How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
This medication is a combination of polyethylene glycol 3350 and electrolytes and belongs to a class of medications called osmotic laxatives. It works by drawing and retaining water into the large colon. This softens the stool and stimulates the rhythmic movement of the muscles in the colon, leading to a bowel movement.
This medication is used to cleanse the bowel in preparation for a colonoscopy, barium enema x-ray exam, or surgical procedures that require a clean colon. You should expect the first bowel movement to occur approximately 1 hour after you start taking this medication. Full bowel cleansing usually occurs within 3 to 5 hours.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Klean-Prep is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under polyethylene glycol 3350 - electrolytes. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
How should I use this medication?
The usual dose for adults is 4 L of solution taken by mouth prior to the procedure that is being done.
Rapidly drink 250 mL of the solution every 10 minutes until the full 4 L has been consumed. Do not eat any solid foods for at least 2 hours before drinking the solution.
This medication may be chilled in the refrigerator for better taste. Do not add any additional ingredients or flavouring to this medication.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as recommended by your doctor.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Once reconstituted, keep the solution refrigerated and use it within 72 hours. Discard any unused portion.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to polyethylene glycol or any ingredients of the medication
- have a gastrointestinal perforation
- have gastric retention (where stomach contents aren't moved to the small intestine)
- have a blocked intestine
- have severe colitis (swelling of the colon)
- have toxic megacolon (a complication of gastrointestinal conditions that causes the colon to expand)
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- abdominal fullness
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Bowel obstruction or perforation: If your doctor suspects you may have an obstruction or perforation (small hole) in your bowels, they may perform tests to rule these out before you take this medication.
Regurgitation/aspiration of medication: If you have an impaired gag reflex or are not fully conscious, you may need to be monitored while using this medication because you may be at risk of regurgitation or aspiration (breathing the solution into the lungs).
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
Medications taken by mouth within 2 hours of starting polyethylene glycol 3350 - electrolytes may be flushed from the body and not absorbed.
Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. In many cases, interactions are intended or are managed by close monitoring. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Klean-Prep