Colonoscopy prep is one of the most dreaded steps when it comes to colorectal cancer screening, but it’s not optional. You must clean out your colon so the doctor can get a good look at the inside!

We’ve asked colorectal cancer survivors and caregivers who undergo colonoscopy prep often for their “expert” tips on surviving prep night. Here’s what they said:

1. Adjust Your Diet a Few Days Before Prep Begins

Eating smaller portions and low-fiber foods a few days before you plan to do colonoscopy prep can help the evening go smoothly.

What to Eat Before Bowel Prep

What you choose to eat and drink a few days prior to a colonoscopy can impact how “clean out” night goes. Here’s what our advocates recommend: 

  • Digestive tea 
  • Soups
  • Smoothies
  • Eggs
  • Rice
  • Salmon 
  • Chicken 
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Pasta 
  • Lighter-colored foods

What Not to Eat Before Colonoscopy Prep

  • Nuts and seeds (including wraps and breads containing them)
  • Popcorn
  • Red meat 
  • Fried, heavy foods 
  • Raw vegetables
  • Corn, peas, apple skins, and other fiber-filled foods that are hard to digest
  • Anything bright red in color

Decrease meal size

Several survivors say decreasing the size of their meals a few days before starting colonoscopy prep also makes it go easier and smoother.

2. Drink the Colonoscopy Prep Laxative Cold

Survivors recommend drinking the laxative cold – and through a straw – for the most pleasant experience.

I put the prep drink in my large Tervis Tumbler with a straw. For some reason, drinking it with a straw helps me.”

Trish Lannon, stage III survivor

3. Choose Yummy Treats for the Liquid Diet

The day prior to a colonoscopy, patients must stick to a liquid diet – i.e., no solid foods. What you choose to eat and drink can make or break your colonoscopy prep experience.

apple juice colonoscopy prep

Favorite Drinks for Colonoscopy Prep

  • Organic low-sodium broth
  • Really good JELL-O (not red, orange or purple)
  • Martinelli’s Gold Medal apple juice
  • White grape juice
  • Flavored sparkling water
  • 7-UP or Sprite
  • Good coffee (without creamer)
  • Gummy bears – pull out the red and purple ones, and suck the light ones for a little treat

Electrolytes

Some survivors have also found electrolyte drinks, such as Pedialyte, can provide important hydration prior to the procedure.

“Pedialyte hydrates me better than water. I become dehydrated very easily and it makes for difficulty when putting in my IV before the test. It also now comes in packets so you can mix it yourself.” 

Kristen Keesen, stage III survivor

4. Bathroom Prep for Bowel Prep

toilet paper colonoscopy prep

Once the colonoscopy prep laxative begins working, you’ll spend A LOT of time in the bathroom! Here’s what you’ll need to make it a good experience.

Wet Wipes

Dude wipes and Preparation H are two advocate favorites, but several brands produce medicated and non-medicated wet wipes.

Good Toilet Paper

Double-ply, soft toilet paper will be important as you prep for your colonoscopy. (And a critical must-have if you don’t use moist wipes.) Several brands make “gentle” toilet paper with aloe that can alleviate itching and burning – something that is common when you’re making frequent tips to the toilet.

Creams and Oils

Some survivors say creams and oils can help either prevent or soothe irritation. Favorites include

  • Vaseline
  • Coconut oil
  • Butt paste

Some find that a cool, wet washcloth or drawing a bath also helps with irritation.

Chargers and Light Reading

“Charge your phone and get a good book to read – you will be in the bathroom a lot!”

Amanda Houston, stage II survivor

Whether you plan to be on your phone, laptop or tablet, find your chargers before your laxative kicks in. Magazines like Beyond Blue and videos with patient stories can remind you of the reason you’re going through colonoscopy prep night and its importance!

Stretchy Pants

Elastic-waisted pants will be a lifesaver once the laxative begins working – you won’t have time to mess with buttons!

5. Double Check What Time to Start Your Prep

doctor instructions colonoscopy prep

Double check your doctor’s instructions regarding when to begin your colonoscopy prep and bump it up a few hours earlier, if possible, so you’re not up all night rushing to the bathroom.

Depending on the prep recommended for you, your doctor’s office should indicate what time to begin taking either pills or the laxative drink. Some colonoscopy preps are taken in one evening, others may be a “split-dose” and taken between an evening and the following morning.

