Digestive System Home > NuLYTELY

NuLYTELY is a laxative approved to cleanse the bowels before a colonoscopy procedure. This prescription laxative works by stimulating bowel movements and replacing electrolytes lost during treatment. It comes in the form of a powder that is dissolved in water. Typically, eight ounces of the solution are consumed every 10 minutes until three to four liters are consumed.

What Is NuLYTELY?

NuLYTELY® (polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution) is a prescription laxative solution used to cleanse the bowels before a colonoscopy. It contains polyethylene glycol, which stimulates bowel movements, and electrolytes to replace those lost from the body during treatment.
 
(Click NuLYTELY Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes This Medication?

NuLYTELY is made by Braintree Laboratories, Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
 

How Does NuLYTELY Work?

NuLYTELY is an osmotic laxative. It works by drawing water into the colon, which softens the stool and causes frequent, watery bowel movements. These bowel movements usually cleanse the bowel within four hours.
 

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations for using NuLYTELY include the following:
 
  • This medication comes as a powder, which should be dissolved in lukewarm water before using. Normally, eight ounces of the mixed solution are consumed every 10 minutes until four liters are consumed or bowel movements are watery and clear (which usually requires at least three liters).
 
  • You should drink each eight-ounce portion of NuLYTELY as quickly as possible, instead of sipping it slowly.
 
  • NuLYTELY is usually taken the night before your procedure. Your healthcare provider will tell you when to start taking the medication.
 
  • Prepare the solution by filling the NuLYTELY container with lukewarm water to the indicated line (four-liter mark). Shake the container vigorously to make sure the powder completely dissolves. Also, shake the container before each dose.
 
  • NuLYTELY will taste better if chilled. However, chilled NuLYTELY is not recommended for infants.
 
  • You should not eat solid food within two hours of starting NuLYTELY. For best results, avoid eating solid foods for three to four hours before starting NuLYTELY. Ask your healthcare provider how long to fast before and after using this medication, and what types of foods or liquids you can consume.
 
  • Some NuLYTELY products come with flavor packets, which are optional. If you do use a flavor packet, use only one and add it before adding water. Do not add any other flavoring, other liquids, or other ingredients to the NuLYTELY solution.
 
  • It normally takes about one hour after starting NuLYTELY to have your first bowel movement. Loose bowel movements will continue for one to two hours after your last NuLYTELY dose.
 
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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