Halflytely (available as a prep kit that also contains a bisacodyl tablet)

Name: Halflytely (available as a prep kit that also contains a bisacodyl tablet)

Why is this medication prescribed?

Polyethylene glycol-electrolyte solution (PEG-ES) is used to empty the colon (large intestine, bowel) before a colonoscopy (examination of the inside of the colon to check for colon cancer and other abnormalities) or barium enema (a test in which the colon is filled with a fluid and then x-rays are taken) so that the doctor will have a clear view of the walls of the colon. PEG-ES is in a class of medications called osmotic laxatives. It works by causing watery diarrhea so that -the stool can be emptied from the colon. The medication also contains electrolytes to prevent dehydration and other serious side effects that may be caused by fluid loss as the colon is emptied.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking PEG-ES,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to PEG-ES, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in the PEG-ES product you are taking. Ask your pharmacist or check the manufacturer's information for the patient for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin, in Lotrel), captopril (Capoten, in Capozide), enalapril (Vasotec, in Vaseretic, Lexxel), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril, in Prinzide, Zestoretic), moexipril (Univasc, in Uniretic), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril, in Accuretic, Quinaretic), ramipril (Altace), and trandolapril (Mavik, in Tarka); angiotensin II receptor antagonists such as candesartan (Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), olmesartan (Benicar), telmisartan (Micardis), and valsartan (Diovan); aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); diuretics ('water pills'); and medications for depression .
  • do not take any other laxatives during your treatment with PEG-ES.
  • if you are taking any other medications by mouth, take them at least 1 hour before you begin your treatment with PEG-ES.
  • tell your doctor if you have a blockage in your intestine, a hole in the lining of your stomach or intestine, toxic megacolon (a serious or life-threatening widening of the intestine), or any condition that causes problems with the emptying of your stomach or intestine. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take PEG-ES.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had an irregular heartbeat, a prolonged QT interval (an inherited condition that may cause irregular heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death), a recent heart attack, chest pain, heart failure, an enlarged heart, seizures, acid reflux, inflammatory bowel disease (conditions that causes swelling of the lining of the intestine) such as ulcerative colitis (a condition which causes swelling and sores in the lining of the colon [large intestine] and rectum), G6-PD deficiency (an inherited blood disease), low levels of sodium, magnesium, potassium, or calcium in your blood, any condition that increases the risk that you will choke or inhale food to your lungs, or kidney disease. If you will be using Moviprep® brand PEG-ES, also tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU; an inherited condition in which a special diet must be followed to prevent mental retardation).
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Your doctor will tell you what you may eat and drink before, during, and after your treatment with PEG-ES. Follow these directions carefully.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Call your doctor if you forget or are unable to take this medication exactly as directed.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the mixed solution in the refrigerator and use it within 48 hours. If you are using Moviprep® brand solution, use it within 24 hours after mixing.

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org