The night before your colonoscopy or barium enema x-ray, your healthcare provider may recommend taking colyte® (polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution). This product helps to cleanse the bowels before the procedure, which allows a more accurate image of your colon to be seen. But what is the pharmacology of colyte and how does it work?
colyte is classified as an osmotic laxative. It works by drawing large amounts of water into the colon, which softens the stool and stimulates bowel movements. The resulting watery bowel movements flush out the intestines.
In addition to containing polyethylene glycol (a laxative), colyte contains electrolytes (i.e., potassium and sodium). The electrolytes are included to replace those lost from the body in the watery stool.
(To learn more about the pharmacology of this product, click Colyte. Other topics discussed in this full-length article include dosing guidelines, safety warnings, and some of the side effects that may occur during treatment.)