Polyethylene glycol


Polyethylene glycol
Accession Number
Small Molecule
Approved, Vet Approved

Polyethylene glycol (Macrogol, PEG) is a polyether compound with many applications from industrial manufacturing to medicine. PEG is the basis of a number of laxatives (e.g., macrogol-containing products, such as Movicol and polyethylene glycol 3350, or SoftLax, MiraLAX,ClearLAX, Osmolax or GlycoLax). Whole bowel irrigation with polyethylene glycol and added electrolytes is used for bowel preparation before surgery or colonoscopy. Therapeutic classification is as an Osmotic Laxative that works by drawing water into the lumen of the intestinal tract. Shown to decrease consistency and increase weight of stool in constipated patients at low doses.

  • Macrogol
  • Macrogol 3350
  • Macrogol 4000
  • Macrogol 6000
  • PEG
  • PEO
  • POE
  • polyethylene glycol 3350
  • polyethylene glycol 4000
  • polyethylene glycol 6000
  • polyethylene oxide
  • polyoxyethylene
Product Ingredients
IngredientUNIICASInChI Key
Polyoxyethylene 23 lauryl etherN72LMW566GNot AvailableNot applicable
Generic Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
GavilaxPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralDirectrx2015-01-01Not applicableUs
GialaxKitOralPhlight Pharma, Llc2011-10-01Not applicableUs
Polyethylene Glycol 3350Powder1 g/gOralAv Kare, Inc.2013-07-05Not applicableUs
Polyethylene Glycol 3350Powder, for solution17 g/1OralNexgen Pharma, Inc.2006-09-27Not applicableUs
Polyethylene Glycol 3350Powder, for solution17 g/17gOralLake Erie Medical &Surgical Supply Dba Quality Care Products Llc2006-09-06Not applicableUs
Polyethylene Glycol 3350Powder, for solution17 g/1OralRemedy Repack2014-08-05Not applicableUs
Polyethylene Glycol 3350Powder1 g/gOralPhysicians Total Care, Inc.2004-10-07Not applicableUs
Polyethylene Glycol 3350Powder, for solution17 g/1OralProficient Rx LP2006-05-24Not applicableUs
Polyethylene Glycol 3350Powder, for solution17 g/17gOralGolden State Medical Supply2013-02-08Not applicableUs
Polyethylene Glycol 3350Powder, for solution17 g/1OralNexgen Pharma, Inc.2006-09-27Not applicableUs
Over the Counter Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
Basic Care ClearlaxPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralL. Perrigo Company2017-08-10Not applicableUs
Berkley and Jensen ClearlaxPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralBJWC2009-12-17Not applicableUs
Care One ClearlaxPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralAmerican Sales Company2009-10-09Not applicableUs
ClarilaxPowder, for solution1 gOralPharmascience IncNot applicableNot applicableCanada
Clear LaxPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralH.E.B.2009-10-08Not applicableUs
Clear LaxPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralMeijer Distribution2009-10-06Not applicableUs
Clear LaxPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralMeijer Distribution2017-07-12Not applicableUs
Clear LaxPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralMeijer Distribution2009-10-06Not applicableUs
Clear Lax Original Prescription StrengthPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralHyvee2009-10-11Not applicableUs
Clear Lax Original Prescription StrengthPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralHyvee2009-10-11Not applicableUs
Unapproved/Other Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
Polyethylene Glycol 3350 NF PEGyLAXPowder, for solution17 g/17gOralMartin Ekwealor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.2013-12-16Not applicableUs
