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GlycoLax Warnings and Precautions

If you are taking GlycoLax to relieve constipation, it is important to know that this laxative may not be safe for people with kidney disease, a bowel obstruction, or certain other medical problems. Other safety precautions with GlycoLax include warnings against using this drug while pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, you may not be able to use this laxative if you have certain allergies.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking GlycoLax™ (polyethylene glycol 3350) if you have:
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain, and abdominal swelling (distention), which may be signs of a bowel obstruction
  • A history of bowel obstruction
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(It should be noted that GlycoLax is no longer manufactured, although several different generic forms are still available.)

Specific Precautions and Warnings With GlycoLax

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this laxative include the following:
  • People with a blockage in the intestines (called a bowel obstruction) should not use this medication. If you have any symptoms of a bowel obstruction, talk to your healthcare provider before taking GlycoLax so he or she can make sure you do not have this serious problem. Also, tell your healthcare provider if you develop such symptoms while using GlycoLax. Symptoms may include:
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Abdominal (stomach) distention or swelling
    • Abdominal (stomach) pain and cramping.
  • Although GlycoLax is not addictive, long-term use or overuse could result in dependence on laxatives to produce a bowel movement or an imbalance of blood electrolyte levels (such as sodium or potassium levels). Do not take this medication for longer than seven days without first talking to your healthcare provider.
  • People with certain medical problems, such as kidney disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), should only use this laxative if told to do so by a healthcare provider. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about GlycoLax use if you have one of these conditions.
  • Rare cases of an allergic reaction have been reported in some people using GlycoLax. If you develop hives or a skin rash while using this laxative, stop taking it and contact your healthcare provider.
  • It may take up to four days for this product to produce a bowel movement. Do not increase your GlycoLax dosage if you do not have a bowel movement right away. Contact your healthcare provider if you do not have a bowel movement within four days.
  • Certain lifestyle changes, such as adequate fiber and fluid intake and regular exercise, can help produce more regular bowel movements. Talk to your healthcare provider about other possible suggestions on how to relieve constipation.
  • GlycoLax is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this laxative during pregnancy (see GlycoLax and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if GlycoLax passes through breast milk, although it is not thought to do so. If you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking this laxative (see GlycoLax and Breastfeeding).

GlycoLax Medication Information

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