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Bowel Prep Instructions for a Colonoscopy Procedure

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Bowel Prep Instructions for a Colonoscopy Procedure  

None of these products are prescription


Colonoscopy is an examination of the colon (large bowel) with a flexible lighted tube about the size of your ring finger which transmits a live color image onto a television screen. A good bowel prep is essential for an accurate and successful procedure. These instructions will help maximize the ease, safety and success of your preparation.

One Week Before Colonoscopy

  • For those with an artificial heart valve, pacemaker or an internal defibrillator, are taking Coumadin, Wafarin, or Plavix, please consult with your physician regarding specific instructions.
  • Purchase at the Pharmacy:
    • Miralax OTC one 238 gram bottle (or generic equivalent)
    • Dulcolax tablets (2 tablets, may also use generic Bisacodyl tablets)
    • Gatorade or G2, one 64 oz bottle – no red/purple (diabetics may use Propel Fitness Water)
    • Clear liquids of choice (fruit juices without pulp i.e. apple, white grape, water, clear broth bouillion, coffee without cream, soft drinks/soda, jell-o, popsicles – nothing red/purple).

Three Days Before Colonoscopy

  • Do not eat popcorn, seeds, nuts, multigrain bread, salad, corn, cheese, fiber supplements, anti-diarrheal medications or high-fiber foods for the three days before the procedure. This makes the bowel prep easier and cleaner.

One Day Before Colonoscopy

  • If you are diabetic, take ½ your regular insulin dose the day before and morning of the procedure. Hold oral glucose medication the morning of the procedure.

Preparing for your Colonoscopy:

  • Clear Liquids all day on the day before the procedure. No solid food.
  • Mix the 238 grams of Miralax powder with 64 oz of Gatorade. Refrigerate.
  • The evening prior to the procedure, between 4:00-6:00 pm, take 2 Dulcolax tablets with a full glass of water.
  • At 6:00 pm, drink one 8 oz glass of the 64oz Miralax/Gatorade mix. Repeat every 15 minutes until you have finished half or 32oz of the 64oz mix (about 1 hour). Refrigerate remaining 32oz of mixture.
  • The morning of your procedure, five hours before your colonoscopy, drink one 8oz glass of the remaining 1 liter/32 oz miralax/Gatorade mix. Repeat every 15 minutes until the entire 1 liter/32 oz mix is finished (about one hour)
  1. If you have a very early procedure or are driving a long distance, the two doses of Miralax may be completed the night before (over a 3-4 hour period), but please be aware that the best bowel preps are achieved by splitting the doses into the night before and morning of the procedure. The more time that elapses between when you finish your bowel prep and when you have the colonoscopy, the worse your bowel prep may be.
  2. If your procedure is scheduled for 1:00 PM or later, you may have a light breakfast the day prior to the procedure and then clear liquids up until 3 hours prior to the procedure.

Day of Procedure

  • Nothing by mouth within 3 hours of your procedure or it may be cancelled.
  • Heart, blood pressure or seizure medication may be taken with small sips of water, up to three hours prior to the procedure.
  • You must have a responsible adult drive you to and from the center and we ask that you have a responsible adult at home with you after the procedure.

Click Here to Print these Prep instructions.

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