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List of Medications

Polyethylene Glycol

Polyethylene glycol is a pharmacy drug classified as an osmotic laxative. It is commonly used to treat constipation. Polyethylene glycol forces stool to retain water, thus allowing for substantial softening of the stool that facilitates passing it with less difficulty, often through more frequent bowel movements.


Polyethylene glycol is typically administered orally as a powder that is combined with water, one to two times a day or as prescribed by your physician. It is usually prescribed for a period of up to two weeks, but your physician will decide what is best for you and your specific condition. Talk with your compounding pharmacist if you have general questions about polyethylene glycol and its possible effects. It is imperative that you follow your physician's exact directions for usage. If you have questions about your dosage, talk to your physician before beginning use.


While many users may tolerate polyethylene glycol well, this may not be the case for all users. Watch for any side effects that present and be prepared. Polyethylene glycol should only be used if you are under the care of a physician. See your physician if you experience side effects that seem to be remaining or intensifying. A few of the more likely side effects are listed below.

  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Lower Abdominal Discomfort

Severe Side Effects:

See your physician right away or get prompt medical treatment if you experience any of the following side effects, or any side effect that feels severe:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin that Itches
  • Hives
  • Skin Rash
  • Severe Pain and/or Bloating and/or Swelling of the Stomach
  • Trouble Breathing


If you are considering polyethylene glycol for your treatment, talk to your physician about all your options before beginning use.

Polyethylene glycol is either contraindicated or possibly inadvisable for the conditions listed below. If any of those listed are relevant to you or your condition do not use polyethylene glycol unless your physician has cleared you for its use.

  • Intestinal Perforation
  • Gastric Retention
  • Toxic Megacolon
  • Electrolyte Abnormalities
  • Ileus
  • Toxic Colitis
  • Any GI Obstruction
  • Hypersensitivity to Polyethylene Glycol or its Ingredients
  • Impaired Gag Reflex
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • History of Seizure
  • Seizure Risk
  • Concurrent Nephrotoxic Agent Use
  • Arrhythmia Risk
  • Renal Impairment (or risk of)
  • Aspiration Risk
  • Patients Younger Than 2 Years
  • Patients Older Than 60 Years

NOTE: There may be many more contraindications for polyethylene glycol. Ask your physician for a complete overview of all possible contraindications that could be relevant to you.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA