Electrolyte colonic lavage solutions (e.g., GoLYTELY, Colyte, Nulytely) contain polyethylene glycol and salts such as sodium sulfate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride in an isoosmotic solution. The dose is 4 L ingested over 2 to 4 hours either orally or through a nasogastric tube. There is minimal net absorption or excretion of fluid or electrolytes, and thus these are safe to use in patients with renal insufficiency. The patient has repeated liquid stools until the administered solution has been expelled. If gastric emptying is slow, patients may have abdominal distention with vomiting. This preparation should not be used if a bowel obstruction or impaired gag reflex is present. It is used primarily to clear the bowel before radiological or endoscopic procedures and occasionally to assist with evacuation in a patient who has a sluggish colon.
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