This medication is used to treat occasional constipation. It works by holding water in the stool to soften the stool and increases the number of bowel movements. It is known as an osmotic-type laxative.
This medication is also available without a prescription. If you are taking this medication for self-treatment, it is important to read the manufacturer's package instructions carefully so you know when to consult your doctor or pharmacist. (See also Precautions.)
How To Use
Take by mouth usually once daily, or as directed by your doctor or the directions on the product package.
If you are prescribed the individual packets, mix the powder as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. If you are using the bulk bottle, use the provided cap to measure the prescribed dose. Mix the powder with a full glass (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) of liquid such as water, juice, soda, coffee, or tea. Before drinking the solution, stir the powder well until it completely dissolves. If you have any questions, ask your pharmacist.
It may take 2 to 4 days after you have started this medication to have a bowel movement. Do not increase your dose or take it more frequently than prescribed. Also, do not use this medication for more than 2 weeks unless directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens. Extended use or overuse may result in dependence on laxatives and chronic constipation. Overuse may cause diarrhea, excess loss of body water (dehydration), and mineral imbalance (e.g., low sodium).
If you are using nonprescription polyethylene glycol for self-treatment of occasional constipation and this treatment has not worked after 7 days, talk to your doctor for additional treatment advice.