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Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Serious Fluid and Serum Chemistry Abnormalities

Advise patients to hydrate adequately before, during, and after the use of GoLYTELY. Use caution in patients with congestive heart failure when replacing fluids. If a patient develops significant vomiting or signs of dehydration including signs of orthostatic hypotension after taking GoLYTELY, consider performing post-colonoscopy lab tests (electrolytes, creatinine, and BUN) and treat accordingly. Fluid and electrolyte disturbances can lead to serious adverse events including cardiac arrhythmias, seizures and renal impairment. Fluid and electrolyte abnormalities should be corrected before treatment with GoLYTELY.

In addition, use caution when prescribing GoLYTELY for patients who have conditions, or who are using medications, that increase the risk for fluid and electrolyte disturbances or may increase the risk of adverse events of seizure, arrhythmias, and renal impairment [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]

Cardiac Arrhythmias

There have been rare reports of serious arrhythmias associated with the use of ionic osmotic laxative products for bowel preparation. Use caution when prescribing GoLYTELY for patients at increased risk of arrhythmias (e.g., patients with a history of prolonged QT, uncontrolled arrhythmias, recent myocardial infarction, unstable angina, congestive heart failure, or cardiomyopathy). Pre-dose and post-colonoscopy ECGs should be considered in patients at increased risk of serious cardiac arrhythmias.


There have been reports of generalized tonic-clonic seizures and/or loss of consciousness associated with use of bowel preparation products in patients with no prior history of seizures. The seizure cases were associated with electrolyte abnormalities (e.g., hyponatremia, hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, and hypomagnesemia) and low serum osmolality. The neurologic abnormalities resolved with correction of fluid and electrolyte abnormalities.

Use caution when prescribing GoLYTELY for patients with a history of seizures and in patients at increased risk of seizure, such as patients taking medications that lower the seizure threshold (e.g., tricyclic antidepressants), patients withdrawing from alcohol or benzodiazepines, or patients with known or suspected hyponatremia.

Renal Impairment

Use caution when prescribing GoLYTELY for patients with impaired renal function or patients taking concomitant medications that may affect renal function (such as diuretics, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Advise these patients of the importance of adequate hydration, and consider performing baseline and post-colonoscopy laboratory tests (electrolytes, creatinine, and BUN) in these patients.

Colonic Mucosal Ulcerations and Ischemic Colitis

Administration of osmotic laxative products may produce colonic mucosal aphthous ulcerations, and there have been reports of more serious cases of ischemic colitis requiring hospitalization. Concurrent use of stimulant laxatives and GoLYTELY may increase this risk. The potential for mucosal ulcerations resulting from the bowel preparation should be considered when interpreting colonoscopy findings in patients with known or suspect inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Use in Patients with Significant Gastrointestinal Disease

If gastrointestinal obstruction or perforation is suspected, perform appropriate diagnostic studies to rule out these conditions before administering GoLYTELY. If a patient experiences severe bloating, distention or abdominal pain, administration should be slowed or temporarily discontinued until the symptoms abate. If gastrointestinal obstruction or perforation is suspected, appropriate studies should be performed to rule out these conditions before administration of GoLYTELY. Use with caution in patients with severe active ulcerative colitis.


Use with caution in patients with impaired gag reflex, unconscious, or semiconscious patients, and patients prone to regurgitation or aspiration. Such patients should be observed during administration of GoLYTELY, especially if it administered via nasogastric tube.

Not for Direct Ingestion

The contents of each packet must be diluted with water to a final volume of 1 gallon and ingestion of additional water is important to patient tolerance. Direct ingestion of the undissolved powder may increase the risk of nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and electrolyte disturbances.


See FDA-Approved Patient Labeling (Medication Guide). Instruct patients:

  • To let you know if they have trouble swallowing or are prone to regurgitation or aspiration.
  • Not to take other laxatives while they are taking GoLYTELY.
  • To consume water or clear liquids during the bowel preparation and after completion of the bowel preparation up until 2 hours before the time of the colonoscopy.
  • That if they experience severe bloating, distention or abdominal pain, the administration of the solution should be slowed or temporarily discontinued until the symptoms abate. Advise patients to report these events to their health care provider.
  • That if they have hives, rashes, or any allergic reaction, they should discontinue the medication and contact their health care provider. Medication should be discontinued until they speak to their physician.
  • To contact their healthcare provider if they develop signs and symptoms of dehydration. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • That oral medication administered within one hour of the start of administration of GoLYTELY solution may be flushed from the GI tract and the medication may not be absorbed completely.

Distributed by Braintree Laboratories, Inc. Braintree, MA 02185

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2013


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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