If you begin drinking the colonoscopy prep in the evening, bump up the start time a few hours earlier to prevent running to the toilet all night. Each person’s body is different – for some it works right away, and for others it takes several hours. Give yourself plenty of time for the laxative to start working.

Closely Follow Colonoscopy Prep Instructions

Despite what the packaging or instructions on your colonoscopy prep product may say, always check with your doctor’s office and know what time they advise you to stop drinking liquids. This can impact your anesthesia during the colonoscopy.

6. Finish the Prep – All of It!

It may be tempting to stop drinking all of the colonoscopy prep if your stools are running clear, but it’s important to complete all of the steps.

It’s not uncommon for the laxative to work right away and within the first few trips! But, even if you start to “run clear,” meaning your stools have turned liquid and are lighter in color, it’s important to finish the entire colonoscopy prep process.

Many bowel prep products include several drinks or pills to take – make sure to take them all for a total cleanout and effective scope. If you’re wanting to quit early, just remind yourself the prep is the hardest part!

7. Ease Back Into Eating Solid Foods

After your colonoscopy, go easy on what you eat. 

You may be starving after your procedure (you likely haven’t eaten in over a day), but your gut may take a few days to feel normal again. Don’t rush into a heavy, greasy meal – or you may regret it!

Some survivors say probiotics help the gut bounce back, and they avoid spicy foods for a few days if a polyp was removed.

8. Celebrate… and Tell Your Family

Practice self-care and be proud of yourself – you got screened! Don’t forget to tell your family about your results!

Many patients leave a colonoscopy and go for a good meal and a long nap. You won’t be able to drive or work following the procedure, so plan to take it easy for the rest of the day!

Because colorectal cancer risk is increased if you have a family history of polyps AND/OR colorectal cancer, share your results with your family – especially your children, parents and siblings.

If the doctor removed colon polyps, or any signs of cancer, it may take a few days, up to a few weeks, before biopsy results come in.

Your doctor’s office will follow up with next steps and when your next colonoscopy should be scheduled.

Get More Colonoscopy Prep Tips

For more colonoscopy prep tips, or to learn about other ways to screen for colorectal cancer, download our Screening Mini Mag!

134 thoughts on “Colonoscopy Prep: 8 Expert Tips for the Night Before

  1. The prep experience reminded me of a very appropriate statement by Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List – “Never trust a fart! ”

    But seriously, it is great to be able to read so many experiences in one place – now I know what I’m going through is not of concern. Everyone seems to have been given slightly different prep procedures, including the actual prep solutions/pills.

    I did only clear liquids from the time I started the prep procedure (so it was for almost two whole days). My doctor had me drink Magnesium Citrate two evenings before the procedure, and then do the Suprep the next evening. My mother had her procedure rescheduled because she just couldn’t get down the gallon of the foul tasting stuff, so I was willing to pay extra to only have to drink 32oz of Suprep rather than 128oz of GoLightly.

    And to whoever mentioned not having the anesthesia, I am going to ask about that for next time. I have AFIB, so having the concerns regarding anesthesia removed will definitely help me feel more relaxed!

  2. The comment section was very helpful to me for my prep. I read almost every comment and started preparing about 4 days in advance. I am a 41 year old female and this was my first colonoscopy and endoscopy. Other than the disgusting taste of the Suprep (two doses, second was harder to take), the process was seamless. I felt some nausea taking the doses, the second was at 1:30am so that was more trying. The passing was easy–no cramping, no burning (even though I have hemorrhoids), and I had fair warning of the need to go. I started eating a low fiber diet 4-5 days prior to prep and made sure I had lots of yummy clear things to drink. For me apple juice and homemade chicken broth were my favorites. As long as I was drinking I didn’t feel much hunger. I am two days post procedure and I am still passing things easily and eating lightly, and I feel great. I am a sensitive person to meds, foods, medical procedures, and this was as easy as it could be thanks to the advice given here. I hope others find this comforting. All was clear in my scope, two benign polyps removed, and no Crohn’s or other obvious things point to my stomach issues. Pathology comes back on the samples today, so maybe there will be some light in this upset stomach issue. Thanks for the support!!!

