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Polyethylene Glycol 3350 Colonoscopy

Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution (colyte®, GoLYTELY®, MoviPrep®, NuLYTELY®, TriLyte®) is a prescription laxative given to people before they have a barium enema x-ray examination or a colonoscopy. This product contains polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG-3350), an osmotic laxative that works by drawing large amounts of water into the colon. By doing so, it softens the stool and causes frequent, watery bowel movements. These watery bowel movements flush out the intestines.
The bowels must be completely empty before these types of gastrointestinal procedures so that your healthcare provider can look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits. Any stool inside the colon may hide important findings.
Polyethylene glycol 3350 comes in powder form, which is dissolved in water before use. It is typically taken in eight-ounce portions every 10 minutes until the stool is clear and watery. Depending on the particular product used, this can mean drinking up to four liters of this solution.
(Click What Is Polyethylene Glycol Electrolyte Solution Used For? for more details on how polyethylene glycol 3350 works in this laxative solution to prep the bowels for a colonoscopy and other gastrointestinal procedures. This article also explains whether children can use it.)
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