte Solution?

Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution (colyte®, GoLYTELY®, MoviPrep®, NuLYTELY®, TriLyte®) is a prescription laxative approved for bowel cleansing before a colonoscopy or a barium enema x-ray examination. As with any medication, it is probably possible to take too much of this medication.
The specific effects of a polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution overdose would likely vary depending on a number of factors, including the polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution dosage and whether it was taken with any other medications or substances.
Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else may have used too much polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution.

Effects of a Polyethylene Glycol Electrolyte Solution Overdose

There have been no reported cases of an overdose with polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution, so it is unknown what to expect if too much of this laxative is taken. Based on the known actions of the drug, an overdose could be expected to cause the following symptoms:
  • Severe diarrhea and watery stools
  • Abdominal (stomach) discomfort or cramping
  • Abdominal (stomach) bloating and fullness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Electrolyte problems, such as low blood sodium (hyponatremia) or potassium (hypokalemia), which could cause symptoms such as:
    • Muscle weakness
    • Muscle cramps
    • Confusion
    • An irregular heartbeat
    • Headaches
    • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dehydration, which may cause the following symptoms:
    • Thirst
    • Less frequent urination
    • Fatigue
    • Lightheadedness
    • Dry skin
    • Dark-colored urine.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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