If you are constipated, you may benefit from using GlycoLax. This nonprescription laxative works by drawing water into the colon, softening the stool, and increasing the number of bowel movements. GlycoLax is approved for use in people age 17 years old and older. Although this particular medication is no longer manufactured, other generic versions are available.
What Is GlycoLax Used For?GlycoLax™ (polyethylene glycol 3350) is a nonprescription laxative medication used to treat occasional constipation. Like other polyethylene glycol (PEG) products, GlycoLax was originally available by prescription only. Some PEG products are still available with a prescription. These medications are exactly the same as the over-the-counter (OTC) versions, but are more likely to be covered by insurance.
GlycoLax is no longer manufactured, although several different generic forms are still available.
Using GlycoLax for ConstipationConstipation is a change in a person's usual bowel routine. When someone is constipated, they have difficulty passing stool or have less frequent bowel movements than normal. A normal number of bowel movements varies greatly from person to person. Some people may have bowel movements three times a day, while others have them three times a week.
If you have a change in your normal bowel habits, have to strain to have a bowel movement, or pass only small amounts of hard, dry stool, you may be constipated. Other symptoms of constipation could include abdominal (stomach) discomfort and bloating.
Many people suffer from occasional constipation at one time or another -- it is a common problem. Women are more likely to report constipation than men. Problems with constipation also increase as people age.
While there are many possible causes of constipation, one single cause is often not found. Some of the factors that may contribute to constipation include:
- Dietary factors, such as not eating enough fiber or drinking enough liquids
- Lack of exercise
- Certain medications, including pain medications, some blood pressure medications, and calcium or iron supplements
- Certain medical problems, such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement
- Abusing laxatives.
(Click Causes of Constipation for more information.)
Sometimes, constipation can be treated or relieved at home. Other times, it is best to see a healthcare provider. Home treatments may include the following:
- Making dietary changes -- for example, increasing the amount of fiber and fruits and vegetables in the diet
- Drinking more noncaffeinated beverages (unless your healthcare provider has advised you to limit your fluid intake)
- Staying active and exercising within your limits
- Going to the bathroom when you have the urge
- Using certain over-the-counter laxatives, such as GlycoLax.
(Click Constipation Treatment for more information on ways to find relief).
In general, you should speak with a healthcare provider if:
- Constipation is a new problem for you
- Home remedies do not relieve your constipation after a few days
- You have been constipated for longer than three weeks
- Your constipation is severe or occurs with bloody stool, weight loss, or painful bowel movements.