The primary use of GoLYTELY is to empty the bowels before certain gastrointestinal exams, such as a colonoscopy. As an osmotic laxative, GoLYTELY works by drawing large amounts of water into the colon. This action softens the stool and causes watery bowel movements that continue until the colon is empty. GoLYTELY has not been adequately studied in children, so it is currently approved for adults only.
GoLYTELY® (polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution) is a prescription laxative solution used to empty the bowels before a colonoscopy or a barium enema x-ray examination.
A colonoscopy is a common medical procedure used to screen for colon and rectal cancer. It is also done to look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits.
During a colonoscopy, your physician will insert a long, flexible, lighted tube (called a colonoscope) into your rectum and slowly guide it into your colon. The scope transmits an image of the inside of the colon so that your physician can carefully examine the lining of the colon during the procedure.
Your physician will look for any problems, such as abnormal growths (polyps), ulcers, or inflammation. If abnormal growths are seen, they can be removed during the procedure.
(Click Colonoscopy Procedure for more information about what to expect.)
It is very important that your healthcare provider be able to see inside your large intestine or colon during a colonoscopy. Any stool inside your colon may hide important findings from your doctor.
For this reason, the bowels are emptied out prior to a colonoscopy. This is sometimes called bowel preparation. Medications like GoLYTELY are used to empty the bowels and prepare them for a colonoscopy.
(Click Colonoscopy Prep to learn about other things that are done prior to this procedure).