  3. I wanted to post my experience because this page helped me tremendously before undergoing my first colonoscopy/endoscopy. I had this scheduled once before and cancelled due to anxiety. I still hadn’t been feeling well so I rescheduled the procedure. I had extreme anxiety going into the prep because of having heard horror stories. I had my procedure yesterday and started the prep the day before that. My prep consisted of 2 bicodyl(?) tabs in the morning, took an anti-nausea pill at 3pm, started the nuLytely prep solution at 4pm. I had it chilling all day. I mixed each glass with crystal light powder tubes. The taste was fine to me. Like lemonade flavored Gatorade. I had no problem downing the solution. I got a little full by the end but not bad. I also drank a lot of fluids the 2 days prior and at easily digestible foods for 3 days prior. Prep day I only had a piece of dry toast in the morning and then went liquid. Keep yourself hydrated. My diarrhea stopped the evening before at about 9pm and i slept all night until I had to wake up and drink the other half of my solution. I think the split prep is the way to go. Slammed that all down in 2 hours and was able to go to my appointment and check in no problems. I couldn’t drink anything else after midnight before the procedure so I was getting really thirsty and hungry, but made it through. I was a little nervous about the procedure, but I didn’t feel or remember anything. I was in and out of there in a couple hours. No problem. I was groggy all afternoon from the meds, but then last night ate a healthy meal and slept great. I hope this helps someone. I it’s not fun having to drink all this solution and have diarrhea, but it’ll be over before you know it. Definitely worth the inconvenience to take care of your self.

  4. One of the best things I did to make the prep taste better was to drink a Peppermint Tea, just a few sips before drinking the prep. There’s a great tea that is Spearmint and Peppermint, a Tazo Tea. It’s a great taste. Just a few sips and then you can’t taste the prep much. I did that for every 8 oz and then drank the prep with a straw.

  5. Tips for coloscopy prep I was not told:

    1)cool the prep liquid so it tastes better

    2) drink it thru a straw

    3) drink a chaser like apple juice after each sip of prep it really does taste vile

    4) have the best toilet paper at home, the softer the better and u will be using it quite a bit

    5) have A&D ointment or preparation H at home to sooth butt hole mine hurt from pooping

    6) Buy a small pack of Depends diapers in case u have too much diarrhea after the prep. I had stools everywhere and wasn’t warned. This made my colonoscopy a horrific experience which could have been avoided with better preparation.

    7) have best juices and clear ices or poops to reward yourself when fasting

  6. I want to thank everyone for the encouraging tips. I just had my 3rd colonoscopy, and it was the best experience of all of them. For the one 10 years ago I felt quite ill during the prep. But I followed the advice to eat a low fiber diet for a week, stay really hydrated, and eat lightly in the few days before the prep. While the SuPrep did not taste great, I got it down more successfully than other preps. I also think the actual colonoscopy is much faster than it used to be with better equipment and better drugs so the whole thing was fast and more comfortable. Don’t put it off! I’m good for ten years now!

  7. I am 30 this is my second colonoscopy and endoscopy. They made me this time have two days of no solid food just clear liquids. 8 dulcolax, 8.3 oz miralax and 2 6oz suprep. Was much worse than my first one exspecially with small children to attend too.

  8. Thank you to everyone that shared their experience. Male, 50 just got home from my first colonoscopy. Last night before bowel prep I read this page. Extremely helpful. I was given the Su-prep Bowel two dose laxative. Worked on me within a half hour of finishing the first glass. My advice – just get it over with. It wasn’t as bad as some of the horror stories I’ve heard. DO IT!

  9. I am 67 years old I have a family history of cancer, I am deathly afraid of needles, so after my first colonoscopy when I was 55 I ignored all my drs orders to get another. Due to my fear and the bad experience I had the first time. it has been 12 years and I did the colorguard test which came back with positive results, of course this has me scared to death now. I have scheduled my follow up colonoscopy but they cant get me in for a month do I need to worry? They classified it as a level 3 for scheduling, what does that mean?

  10. I need an endoscopy; but the Dr. wants a colonoscopy with it. I had a colonoscopy in 2016, they took out 2 polyps and said have the next one in 2026. I have awful gastric reflux and feel the endoscopy is well worth the test, but I don’t know I can handle the prep again for the colonoscopy. My brain didn’t track I had to go to the bathroom and 3 times the cleanup wasn’t pleasant. Nothing is scheduled yet; and I’m suffering with the reflux and pain. I only talked to the nurse and the PA, not the Dr. They didn’t agree with me. I feel I should have the choice/option.