International/Other Brands
Carbowax / Colyte / Dulcolax Balance / Fortrans / GlycoLax / GoLYTELY / Halflytely / Lutrol E / MiraLAX / MoviPrep / Sentry polyox WSR / TriLyte
Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
Aquasite DpsPolyethylene glycol (.2 %) + Dextran 70 (.1 %)Solution / dropsOphthalmicCiba Vision1993-12-312000-11-08Canada
Bi-peglytePolyethylene glycol (59.55 g) + Bisacodyl (5 mg) + Potassium Chloride (0.76 g) + Sodium Chloride (1.46 g) + Sodium bicarbonate (1.69 g) + Sodium sulfate (5.74 g)Kit; Powder, for solution; Tablet, delayed releaseOralPendopharm Division Of De Pharmascience Inc2010-06-06Not applicableCanada
ColytePolyethylene glycol (857.69 mg) + Potassium Chloride (10.65 mg) + Sodium Chloride (20.87 mg) + Sodium bicarbonate (24.02 mg) + Sodium sulfate (81.2 mg)Powder, for solutionNasogastric; OralPendopharm Division Of De Pharmascience Inc1986-12-31Not applicableCanada
ColytePolyethylene glycol (227.1 g/3.785L) + Potassium Chloride (2.82 g/3.785L) + Sodium Chloride (5.53 g/3.785L) + Sodium bicarbonate (6.36 g/3.785L) + Sodium sulfate (21.5 g/3.785L)Powder, for solutionNasogastric; OralAlaven Pharmaceutical2010-09-01Not applicableUs
ColytePolyethylene glycol (240 g/4L) + Potassium Chloride (2.98 g/4L) + Sodium Chloride (5.84 g/4L) + Sodium bicarbonate (6.72 g/4L) + Sodium sulfate (22.72 g/4L)Powder, for solutionNasogastricMeda Pharmaceuticals Ltd2014-08-05Not applicableUs
Colyte with flavor packsPolyethylene glycol (240 g/4L) + Potassium Chloride (2.98 g/4L) + Sodium Chloride (5.84 g/4L) + Sodium bicarbonate (6.72 g/4L) + Sodium sulfate (22.72 g/4L)Powder, for solutionNasogastric; OralAlaven Pharmaceutical1999-04-07Not applicableUs
Electropeg SolutionPolyethylene glycol (238.8 g) + Potassium Chloride (3 g) + Sodium Chloride (5.8 g) + Sodium bicarbonate (6.7 g) + Sodium sulfate (22.7 g)PowderOralTechnilab Pharma Inc.1998-04-201999-09-27Canada
GaviLyte - C TMPolyethylene glycol (240 g/278.26g) + Potassium Chloride (2.98 g/278.26g) + Sodium Chloride (5.84 g/278.26g) + Sodium bicarbonate (6.72 g/278.26g) + Sodium sulfate (22.72 g/278.26g)Powder, for solutionOralGavis Pharmaceuticals, LLC.2009-06-01Not applicableUs
GaviLyte - NPolyethylene glycol (420 g/438.4g) + Potassium Chloride (1.48 g/438.4g) + Sodium Chloride (11.2 g/438.4g) + Sodium bicarbonate (5.72 g/438.4g)Powder, for solutionOralLupin Pharmaceuticals2009-05-28Not applicableUs
GaviLyte G TMPolyethylene glycol (236 g/274.31g) + Potassium Chloride (2.97 g/274.31g) + Sodium Chloride (5.86 g/274.31g) + Sodium bicarbonate (6.74 g/274.31g) + Sodium sulfate (22.74 g/274.31g)Powder, for solutionOralLupin Pharmaceuticals2009-06-01Not applicableUs
CAS number
Not Available
Chemical Formula
Not Available
InChI Key
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available



Used to treat and prevent constipation.

Structured Indications

The pharmacological rationale for the use of polyethylene glycol (PEG) in gastroenterology is its inverse relation between molecular mass and intestinal absorbability, with practically no intestinal absorption at molecular masses exceeding 3000, its lack of intestinal enzymatic degradation or bacterial metabolism, and its water binding capacity.

Mechanism of action

Polyethylene glycol functions as an osmotic agent, causing excess water to be retained in the stool, stimulating a bowel movement.


Usually the high and intermediate molecular weight polyethylene glycol are poorly absorbed after oral administration.

