How Long Does Golytely Stay In Your System?

If you’re scheduled for a colonoscopy, your doctor may prescribe a laxative solution called GoLYTELY to clean out your bowels before the procedure and you may wonder how long does GoLYTELY stay in your system.

GoLYTELY is a bowel preparation medication that stimulates bowel movements and helps clear out your colon.

It’s important to know how long GoLYTELY stays in your system to ensure that you’re properly prepared for your colonoscopy.

The effects of GoLYTELY can begin as soon as 30 minutes to an hour after your first dose, and can last up to 16 hours.

Most people do not continue to experience diarrhea after they’ve gone to bed on the night before the test.

When your bowel movements contain only brown liquids, this means you are almost finished with your bowel prep.

It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking GoLYTELY.

If you don’t take the medication as directed, your colon may not be properly cleaned out, which can make it difficult for your doctor to perform the colonoscopy.

Understanding how long GoLYTELY stays in your system can help you properly time your medication and ensure that you’re fully prepared for your colonoscopy.

How Long Does Golytely Stay In Your System?

What Is Golytely?

Golytely is a medication used to cleanse the bowel before a colonoscopy.

It is a combination of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and electrolytes.

The medication works by causing diarrhea, which clears out the bowel.

Mechanism of Action

Golytely is not absorbed by the body and works entirely in the gastrointestinal tract.

The PEG in Golytely is a large molecule that cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Instead, it draws water into the bowel, which softens and loosens stool, causing diarrhea.

The electrolytes in Golytely help to replace those lost through diarrhea.

Average Clearance Time

The average clearance time for Golytely is approximately 24 hours.

However, the medication can take up to 48 hours to clear completely from your system.

It is important to note that individual clearance times may vary depending on factors such as age, weight, and overall health.

Factors Affecting Clearance

Several factors can affect the clearance time of Golytely from your system.

These factors include:

  • Age: Older adults may take longer to clear Golytely from their system than younger adults.
  • Weight: Heavier individuals may take longer to clear Golytely from their system than lighter individuals.
  • Overall health: Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as kidney or liver disease, may take longer to clear Golytely from their system.
  • Dosage: Higher doses of Golytely may take longer to clear from your system than lower doses.

It is important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully when taking Golytely to ensure that the medication is cleared from your system completely before your colonoscopy.

Side Effects and Precautions

When using GoLYTELY, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects and precautions to ensure safe and effective use.

Some common side effects of GoLYTELY include bloating, stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.

These side effects should subside once the bowel prep is complete.

However, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, it is important to contact your doctor immediately.

It is also important to stay hydrated while using GoLYTELY, as dehydration can lead to serious complications such as abnormal heartbeats and kidney problems.

Be sure to drink plenty of clear liquids before, during, and after using GoLYTELY to maintain proper hydration.

If you have a history of electrolyte imbalances or kidney problems, it is important to discuss the use of GoLYTELY with your doctor.

In some cases, GoLYTELY may not be a safe option for you.

Overall, GoLYTELY is a safe and effective bowel prep when used as directed.

By being aware of the potential side effects and precautions, you can ensure a successful bowel prep and minimize any discomfort or complications.

Aftercare and Recovery

After completing the Golytely bowel prep, you may experience some side effects.

It is important to take care of yourself during this time to ensure a smooth recovery.

Here are some things you can do to help your body recover:


Golytely can dehydrate you, so it is important to drink plenty of fluids after the procedure.

Drink water, clear broth, or other clear liquids to help replenish your body’s fluids.

Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine, as they can further dehydrate you.


You may feel tired after the procedure. It is important to rest and give your body time to recover.

Take it easy for the rest of the day and avoid any strenuous activities.

Eat Lightly

After the procedure, you may not feel like eating a full meal. Start with light, easy-to-digest foods such as soup or crackers.

Avoid spicy or fatty foods, as they can be hard on your digestive system.

Follow Up

Make sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to discuss the results of the procedure.

They will be able to answer any questions you may have and provide further guidance on your recovery.

Remember, everyone’s recovery is different. Be patient with your body and give it time to heal.

If you experience any unusual symptoms or have concerns, contact your doctor right away.

Key Takeaways

If you are preparing for a colonoscopy, your doctor may prescribe GoLYTELY to help you empty your bowels.

While the medication is designed to be eliminated from your body quickly, it can take some time for your system to return to normal.

Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • GoLYTELY works by drawing water into your colon to help flush out stool.
  • This process usually takes several hours, and you may need to drink a large amount of the solution to achieve the desired effect.
  • Once you have finished drinking GoLYTELY, it can take several hours for your bowels to empty completely.
  • You may experience diarrhea or loose stools during this time, which is normal.
  • After your colonoscopy, it may take several days for your system to return to normal.
  • You may experience some bloating, cramping, or other digestive symptoms during this time.
  • It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking GoLYTELY.
  • Drinking too much of the solution can lead to dehydration, while drinking too little may not sufficiently empty your bowels.

Overall, GoLYTELY is a safe and effective medication for preparing for a colonoscopy.

While it can be uncomfortable to take, the benefits of a clear colon for your procedure outweigh any temporary discomfort.

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