  11. 1st time for colonoscopy (51 years old) tomorrow (6/29)

    Since my procedure was moved up earlier from 1:30pm to 7:30am (9:00am but asked to arrive 1.5 hrs sooner), I decided to do the prepping sooner than the initial 4:00pm (Ducolax/Miralax) a day (6/28) prior start as instructed in the paperwork.

    Instead I took 2 pills of Ducolax at 3:30 am (6/28) and went to bed. 6.5 hours later, I awoke and had to dump. Odd thing was I almost didn’t feel like I needed to go but once the 1st small (hard-still) poop went through, my bowels pushed out a couple more times of soft watery poops within a minute. Didn’t feel any more urges and so within 30 minutes, I decided to take another pill of Ducolax. Maybe it has to also do with me pooping about ‘once a day’ already anyhow. Eat corn, I see it around a day or two. LOL!

    At about 12:30pm, I started drinking 8oz solutions of Miralax with tap water that I had pre-mixed and kept at room temperature in a big pyrex container (64oz from 238grams of Miralax). Dranked 5 times at 10-15 minutes intervals. Had no issue drinking it. It was like drinking water that someone put some salt in it. Not much but enough to notice. I was afraid at first reading what people are saying how awful the taste would be but guessing Miralax is easier to consume?!? Right after the 5th consumption, I had to go. It was not all liquid. More like brown liquid vomit. LOL! Stomach is gurgling right now and so assuming I will need to go again soon. 🙂

    I plan to take the remaining 3 servings of 8oz Miralax solution late in the evening since my appointment is 9:00am but requested to be there by 7:30am.

    On the side, just been drinking Gatorade lemon-lime and water. May need to consume an energy drink since I have work to do as I plan to take the day off tomorrow for the procedure. Been looking around and seems it is okay to drink energy drinks as it is clear. Could not find any internet topic points about energy drink ingredients being a detriment to the prep procedure.

    So far, have not had any discomforts like feeling faint or stomach pain from the prep procedure.

    Forgot to mention that about 4-5 days prior, I had removed the “no-no” foods from my diet like nuts and raw veggies but I did accidentally eat one slice of tomato that had seeds in it about 3 days prior to the procedure. My wife hates tomatoes and she had it in her burger and asked i eat them. I ate one and was about to eat the second before it dawned they have seeds in it. Hope that one slice doesn’t negate my procedure. 🙁

    Anypoo! Back to work and the loo for me or as my wife likes to call it “John”. *sigh*

    Will try to follow-up after the procedure.

    On a side note, I had been avoiding the procedure but felt I really need to do it as I don’t exercise, eat alot of refined sugar (co-workers call me the “candy and muffin man” and process meats, average very lil sleep a day, eat all day and big horse portions due to anxiety, consume alot of energy drinks and have type 2 diabetes. GI-related cancer does not run in my family as far as I have been told but folks have been remarking that I have been losing weight and my belt holes have been moving back when it should be the opposite and so I am concerned and hoping not too late. 🙁

  12. I’m so glad I got my colonoscopy (after much fear and trepidation!). I didn’t eat the day before (OK- woke up and ate four cherries then forced myself to stop). A friend had made me some chicken broth for my “real food” for the day. I took 4 mirolax at noon then mixed the ducolox (sp?) with 32 oz of apple juice in once container and 32 oz of white grape juice watered down a little in the second jar. I missed the part of the directions saying to refrigerate and begin at 5…and started drinking right away. I had trouble getting the last 8 ounces down- but I just saved it and drank it a few hours later. I would recommend that at some point you lie down and massage your gut to get the fluid to disperse through all the bends and turns and really clean everything out. In the end, it didn’t matter that I drank the stuff early – they said it’s all good as long as you are pooping out liquid. My appt. was scheduled for 11am the next day- the only problem was that my veins were hard to find because I was a little dehydrated from not drinking after midnight. They ended up using the one in my arm and not my hand. The procedure was so quick- they put the stuff in my IV, I as asleep before they put in the second vial. Woke up in recovery with cranberry juice set on my tray. I’m 55- everything was clean as a whistle (I eat pretty healthy and drink a lot of kefir), and I am good for ten years. On the other hand- my boyfriend had put his off for ten years and they found out he had advanced colon cancer – so- please don’t put off your colonoscopy, especially if cancer runs in your family!