Volume of distribution
Not Available
Protein binding
Not Available

Lack of intestinal enzymatic degradation or bacterial metabolism.

Route of elimination
Not Available
Half life
Not Available
Not Available

Oral LD50 is > 50 gm/Kg in mice, rats, and rabbits. In the event of overdosage, diarrhea would be the expected major event. Massive ingestion, prolonged IV infusion, and prolonged application of low weight PEG products have been associated with metabolic acidosis and renal injury. Hypercalcemia could also occur.

Affected organisms
Not Available
Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
DrugInteractionDrug group
DigoxinThe serum concentration of Digoxin can be decreased when it is combined with Polyethylene glycol.Approved
Food Interactions
Not Available


General References
  1. Hammer HF, Hammer J, Gasche C: [Polyethylene glycol (Macrogol)--an overview of its use in diagnosis and therapy of gastrointestinal diseases]. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2000 Jan 28;112(2):53-60. [PubMed:10703152]
  2. Muller-Lissner S: Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic considerations for the current chronic constipation treatments. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2013 Apr;9(4):391-401. doi: 10.1517/17425255.2013.773972. Epub 2013 Feb 21. [PubMed:23425050]
External Links
PubChem Substance
ATC Codes
A06AD65 — Macrogol, combinationsA06AD15 — Macrogol
AHFS Codes
  • 56:12.00 — Cathartics and Laxatives
FDA label
Download (539 KB)

