To determine whether trace amounts of ethylene glycol (EG), diethylene glycol (DEG), or triethylene glycol (TEG) in PEG 3350 are associated with increased blood levels of EG, DEG, or TEG in children receiving daily PEG 3350 therapy.Study design
Blood samples were drawn from 9 children who were being treated for constipation with PEG 3350 (6–12 years old) before and every 30 minutes for 3 hours after receiving 17 g of PEG 3350. PEG 3350, tap water, and blood samples from 18 age- and sex-matched controls also were analyzed.Results
Baseline blood levels of EG and TEG did not differ between control and treated groups. DEG levels (median [IQR]) were lower in the PEG 3350 group (40.13 ng/mL [36.69, 63.94] vs 92.83 ng/mL [51.06, 128.93], P = .008). After PEG 3350 dose, levels of EG (390.51 ng/mL [326.06, 624.55]) and TEG (2.21 ng/mL [0, 4.5]) peaked at 90 minutes at 1032.81 ng/mL (826.84, 1486.13) (P = .009) and 35.17 ng/mL (15.81, 45.13) (P = .0005), respectively. DEG levels did not significantly change. Standard 17-g doses of PEG 3350 in 8 oz (237 mL) of water resulted in concentrations (mean ± SD) of EG, DEG, and TEG of 1.32 ± 0.23 μg/mL, 0.18 ± 0.03 μg/mL, and 0.12 ± 0.01 μg/mL, respectively. EG, DEG, and TEG levels in public water supply were 0.07 μg/mL, 0.21 μg/mL, and 0.02 μg/mL, respectively.Conclusions
Daily PEG 3350 therapy in children was not associated with sustained elevation of EG, DEG, or TEG blood levels over levels in matched controls. Although EG and TEG levels increased after a standard dose of PEG 3350, their peak values remained well below toxic levels.