What is this medication?

POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL; ELECTROLYTES; ASCORBIC ACID (pol ee ETH i leen GLYE col; i LEK truh lahyts) cleans the bowel out before a medical procedure. It works by increasing the amount of water your intestine absorbs. This softens the stool, making it easier to have a bowel movement. It also increases pressure, which prompts the muscles in your intestines to move stool. It belongs to a group of medications called laxatives.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): MoviPrep, PLENVU

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Any chronic disease of the intestine, stomach, or throat
  • Bloating or stomach pain
  • Dehydration
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • G6PD deficiency
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Low levels of sodium in the blood
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Seizures
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to polyethylene glycol, other medications, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Before using this medication, you must mix this medication with the amount of water indicated on the package label. Do not combine with other liquids and/or starch-based thickeners (e.g., flour, cornstarch, arrowroot, tapioca, xanthan gum). Your care team will tell you what time to start this medication. Take exactly as directed. You will usually have the first bowel movement about 1 hour after you begin drinking the solution. After that, you will have frequent watery bowel movements.

You will need to follow a special diet before your procedure. Talk to your care team. Do not eat any food at least 1 hour before taking this medication. You may drink clear liquids while taking this medication and up until 2 hours before colonoscopy.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

Talk to your care team if you are not able to complete the bowel preparation as advised.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take any other medication by mouth starting 1 hour before you take this medication. Talk to your care team about when to take your other medications.

This medication may interact with the following:

  • Certain medications for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
  • Certain medications for kidney disease
  • Certain medications for seizures, such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
  • Diuretics
  • Laxatives
  • NSAIDS, medications for pain and inflammation, such as ibuprofen or naproxen

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Contact your care team if you have any concerns about your bowel prep.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
  • Seizures
  • Sudden or severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Rectal pain, burning, or bleeding after use
  • Stomach cramping
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store the solution in the refrigerator to improve the taste. Do not freeze. Get rid of any unused medication 24 hours after mixing.

To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:

  • Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
  • If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, pour the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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