Macrogols

  • Carefully follow the printed information that you have been given with this preparation.
  • Mix the contents of the sachets in water before taking.

About macrogols

Type of medicine Osmotic laxative
Bowel cleansing solution
Used for Constipation
Before bowel investigation or surgery
Also called For constipation:[/b] Dulcobalance®, Laxido® Orange, Movicol®, Movicol®-Half, Movicol® Paediatric Plain, Molaxole®
For bowel cleansing: Klean-Prep®, Moviprep®[/td][/tr]
Available as Sachets

Macrogols are laxatives. They are used to relieve constipation or to clear the bowel before some hospital procedures. They are sometimes called polyethylene glycols.

Constipation is a common problem which may be caused by not eating enough fibre or not drinking enough fluids. Pregnancy, a lack of exercise or movement (such as being ill in bed) and some medicines, including some painkillers, can also cause constipation. Macrogols are osmotic laxatives, which means that they relieve constipation by drawing water into the bowel to soften stools, making them easier to pass out of the body.

In bowel cleansing solutions, macrogols are used in combination with other agents. They are used before some bowel examinations and surgical procedures to make sure that the bowel is free from solid contents.

Before taking macrogols

Before taking macrogols make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have any bowel problems (other than constipation).
  • If you have severe inflammation of the intestinal tract, such as in Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis or toxic megacolon.
  • If you have kidney, heart or blood vessel problems.
  • If you have any problems swallowing.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
  • If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.

How to take macrogols

Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will tell you how to prepare your dose and how long the solution can be kept for after preparation. Once mixed with water, the solution should be kept in the fridge. Do not use any solution remaining after the time recommended in the manufacturer's instructions.

If you are taking macrogols for constipation:

  • Your doctor will tell you how many sachets to take for each dose. Stir the contents of each sachet into water before taking. The information leaflet that comes with your sachets will tell you how much water to use.

If you are taking macrogols for bowel cleansing:

  • Your doctor will tell you how many sachets to make up into a solution and when to drink it.
  • Do not eat anything from about two hours before you start taking this preparation.
  • Taking this preparation may interfere with the absorption of any medicines taken at the same time, so ask your doctor about taking your other medicines if this affects you.

Getting the most from your treatment

If you are taking macrogols for constipation:

  • It is important to eat a well-balanced diet containing fibre (such as in whole grain breads, cereals, bran, fruit and green leafy vegetables). Drink plenty of fluids (equivalent to 6 to 8 glasses of water each day) and take some daily exercise.
  • Foods such as pastries, puddings, sugar, sweets, cheese and cake can make constipation worse. Eating fewer of these kinds of foods may help.
  • Drinks containing caffeine (tea, coffee, colas) or alcohol can make constipation worse, as they cause a loss of fluid from the body, causing dehydration. It is better to drink more plain water or fruit juices.

If you are taking macrogols for bowel cleansing:

  • The preparation will start to work after an hour or two, so stay near a toilet.
  • If you have any questions about your treatment, contact the hospital department where you are receiving the treatment for further advice.

Can macrogols cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine What can I do if I experience this?
Abdominal pain, flatulence, feeling or being sick These effects do not usually last for long. Drinking the solution more slowly may help

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store macrogols

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.