HalfLytely and Bisacodyl and Pregnancy
Although no pregnancy studies have been done on HalfLytely and Bisacodyl (polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution and bisacodyl), this laxative is not expected to enter the bloodstream. Therefore, it is unlikely that this medication would be passed to a developing fetus. However, because potential risks cannot be ruled out, pregnant women should only take this drug if the benefits outweigh the risks.
HalfLytely® and Bisacodyl (polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution and bisacodyl) is a prescription medication used to cleanse the colon before a colonoscopy. It contains HalfLytely, an osmotic laxative, and bisacodyl, a stimulant laxative. It is not yet clear if HalfLytely and Bisacodyl 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.
HalfLytely and Bisacodyl has not been studied in pregnant animals or women. Polyethylene glycol 3350, the active ingredient in HalfLytely, is not expected to be absorbed into the bloodstream after normal use. Similarly, bisacodyl tablets are only minimally absorbed. Therefore, the risk of fetal harm with this medication is probably fairly low. However, all potential risks cannot yet be ruled out.
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 of HalfLytely and Bisacodyl recommends that this laxative be given to pregnant women only if clearly needed.
It is rare to need a colonoscopy during pregnancy. However, if a colonoscopy is necessary, it is very important for your colon to be empty so your healthcare provider can see it clearly. Therefore, your healthcare provider may recommend HalfLytely and Bisacodyl (or a similar medication) for bowel preparation before the colonoscopy.