According to MedlinePlus, polyethylene glycol is used for the treatment of occasional constipation. This type of drug is categorized under a group of medications called osmotic laxatives. Because polyethylene glycol causes water to be retained with the feces, the stool is softened and bowel movement becomes easier.
MedlinePlus explains that polyethylene glycol comes in powder form and is taken by mixing it with a liquid and then drinking it. Polyethylene glycol is commonly recommended to be taken once a day for up to two weeks. Eating a balanced diet, increasing the intake of fluids and exercising regularly can also make the treatment faster. Fruits, vegetables and foods rich in fiber, such as whole-grain bread and unprocessed bran, are also some dietary recommendations while taking polyethylene glycol.
According to MedlinePlus, some of the most common side effects of polyethylene glycol include nausea, cramping, bloating and gas. If these symptoms do not go away or becomes severe, it is advised to consult with a doctor.
MedlinePlus also states that this drug also has some serious side effects, such as diarrhea and hives. Although these two side effects are rare, it is recommended to call a physician immediately when experiencing either of these.