  13. I’m 46 and just got done with my first colonoscopy. I found the comments here very helpful, and wanted to share my experiences, reiterating what I found useful from other folks.

    One week before the procedure I cut out nuts and seeds. I accidentally ate a bun with a few sesame seeds a few days before the procedure, but it was no big deal. Two days before my procedure, I switched to a low-fiber diet (macaroni and cheese, white bread, etc. – no veggies or whole grains).

    The day before was clear liquids only. Mostly, I just drank a bunch of water. I took some pills (ducolax?) mid-day, and started the prep about 4 pm. I did start it an hour earlier than they told me, partly because I was nervour waiting, and partly because I had read it gives you more time afterwards to settle down for bed. I had a gallon to drink (3/4 that night, 1/4 in the morning), with lemon flavoring. Instead of water I mixed it with orange Gatorade and left in the fridge for a long time.

    It was nothing! I had expected it to taste awful, but it basically tasted like tangy Gatorade that was a bit saltier than usual. I was able to down it very quickly at first, and then spread things out once my stomach got full.

    I had prepped by smearing my nether regions liberally with Desitin to protect my sensitive bits from the moisture. At first I thought the prep wasn’t working … and then it worked. Any type of solid matter passed very quickly, and soon it was just yellowish water. Rather than getting on and off the toilet I had set things up so I could just stay there for a few hours. I was there maybe three hours? Read some, watched a movie, finished my prep, and occasionally had a squirt of water. Once it subsided I waited a bit longer to make certain, cleaned up and went to bed.

    Next morning, coffee, Desitin, prep, and about another hour on the toilet. Then a shower and I went to the clinic feeling pretty good.

    When asked about my reactions to medications I mentioned that I generally don’t like painkillers – opiates like codeine make me a bit nauseous. They gave me the option of a no-sedation procedure and after a conversation, I decided to give it a go. They had mentioned that pretty much all of their office workers did it without sedation, and that everyone who tried it tolerated it well. They started an IV just in case.

    It wasn’t bad at all. At its worse (when turning a particularly tight corner) it was like a severe gassy cramp .. that lasted about 10 seconds. The nurse pressed on my abdomen and got me to breathe and relax. We talked through the whole procedure, they were able to point out parts of my colon, etc. The sensation was strange, but on a 1-10 pain scale I’d rate it a 2 or so (except for the brief moment of 5). More uncomfortable than anything.

    The plus side is, once I was done, I was able to pull on my clothes and get out of there … 40 minutes early due to no sedation recovery, and able to get on with the rest of my day immediately. Some bloating from the air they pump in, but when i got home I spent 15 minutes on my side and passed a lot of gas. All clear with a healthy colon (no polyps), and ready to go for another 10 years.

    I really appreciate the piece of mind, and want to encourage folks that it will be fine. You all can do this! The no-sedation option is definitely something I’ll be doing in the future. I hadn’t even known about that before I went in.

  14. I just finished bowel prep and the worst part for me was the taste of the drink. I’m in Australia and I was given glycoprep-C. It was already lemon flavoured but I was told I could mix it with lemon cordial. It was FOUL. In the end I ended up pinching my nose taking big gulps and having a chaser of apple juice.

    I would recommend getting a plain flavour instead of lemon. If you’ve ever drank Ural for a UTI that’s kind of what it tastes like.

    As suggested above definitely get some Vaseline or other type of cream for your backdoor lol.

    I found it worked within 30 minutes but then again, I have IBSD so I live with diarrhoea every day so I’m used to it. I didn’t feel there was a sense of urgency, you do have time to walk to the barroom.

    Good luck!

  15. ok so im 17 and im going tomorrow to get a upper gi and colonoscopy but i may have ate food i wasn’t supposed to will that effect anything if i take extra laxative

  16. I am 58 and had my first colonoscopy/endoscopy. I did not find this sight until I was beginning my cleanse so I did not change my diet prior to cleanse and eat steak and chicken the day before the prep. I used suprep bowel prep kit which split the prep between the night before and the day of the procedure. My doctor also added Magnesium Citrate late at night the day before the procedure. The first prep dose I took I added Gatoraid , Glacier Cherry which is white in color. I thought this prep was the worst. I drank water after every drink of the prep all the while hating it. At 10:00 PM I took Magnesium Citrate which was easy to take and much better tasting. The day of the procedure, I took the second half of the Suprep Bowel Prep Kit but this time I just added water. This tasted much better, which is not saying much, because it was still bad tasting. I still I had to take a drink of water after every drink of the prep. Even though the instructions said that I should put anything in my mouth but the prep kit, 2 hours later I was so thirsty that I drank water. Drinking the water did not cause problems because I drank it several hours before the procedure.

