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Pronunciation: paw-lee-ETH-ih-leen GLY-coll
Common Brand Name(s): Pegalax
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is used to treat occasional constipation. It works by holding water in the stool to soften the stool and increases the number of bowel movements. It is known as an osmotic-type laxative.
This medication is also available without a prescription. If you are taking this medication for self-treatment, it is important to read the manufacturer's package instructions carefully so you know when to consult your doctor or pharmacist. (See also Precautions.)
Take by mouth usually once daily, or as directed by your doctor or the directions on the product package.
If you are prescribed the individual packets, mix the powder as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. If you are using the bulk bottle, use the provided cap to measure the prescribed dose. Mix the powder with a glass (4-8 ounces/120-240 milliliters) of liquid such as water, juice, soda, coffee, or tea. Before drinking the solution, stir the powder well until it completely dissolves. If you have any questions, ask your pharmacist.
This medication may cause certain liquid thickeners (starch-based products) to not work well, which may increase the risk of choking. If you are using liquid thickeners with this medication, talk to your pharmacist to select a liquid thickener which will not interact with this medication.
It may take 2 to 4 days after you have started this medication to have a bowel movement. Do not increase your dose or take it more frequently than prescribed. Also, do not use this medication for more than 2 weeks unless directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse. Extended use or overuse may result in dependence on laxatives and chronic constipation. Overuse may cause diarrhea, dehydration, and mineral imbalance (such as low sodium).
If you are using nonprescription polyethylene glycol for self-treatment of occasional constipation and this treatment has not worked after 7 days, talk to your doctor for additional treatment advice.
Nausea, abdominal cramping, or gas may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have diarrhea that doesn't stop, stomach/abdominal pain that is severe or doesn't go away, an excessive number of bowel movements, bloody stools, or rectal bleeding while using this medication.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to polyethylene glycol; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially diarrhea.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe diarrhea, dizziness, decrease in the amount of urine.
Do not share this medication with others.
To prevent constipation, remember to exercise regularly, drink adequate fluids, and eat fiber-rich foods such as bran, whole grain, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. See packaging for the exact temperature range. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised January 2023.
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