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
0RecruitingSupportive CareDiverticulitis / Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) / Neoplasms, Colorectal / Surgical Site Infections1
1CompletedDiagnosticHemorrhage, Gastrointestinal1
1CompletedTreatmentColorectal Cancers1
1CompletedTreatmentGastric Emptying / Healthy Volunteers1
1CompletedTreatmentHealthy Volunteers1
1Not Yet RecruitingTreatmentMenopause / Painful Intercourse / Sexual Dysfunctions1
1RecruitingTreatmentPeripheral Nerve Injury (PNI)1
1, 2CompletedPreventionGeneral Surgery1
1, 2CompletedTreatmentAutism Spectrum Conditions/Disorders / Gastrointestinal Problems1
1, 2CompletedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Infection1
1, 2CompletedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Infection / Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)1
1, 2CompletedTreatmentColonic Neoplasms1
1, 2RecruitingTreatmentCrohn's Disease (CD)1
1, 2Unknown StatusTreatmentAnti-Biotic Resistance / Klebsiella Pneumoniae1
2CompletedOtherBowel preparation therapy1
2CompletedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Infection3
2CompletedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Infection / Hepatitis C Chronic1
2CompletedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Infection / Pain, Chronic1
2CompletedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection1
2CompletedTreatmentHCV Infections1
2CompletedTreatmentHCV Infections / Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental1
2CompletedTreatmentHepatitis C Infection / Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infections1
2CompletedTreatmentHepatitis C Virus (HCV)1
2CompletedTreatmentHepatitis C, Chronic1
2CompletedTreatmentMalignant Neoplasm of Colon1
2CompletedTreatmentOccasional Constipation1
2Not Yet RecruitingOtherColon Prep for Colonoscopy1
2RecruitingTreatmentCrohn's Disease (CD)1
2TerminatedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection1
2WithdrawnTreatmentBowel preparation therapy1
2, 3CompletedTreatmentColonoscopy1
2, 3RecruitingTreatmentClostridium Difficile1
3CompletedNot AvailableBowel Preparation for Colonoscopy1
3CompletedNot AvailableColonoscopy2
3CompletedDiagnosticBowel Preparation for Colonoscopy1
3CompletedDiagnosticBowel Preparation, Efficacy, Tolerability, Safety1
3CompletedDiagnosticBowel preparation therapy1
3CompletedDiagnosticColon Capsule Completion Rates / Colon Capsule Polyp Detection / Quality of Bowel Preparation for the Colon Capsule1
3CompletedSupportive CareColon Adenomas / Colorectal Cancers1
3CompletedSupportive CareColonic Diseases / Diabetes Mellitus (DM)1
3CompletedTreatmentBowel Preparation Prior to Endoscopic, Radiological and Other Examinations as Well as to Surgical Procedures Which Require Empty Bowel1
3CompletedTreatmentBowel preparation therapy2
3CompletedTreatmentChronic Constipation1
3CompletedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Infection1
3CompletedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Infection / Hepatitis C, Chronic1
3CompletedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection1
3CompletedTreatmentColon Cleansing1
3CompletedTreatmentColon Diseases / Colonoscopy Preparation1
3CompletedTreatmentHepatitis C, Chronic3
3CompletedTreatmentMalignant Neoplasm of Colon1
3CompletedTreatmentOccasional Constipation1
3Enrolling by InvitationOtherBowel Cleansing Efficacy1
3Not Yet RecruitingTreatmentCritical Illness / Occasional Constipation1
3RecruitingOtherDigestive System Diseases1
3RecruitingTreatmentHealthy Volunteers1
3TerminatedTreatmentHepatitis C, Chronic1
3Unknown StatusDiagnosticColonoscopy1
3WithdrawnTreatmentOccasional Constipation1
4Active Not RecruitingOtherColorectal Polyps1
4Active Not RecruitingTreatmentPatients Undergoing Elective Colonoscopy1
4CompletedNot AvailableColonoscopy2
4CompletedBasic ScienceFunctional Constipation / Irritable Bowel Syndrome Characterized by Constipation1
4CompletedDiagnosticColonoscopy Preparation1
4CompletedOtherChronic Constipation1
4CompletedOtherSmall Bowel Diseases1
4CompletedScreeningAdenoma Detection Rate / Bowel Preparation Scale1
4CompletedScreeningColorectal Cancers1
4CompletedTreatmentBowel Preparation for Colonoscopy1
4CompletedTreatmentChronic Constipation1
4CompletedTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Infection1
4CompletedTreatmentColonoscopy Preparation1
4CompletedTreatmentColorectal Cancers1
4CompletedTreatmentColorectal Cleansing Prior Operation1
4CompletedTreatmentGastrointestinal Diseases1
4CompletedTreatmentIntestinal Cancer1
4CompletedTreatmentMalignant Neoplasm of Colon1
4CompletedTreatmentOccasional Constipation6
