Sodium Picosulfate, Magnesium Oxide, and Citric Acid

Pediatric Medication

This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.

Brand Names: US

Clenpiq; Prepopik [DSC]

Brand Names: Canada

Oral Purgative; Pico-Salax; Picodan; Picoflo; Purg-Odan

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to clean out the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child is allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had.
  • If your child has any of these health problems: Bowel block, dehydration, electrolyte problems (like sodium, potassium, phosphate), enlarged colon, hole in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract, or slow-moving GI (gastrointestinal) tract.
  • If your child has kidney disease.
  • If your child is taking other laxatives.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.

Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe to give this drug with all of your child’s other drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • If your child has a risk for abnormal heartbeat, talk with the doctor. Your child’s doctor may order an ECG before and after using this drug.
  • Do not give other laxatives or stool softeners unless told to do so by your child’s doctor.
  • Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink alcohol.
  • Some patients have become dehydrated and passed out while taking this drug. Passing out can cause falling and serious injuries (like head injury or broken bones). Be sure your child drinks enough clear liquids while taking this drug. Have your child rise slowly if your child has been sitting or lying down. Have your child be careful going up and down stairs.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to your child and the baby.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Bloating.
  • Swelling of belly.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Bleeding from rectum or rectal pain.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • This drug may cause your child to be dehydrated or have electrolyte problems. Rarely, this may be severe or deadly. Tell your child’s doctor right away if your child gets dizzy, passes out, feels tired or weak, or is unable to pass urine. Tell your child’s doctor right away if your child has a fast or abnormal heartbeat, seizures, headache, mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, increased thirst, decreased appetite, dry mouth or eyes, severe upset stomach or throwing up, or a change in the amount of urine produced.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Headache.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • Give this drug as the doctor has told you. Follow all instructions you have been given closely. This includes when to give this drug, foods and drinks to have your child avoid before the exam, and when to have your child stop eating and drinking before the exam. Talk with the doctor if you have any questions.
  • Do not let your child eat solid food or drink dairy products like milk while taking this drug.
  • Have your child drink extra liquids after each dose of this drug unless told to drink less liquid by your child’s doctor.
  • Have your child drink several types of clear liquids before, during, and after taking this drug. Your child must not drink only plain water. Be sure 1 other type of clear liquid is an electrolyte solution like a sports drink. Other clear liquids are black coffee or tea (no milk or creamer), clear broth or bullion, clear juice without pulp, ginger ale, other soda, plain jello, and frozen juice bars.
  • Do NOT let your child drink any liquids, jello, or juice bars that are purple or red. Do not let your child drink milk or alcohol.
  • Have your child stop drinking liquids at least 2 hours before the exam unless your child’s doctor tells you otherwise.
  • If your child has very bad belly pain, swelling, or bloating after the first dose, do not give the second dose until they go away. If you have questions, talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Do not give other drugs by mouth within 1 hour before each dose of this drug. Some drugs may need to be separated from this drug by a longer time. Talk with your child’s doctor about how to give your child’s other drugs with this drug.

Powder for solution:

  • Mix with water as told before you give this drug. Be sure your child does not swallow the dry powder.
  • After mixing, give your child’s dose right away. Do not store for future use.
  • Do not add ice to the mixed solution.

Liquid (solution):

  • This drug is ready to drink. You do not need to dilute this drug before you give it.
  • The solution is clear and you may be able to see some particles in it. This is normal.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.
  • Call your child’s doctor if your child is not able to finish this drug before the exam.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Powder for solution:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • After mixing, do not refrigerate.

Liquid (solution):

  • Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate or freeze.

All products:

  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider’s examination and assessment of a patient’s specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at

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Last Updated

Monday, December 12, 2022