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TriLyte is a medication that is usually taken the night before a colonoscopy. 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 and drunk in eight-ounce portions until bowel movements are watery and clear. Common side effects include stomach bloating, stomach cramping, and nausea.

What Is TriLyte?

TriLyte® (polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution) is a prescription laxative medication licensed to cleanse the bowels before a colonoscopy.
(Click TriLyte Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

TriLyte is made by Schwarz Pharma for Alaven Pharmaceutical, LLC.

How Does TriLyte Work?

This product works by drawing large amounts of water into the colon, which softens the stool and causes frequent, watery bowel movements. These bowel movements work to empty the intestines. TriLyte contains polyethylene glycol (an osmotic laxative) and electrolytes (such as potassium and sodium) to replace electrolytes lost from the body in the watery stool.

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations to keep in mind when using TriLyte include the following:
  • TriLyte comes in powder form to be dissolved in lukewarm water before use. The normal dose is eight ounces of the mixed solution every 10 minutes until either 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 as quickly as possible, instead of sipping it slowly over the 10-minute period.
  • This medication is usually taken the night before a colonoscopy. Your healthcare provider will tell you when to start taking TriLyte.
  • Prepare the solution by filling the container with lukewarm water to the indicated line (four-liter mark). Shake the container well to completely dissolve the powder. Also, shake the container before each dose.
  • The prepared solution will taste better if chilled before drinking. However, chilled TriLyte is not recommended for infants.
  • You should not eat solid food within two hours of taking TriLyte. For best results, avoid eating solid foods for three to four hours before starting the medication. Ask your healthcare provider what types of food or liquids you can consume while you are using TriLyte and before your procedure.
  • This product comes with flavor packs, which are optional. If you do use a flavor packet, use only one and add it to the powder before the water. Do not add any other flavoring, other liquids, or other ingredients.
  • It normally takes about one hour after starting this medication to have your first bowel movement. Loose bowel movements may continue for one to two hours after your last dose.
  • For TriLyte to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.

TriLyte Medication Information

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