Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes and Bisacodyl

Reviewed on 8/20/2021

What Is Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes and Bisacodyl and How Does It Work?

Polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl are used for cleansing the colon as a preparation for colonoscopy in adults. The brand name Halflytely is discontinued.

Polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl are available under the following different brand names: Halflytely and Bisacodyl Tablet Bowel Prep Kit.

What Are the Dosages of Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes and Bisacodyl?

Dosages of Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes and Bisacodyl:

  • One 5 mg bisacodyl delayed-release tablet
  • One 2-liter HalfLytely bottle with powder for reconstitution

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

  • No solid food or milk (clear liquids only) should be consumed on the day of the preparation.
  • Take one 5 mg bisacodyl tablet with water. Do NOT chew or crush.
  • Dissolve the HalfLytely powder in 2 liters of water.
  • Wait for a bowel movement (or a maximum of 6 hours) then drink all the HalfLytely solution at a rate of 8 ounces every 10 minutes.
  • Consume only clear liquids until the colonoscopy.
  • Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes and Bisacodyl?

Side effects of polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl include:

  • Overall discomfort
  • Abdominal fullness
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Postmarketing side effects of polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl reported include:

  • Allergic Reactions (hives, runny nose, skin reactions, and anaphylactic reactions)
  • Gastrointestinal (GI): Upper gastrointestinal bleeding from a Mallory-Weiss tear, esophageal perforation, asystole, and acute pulmonary edema after vomiting and aspirating the PEG-based solution.
  • Ischemic colitis
  • Generalized tonic-clonic seizures associated with the use of large volume (4 liters) PEG-based colon preparation products in patients with no prior history of seizures
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

SLIDESHOW

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow

What Other Drugs Interact with Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes and Bisacodyl?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

  • Polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl may interact with
  • Diuretics
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Antacids
  • Oral medications administered within one hour of the start of drinking HalfLytely solution might not be absorbed fully

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes and Bisacodyl? 

Warnings

This medication contains polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl. Do not take Halflytely and Bisacodyl Tablet Bowel Prep Kit if you are allergic to polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl or any ingredients contained in this drug.


Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.

Contraindications

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction
  • Bowel perforation
  • Toxic colitis or toxic megacolon
  • Gastric retention
  • Ileus

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information is available

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes and Bisacodyl?”

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Polyethylene Glycol/Electrolytes and Bisacodyl?”

Cautions

  • Risk of fluid and electrolyte abnormalities, arrhythmias, seizures and renal impairment – assess concurrent medications and consider testing in some patients
  • Patients with renal impairment – use caution, ensure adequate hydration and consider testing
  • Ischemic colitis has been reported
  • Suspected gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction or perforation – rule out the diagnosis before administration
  • Patients at risk for aspiration – observe during the administration

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • It is not known whether polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproductive capacity. Polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl should be given to a pregnant or nursing woman only if clearly needed.
  • It is unknown if polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl are excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when polyethylene glycol/electrolytes and bisacodyl are administered to a breastfeeding woman.

QUESTION

What are risk factors for developing colon cancer? See Answer
References
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2010/021551s013lbl.pdf

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