  17. I am scheduled for an upper and lower GI scope on 06/19/20. I have been on a clear liquid diet since 06/01/20 to help alleviate some of my pain. Not really helping and now I’m just not sure there is really a reason to drink a gallon of go lightly, when I have had no solid for two weeks straight and pure diarrhea for almost three months. I feel like I am already as cleaned out as any one can be.

  18. These comments are extremely helpful. I am not a wimp, but have had a touchy stomach my entire life. 1st Colonoscopy I threw up constantly, but the test came back great, even tho I couldn’t finish the prep. Anyone else out there with tips? My doctor this time is giving me Suprep. Not sure I can do this one. He definitely believes in the 2 part process, so mucous doesn’t build up in the colon the night before. I have an hour’s ride to the Endoscopy center, and am worried about finishing a prep in the morning without ‘incident’. I have written down many tips,-and they ease my mind.

  19. June 9 2020…Prep was several hours of drinking a gallon of PEG fluids..sweet and salty..no problem getting it down just had to keep at it every 15 minutes…I had to run to bathroom several times and barely made it but I knew this to would pass…I was not hungry at all…I had one down of chicken broth all day and lots of water…Just got home from my colonoscopy…it was great…a simple IV in arm…questions about general health…blood pressure checked and heart rhythm…I was wheeled into the ROOM…my doctor greeted me warmly…I turned on my side and the anesthesiologist said he was turning on the sleepy meds…I was out and woke up rested and given cold apple juice…so nice…left and ate scrambled eggs…I am good to go for another 5 years…last time I had several polyps that had to be removed….I am so thankful this was done…yes it is a pain to drink a gallon of PEG liquid but you can do it…what is one day of being uncomfortable verses the possibility of COLON CANCER…my grandmother had it…not fun…I am almost 70 years old now and this is very important to me.

  20. I am on my 3rd procedure. The first was at the doc office where they discovered many polyps. Some were able to be removed at the time. The rest I had to have done at hospital. At the 2nd appt, he could only remove one and had to leave the 2nd for later as it was too close to the first. Having my hopefully last procedure on Friday. I feel like an expert on the prep. It is a PITA… pun intended. But getting it done is so important. My doc made me promise to get screened. I had no family history. Zero. Zip. Zilch. The big polyp removed in hospital was deemed to be precancerous. Had it been left much longer, it would have turned cancerous. Thank goodness I had it done Pre Covid. This last appt got delayed bc of the virus. I am looking forward to have all this behind me. Three procedures btwn Oct and June.

  21. I am a 61 year old male and had my first colonoscopy yesterday.

    Three days before the laxative prep day, I modified my diet, with smaller portions and only low fiber food.

    For the flush out day, as instructed I took four Ducolax at 10:AM; the Miralax mixed with Gatorade, at a rate of 8 ounces every 15 minutes until the 64 ounces was consumed. I did not find the taste problematic at all. I had no discomforts of any sort such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, etc.

    The laxative started working about 40 minutes after my first dose. I stayed close to the potty but there was never a sense of uncontrolled urgency. After about an hour and a half it was mostly just clear yellowish liquid. I continued to consume liquids every hour (tea, broth, Gatorade) until 10:PM. By the time I went to bed at 10:30, I was not passing anything.

    My appointment started at 5:30 the next morning. Pretty uneventful, they prepped me, took me to where the procedure was to be done, said ok we’re going to give you the good stuff now, next I knew I was in the recovery room, where they said the found and removed one small polyp. Not long after I was being helped into my ride home. No sensation of any kind of having been probed.

    I think taking a full few days of reducing and modifying my diet really helped with the laxative day.

    For someone contemplating a colonoscopy but nervous about it, I can tell you it needs to be done and with a well planned prep it can be pretty easy to get through.