4CompletedTreatmentOpioid Induced Constipation (OIC)2
4CompletedTreatmentPreparation for Colonoscopy1
4Not Yet RecruitingDiagnosticBowel Preparation Solutions1
4Not Yet RecruitingHealth Services ResearchColorectal Cancers1
4Not Yet RecruitingOtherCapsule Endoscopy / Gluten Enteropathy / Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)1
4Not Yet RecruitingTreatmentDiurnal Enuresis1
4Not Yet RecruitingTreatmentNocturnal Enuresis1
4RecruitingDiagnosticBowel preparation therapy1
4RecruitingPreventionOccasional Constipation1
4RecruitingPreventionSurgery, Colorectal1
4RecruitingSupportive CareCancers / Occasional Constipation1
4RecruitingTreatmentChronic Functional Constipation / Functional Constipation1
4RecruitingTreatmentFissure in Ano1
4RecruitingTreatmentHepatic Encephalopathy1
4RecruitingTreatmentOccasional Constipation / Peritoneal dialysis complication1
4RecruitingTreatmentSubjets Requiring a Colonoscopy1
4TerminatedNot AvailableBowel preparation therapy1
4TerminatedNot AvailableColonoscopy Preparation1
4TerminatedDiagnosticColonoscopy Failure / Poor Bowel Preparation1
4Unknown StatusNot AvailableClostridium Difficile Colitis1
4Unknown StatusNot AvailableMalignant Neoplasm of Colon / Rectal Carcinoma1
4Unknown StatusHealth Services ResearchColonoscopy1
4Unknown StatusTreatmentBowel Preparation for Colonoscopy1
4Unknown StatusTreatmentColon Cleansing1
4Unknown StatusTreatmentOccasional Constipation1
Not AvailableActive Not RecruitingDiagnosticDiabetes Mellitus (DM)1
Not AvailableActive Not RecruitingSupportive CareColonoscopy1
Not AvailableAvailableNot AvailableUrge Syndrome1
Not AvailableCompletedNot AvailableColonoscopy Preparation2
Not AvailableCompletedNot AvailableEffectiveness of SMS to Fix PC Interval1
Not AvailableCompletedNot AvailableGenotype 1 / HCV-1 / Hepatitis C, Chronic1
Not AvailableCompletedNot AvailableHyponatremias1
Not AvailableCompletedNot AvailableSpinal Cord Injuries (SCI)1
Not AvailableCompletedNot AvailableThe Timing of Bowel Preparation in Outpatient Colonoscopy1
Not AvailableCompletedDiagnosticCancer Colon / Colorectal Polyps / Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)1
Not AvailableCompletedDiagnosticColonoscopy1
Not AvailableCompletedDiagnosticColorectal Cancer Screening1
Not AvailableCompletedPreventionFunctional Disorder of Intestine1
Not AvailableCompletedPreventionPost Procedural Constipation1
Not AvailableCompletedScreeningUlcerative Colitis (UC)1
Not AvailableCompletedSupportive CareBowel Cleansing Quality / Colonoscopy1
Not AvailableCompletedTreatmentHepatic Encephalopathy / Liver Cirrhosis / Portosystemic Encephalopathy / PSE1
Not AvailableCompletedTreatmentInflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)1
Not AvailableCompletedTreatmentOccasional Constipation1
Not AvailableNot Yet RecruitingNot AvailableBowel preparation therapy1
Not AvailableNot Yet RecruitingTreatmentColonoscopy1
Not AvailableRecruitingDiagnosticColonoscopy1
Not AvailableRecruitingHealth Services ResearchAcute Kidney Injury (AKI)1
Not AvailableRecruitingScreeningColonoscopy1
Not AvailableTerminatedTreatmentColonoscopy1
Not AvailableTerminatedTreatmentIncontinence, Fecal1
Not AvailableTerminatedTreatmentOccasional Constipation1
Not AvailableUnknown StatusDiagnosticBowel Preparation for Colonoscopy1
Not AvailableUnknown StatusDiagnosticBowel preparation therapy1
Not AvailableUnknown StatusTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Infection1
Not AvailableUnknown StatusTreatmentChronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection1
Not AvailableWithdrawnScreeningPatients Undergoing Screening or Surveillance Colonoscopy1
Not AvailableWithdrawnTreatmentAltered Mental Status / AMS / HE / Hepatic Encephalopathy / Liver Cirrhosis1


Not Available
Not Available
Dosage forms
Solution / dropsOphthalmic
Kit; powder, for solution; tablet, delayed releaseOral
Powder, for solutionOral100 %
Powder, for solutionTopical17 g/1
Powder, for solutionNasogastric
PowderOral17 g/17g
Powder, for solutionOral1 g
Aerosol, meteredNasal
PowderOral1 g/g
Powder, for solutionOral17 g/1
Powder, for solutionOral
Powder, for solutionOral17 g/g
Powder, for solutionOral17 g/d
Powder, for suspensionOral100 %
Spray, meteredNasal
PowderTopical17 g/17g
Powder, for solutionOral17 g/17g
Powder, for solutionNasogastric; Oral
Not Available
Patent NumberPediatric ExtensionApprovedExpires (estimated)


Experimental Properties
Not Available
Predicted Properties
Not Available
Predicted ADMET features
Not Available


Mass Spec (NIST)
Not Available
Not Available


Not classified

Drug created on October 29, 2015 12:17 / Updated on December 10, 2017 17:18