Polyethylene Glycol Electrolyte Solution and Pregnancy
Even though no studies have been done on using polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution during pregnancy, this laxative is not expected to enter the bloodstream. Therefore, it is unlikely that this medication would be passed to a developing fetus. However, because all of the potential risks cannot be ruled out, pregnant women should only take this drug if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution (colyte®, GoLYTELY®, MoviPrep®, NuLYTELY®, TriLyte®) is a prescription laxative used to empty the bowels prior to certain gastrointestinal procedures, such as a colonoscopy or barium enema x-ray examination. It is not yet clear if this medication is safe for use during pregnancy.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans, but do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
In addition, medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
Polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution has not been studied in pregnant animals or women. It is not expected to be absorbed into the bloodstream, so it would be unlikely to cause harm to a developing fetus. However, because it has not been adequately studied, all potential risks cannot be ruled out.
In general, a pregnancy Category C medicine should be given to a pregnant woman only if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
It is rare to need a gastrointestinal procedure during pregnancy. However, if one is necessary, it is very important for your colon to be empty so your healthcare provider can see it clearly. Therefore, your healthcare provider may recommend polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution for bowel preparation before a gastrointestinal procedure.