  22. Im a 47 year old woman and just had my first colonoscopy and gastroscopy. the one question I could find an answer to was: how long after taking a split dose of Colyte will I be able to sleep? So i took 4 litres, 2 the night before and 2 the morning of the procedure. I started the dosing at 8:30pm, it took 2 hours and the pooping stopped an hour and a half after my last dose. I thought someone else might be looking for that answer.
    I cant remember the procedure. They gave me some kind of amnesia drug. To be honest, I would have preferred to remember since I was awake.
    The gastroscope didnt leave my throat sore. The only surprise (and very painful surprise) was that they “banded” two hemorrhoids that they found. If I had known it was going to hurt this much, I wouldn’t have had that done.
    The peace of mind I got from finding out I didn’t have cancer was worth all the prep and the procedure. Also… I didn’t hate the drink as much as everyone else. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Definitely better cold!
    I started pooping 45 minutes after I started drinking the prep solution. Definitely glad I brought baby wipes! I needed them.
    Ok. Those are my random thoughts. Don’t risk undetected cancer just because you are afraid. The drink isnt too bad, the pooping eventually ends and the procedure isn’t as bad as you think. It’s respectfully done and not as humiliating as I thought (maybe because I don’t remember). Hope that helps someone!

  23. this is the same procedure I used. Used Gatorade Zero Glacier Cherry which is actually white, not red. Actually tasted really good, even with the Miralax in it. The quantity bothered me more than the taste

  24. My appt is tomorrow morning at 9am. I’m in the middle of my first “dosing” with miralax right now. I picked up the sugar free Gatorade 2 “Glacier Cherry” flavor. It’s a white drink (surprisingly not cherry red). It actually tastes pretty good and the miralax seems almost like it isn’t there. Haven’t had to hit the pot yet, but I’m sure it’ll start soon. Definitely use the powder with some kind of Gatorade or Crystal Light. Makes things very easy.

  25. I’m a 60 year old man that went of my first colonoscopy last Tuesday.
    First, I followed my care givers instructions for preparation closely, but did reduce meal size sooner, and drank a lot more water than suggested (probably twice as much) because I was concerned about dehydration.
    When it was time to start the “fun” part of the preparation, I took two Dulcolax at the prescribed time and waited. In the meantime, I applied Desitin in the proper place (due to advice from this page).
    By 5:30 PM the Dulcalax was working in earnest, so I started drinking colyte ( chilled and mixed with two packets of Crystal light) at the rate of 8 oz every 15 minutes. I chugged (tasted like salty lemonade)as fast as possible then rinsed my mouth with water. It wasn’t unbearable and I didn’t mess with a straw.
    I never did get nauseous or cramps, so I repeated until I had downed 3 liters.
    Let’s just say that I couldn’t wander far from the facilities and thanks for the advice of using wet wipes… By 10:00 PM things had settled down, and by 11:00 PM, I was able to go to bed.
    I was up at 4:00 AM and chose to skip coffee and drink water (about a quart), and started on the second round of colyte at 5:00 AM using the same technique as the previous night. By 9:00 things settled down and I was able to shower and hit the road for my procedure shortly before 10:00. It takes about a half hour for the trip from home to the clinic and I had no surprises along the way. I do think the extra water helped.
    My experience at the clinic was anticlimactic; I was asked a series of questions pertinent to the upcoming procedure, and prepped. I recall being in the procedure room and talking with my doctor before things got started.
    After the nurse administered medication to my IV things got fuzzy….I don’t remember pain, severe discomfort or much of anything until waking up in recovery. The staff at my clinic were great.
    The bottom line (no pun intended) is this:
    I was very apprehensive about doing this and avoided it for a long time.
    I changed my mind when a slightly older sibling was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer about 6 months ago.
    While the at home preparation is inconvenient: it’s not the end of the world. If your Doctor recommends a colonoscopy……don’t put it off. It’s really nothing to fear.
    I was lucky they only found a couple of benign polyps.

  26. No mention of drugs to stop here, My doc now only says stop Iron supplements (including multivitamins) in 3 days before test. Other times I have been told not to take aspirin, other NSAID’s.

  27. Is there any recipes for meals for the 3rd and 2nd day prior to the procedure? I’m finding it hard to plan what meals to prep.

