Medication Pearl of the Day: Polyethylene Glycol 3350 (Golytely)
Indication: Golytely is a combination of PEG 3350, an osmotic laxative, and electrolytes indicated for cleansing of the colon in preparation for colonoscopy and barium enema X-ray examination in adults.
- Dosing: Early in the evening prior to colonoscopy, obtain a food grade container with a volume of at least 1 gallon. After cutting open the packet, pour the entire contents into the container. Add lukewarm water to bring the volume of solution to 1 gallon. After capping container, shake vigorously several times. Instruct patients to consume water or clear liquids during and after bowel preparation up until 2 hours before time of colonoscopy
- Dosage forms: For oral solution: polyethylene glycol 3350 227.1 grams, sodium sulfate (anhydrous) 21.5 grams, sodium bicarbonate 6.36 grams, sodium chloride 5.53 grams, potassium chloride 2.82 grams; supplied in 1-gallon packet.
- Adverse events: Most common adverse reactions (≥3%) are nausea, abdominal fullness, and bloating. Abdominal cramps, vomiting, and anal irritation occur less frequently.
- Mechanism of action: The primary mode of action is thought to be through the osmotic effect of polyethylene glycol 3350 which causes water to be retained in the colon and produces a watery stool.
- Manufacturer: Braintree Laboratories