Drugs Home > Side Effects of Polyethylene Glycol Electrolyte Solution

Stomach bloating, anal irritation, and nausea are some of the most commonly reported side effects of polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution. Although most problems typically do not require medical attention, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience difficulty breathing, rectal bleeding, vomiting of bright-red blood, or other potentially serious problems.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Polyethylene Glycol Electrolyte Solution

As with any medicine, polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution (colyte®, GoLYTELY®, MoviPrep®, NuLYTELY®, TriLyte®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses this laxative will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Polyethylene Glycol Electrolyte Solution Side Effects

Some potential polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution side effects should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling, especially of the mouth, lips, or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Unusual or excessive cramps, bloating, abdominal (stomach) pain, or diarrhea
  • Vomiting bright-red blood
  • Pain in the esophagus
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Signs of dehydration or electrolyte imbalances, such as:
    • Dry eyes and mouth
    • Decreased urination
    • An irregular heartbeat
    • Low blood pressure
    • Dark urine
    • Confusion
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Unexplained fever and chills
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Thirst
    • Less frequent urination
    • Dry skin
    • Fatigue
    • Lightheadedness
    • Dark-colored urine.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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