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Colonoscopy Special Cleansing Solutions Polyethylene Glycol

Before certain gastrointestinal procedures, you may have to take polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution (colyte®, GoLYTELY®, MoviPrep®, NuLYTELY®, TriLyte®). This laxative is a special cleansing solution, which helps empty the bowels before a colonoscopy or a barium enema x-ray examination.
 
These procedures are used to screen for potential problems, such as colon and rectal cancer or possible causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits. It is very important that your healthcare provider can see inside your large intestine or colon. Any stool inside the colon may hide important findings. For this reason, the bowels are prepped, or cleaned out, using laxatives such as polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution.
 
Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution works by drawing large amounts of water into the colon, softening the stool, and causing watery bowel movements. The laxative contains electrolytes to help replace those lost from the body in the watery stool.
 
(Click What Is Polyethylene Glycol Electrolyte Solution Used For? for more information on using this special bowel-cleansing product to prepare for a colonoscopy or other gastrointestinal procedure. This article also discusses whether this laxative is safe for children and older adults.)
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