Polyethylene glycol

Polyethylene glycol-electrolyte regimens are the most commonly administered colonoscopy preparations.

Polyethylene glycol basic formulas vary in relation to volume of solution, electrolyte content, adjunctive laxatives, artificial sweeteners and degree of efficacy.

Polyethylene glycol formulations include 4 L and 2 L preparations.

Low-volume polyethylene glycol preparations have comparable cleansing abilities as compared to the 4L formulation.

Polyethylene glycol preparations are safe, well tolerated, with the most common adverse events being nausea, abdominal pain, and bloating.

Reduced volume formulations have less nausea and bloating and overall probably better tolerated.

PEG preparations are ISO-osmotic and preferred in patients who are less likely to tolerate fluid shifts such as patients with renal insufficiency, CHF, or advanced liver disease.

There are two types of PEG solutions: electrolyte solutions and sulfate-free solutions without electrolytes. 


When the product includes electrolytes, it is composed of sodium 125 mmol/L, sulfate 40 mmol/L, chloride 35 mmol/L, bicarbonate 20 mmol/L, and potassium 10 mmol/, and is associated with a salty taste but is not associated with fluid or electrolyte problems. 


The sulfate-free, electrolyte-free versions of PEG solution have an improved taste.



taste that may be associated with better tolerance.

Polyethylene (PEG 3350) OTC (MiraLAX) product for constipation .

MiraLAX can be used as a colonoscopy bowel cleansing regimen when mixed with Gatorade.

PEG 400 (polyethylene glycol 400) is a low-molecular-weight grade of polyethylene glycol, a clear, colorless, viscous liquid. 

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