How to use Golytely for severe chronic constipation

For some patients with chronic constipation, nothing helps. These patients have had constipation for years. They have done blood tests, CT scans, and colonoscopy. Many have done motility testing and anorectal manometry. Some can go for a week or more without a bowel movement. They have severe chronic constipation.

These patients have tried all available over the counter laxatives like senna, Dulcolax, magnesium citrate, miralax. Some have even tried prescription medications like Amitiza® and Linzess®. Can anything work?

Can I use the same medication I use for colonoscopy for severe chronic constipation?

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) based lavage solutions are used for bowel cleansing prior to colonoscopy and surgery. They include Colyte (Alaven), GoLYTELY (Braintree), NuLYTELY (Braintree), and TriLyte (Alaven). GoLYTELY is the most popular. These medications can be used in similar fashion.  The main ingredient-polyethylene glycol is also the main ingredient in MiraLax®.

How to use GoLYTELY® (or similar PEG-based medications) for severe chronic constipation

  • Make sure you are under the care of a physician. And follow the direction of your physician.
  • GoLYTELY® (or similar PEG-based medications) are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for bowel preparation. They are not FDA approved for constipation. Yet they can be used for constipation.
  • Do not mix the GoLYTELY® solution like you want to have colonoscopy. Do not follow that instruction.
  • Remove the powder inside the bottle of GoLYTELY®. Each bottle contains enough powder for about 16 doses.
  • Put the powder in a clean and dry container.
  • If your bottle comes with artificial favor packets, mix the powder with the GoLYTELY® powder for flavor.
  • If your bottle does not come with artificial flavor, you may add one packet of Crystal Light® Lemonade mix powder to the GoLYTELY® powder for flavor.
  • Each day, dissolve 1 tablespoon of the GoLYTELY® powder in an 8 ounce glass of water. Refrigerate to chill.
  • Drink the glass of GoLYTELY® solution every day (preferably morning). Follow this with 1-2 glasses of water or fluid.
  • You may need less or you may need more. 1-2 glasses of GoLYTELY® solution is often enough.
  • You may continue your other medications and supplements with this regimen.
  • This regimen is usually used for a short period of time.
  • Always follow the instruction of your physician.