Colyte and Pregnancy
It is unclear if pregnant women should take colyte (polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution). This laxative has been given a pregnancy Category C rating by the FDA, so it can be prescribed if the benefits outweigh the risks. However, the medication hasn't been studied adequately in pregnant women or animals, and the manufacturer recommends using it during pregnancy only if it is clearly needed.
colyte® (polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution) is a prescription laxative used to cleanse the intestines before a colonoscopy or barium enema x-ray examination. It is unknown if colyte is safe for use during pregnancy.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
In addition, medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
colyte has not been adequately studied in pregnant animals or women. Because the drug is only minimally absorbed (if at all) into the body after normal use, it would not be expected to harm a developing fetus. However, because of the lack of research, it cannot be determined that colyte is completely safe for use in pregnancy.
In general, a pregnancy Category C medicine should be given to a pregnant woman only if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child. The manufacturer recommends that colyte only be given to pregnant women if clearly needed.
X-ray exams are usually not indicated for pregnant women, as they would expose the fetus to radiation. Therefore, it would be unlikely that you would get a barium enema x-ray examination while pregnant. Also, it is rare to need a colonoscopy during pregnancy. However, if a colonoscopy is needed, your healthcare provider may recommend colyte to cleanse your bowel before the procedure.