Digestive System Home > HalfLytely and Bisacodyl

HalfLytely and Bisacodyl is a type of laxative prescribed to empty the bowels before a colonoscopy. It works by drawing water into the colon, which softens the stool and causes frequent bowel movements. This medication comes with one bisacodyl tablet and a jug of HalfLytely powder (to be dissolved in water before use). Side effects may include nausea and vomiting, among others.

What Is HalfLytely and Bisacodyl?

HalfLytely® and Bisacodyl (polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution and bisacodyl) is a prescription medication licensed to cleanse the bowels before a colonoscopy. This product comes as a kit that contains HalfLytely powder (which is mixed with water before use) and one bisacodyl delayed-release tablet. This product was named "HalfLytely" because you will need to drink only two liters of the solution instead of the usual three to four liters for other bowel-prep products.
 
(Click HalfLytely and Bisacodyl Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes It?

HalfLytely and Bisacodyl is made by Braintree Laboratories, Inc.
 

How Does HalfLytely and Bisacodyl Work?

This medication is a combination of HalfLytely, an osmotic laxative, and bisacodyl, a stimulant laxative. HalfLytely also contains electrolytes to help replace any electrolytes lost from the body during treatment.
 
The osmotic laxative works by drawing water into the colon, which softens the stool and causes frequent, watery bowel movements. The stimulant laxative stimulates the smooth muscle of the intestines, causing the muscle to contract more often. When the intestinal muscles contract (known as peristalsis), the contents of the intestines move forward through the bowel, so the bowel can be emptied.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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