  28. Okay, so let me put a lot of you at ease. The one question I didn’t see was how long you continue to have bowel movements after taking prep drinks. First, I had to take Plenvu as the prep. It’s a two step process. My colonoscopy and endoscopy was at 8am this morning. The day before was a clear liquid diet only. It sucked not to eat but it is the rules. I’m a rule follower. At 5pm the day before my event, during the clear liquid diet day I took dose 1 of the Plenvu. You fill up a cup they give you with the powder and then water and mix. It taste HORRIBLE, like a salt drink with a nasty taste. You have 30 min to get it down. Then after that you drink 16oz of water. So, what happened for me after the first dose. Around 45 min later I had to use the restroom. It was anticlimactic to say the least. Then about every 15 min after I had to go again. It was doing it’s thing and I was fine. At 9pm I had to take the next dose. Two packets mixed with water. I did dread the taste but this second one was different and not as bad as the first. It also fizzled a bit. Again, around 45 min later the bathroom usage went up. To the point where I would stand up thinking it was over and have to sit back down. Aloe wipes helped in this situation. Yes, I had used the bathroom a lot with dose one but this was a game changer. I’m sure it’s different for everyone but after the 9pm dose I was hoping to sleep around 11pm. Not the case, I was able to sleep around 1:50am, it was tough. I checked in for my appointment at 7am and went under at 8am. I was awake by 9am feeling fine, just light headed. I did have 8 ounces of coffee at 5:30am 2 1/2 hours before the appointment. You are allowed clear liquids until 2 hours before your event. All in all, the prep was tiring but the colonoscopy and endoscopy has to be done. So, believe in yourself and go get it done. Life happens and sometimes you have to just deal with it. I went in for cramping pains in lower abdomen and the test did find the issue so we can move forward with treatment. What really made my event was the discovery and removal of a polyp. I’m 41 / male. That’s a win in my book.
    Good luck and stay positive.

  29. My father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colorectal cancer 2 years ago. He is still with us but it’s an ugly fight, I thank God he hasn’t quit and still finds the strength each and every day to continue to fight.
    Sadly, he never got a colonoscopy. He had many, many symptoms but out of fear of the news he never went, not until it was too late.
    I am having my first colonoscopy this Friday and while I am deeply dreading it, I’ve seen firsthand what this will do to a person.
    My father’s type of cancer is genetic which puts me at greater risk, will they find something? Will it be a “waste of time”?
    All I have to do is look at my dad and then look at my children and I know it’s better to be safe then sorry.
    There isn’t a point to this story, it’s just the ramblings of a nervous 42 year old who really doesn’t want to go thru this but knows what could be if he doesn’t……

  30. I was told to mix the Colyte with yellow or green Gatorade, so I mixed it with Kiwi-Strawberry, which is super clear green. I then poured it into the 32 oz Gatorade bottles and kept them into the fridge. Although, it wasn’t delicious, it wasn’t as horrible as so many have posted on here. Although, I’m only halfway through and the taste is becoming monotonous. I’m not thirsty and forcing myself to drink is difficult.

  31. My drink came in a powder form and I mixed it with Gatorade!!!! But hold on!! If you go to REI and buy the water bottle for outdoor survival it has the multi filters to filter anything out of bad water Or as I like to show you can put coke or Pepsi in it and it comes out clear!!! Well if you get one use it it removes the color out of the Gatorade but it still has its taste!!! It worked fine for me he’ll I’d do this all over again feels like wrestling camp!!! Lmao

  32. I was worried the “suprep” was not working. I took 3 ducolax after 3 hours of nothing. I also had an enema handy just in case. Well at 3.5 hours everything started to work. Needless to say I was happy I drank propel to stay hydrated when I started the prep. DO NOT STRAY far from the toilet. I thought I would rest a bit. WRONG. If you do feel like laying down be sure to put a water resistant pad on your sheet before you do. Also if you get cold like I did use a heating pad for my stomach. Another hint wear a pad when you go to the doctors and also take one to wear back home. The gas is still present and so is the water. Everything was clear in the morning and the doctor said he could see a tiny polyp way up. If I did not cleanse out so well he would have never seen it.

  33. If you can mix the awful tasting, expensive colon cleasne drink with gatorade why wouldn’t a dr. office tell you? Why wouldn’t they tell patients they can drink pediolite for the electrolytes? why wouldn’t they tell you to start earlier in the day so you can relax and sleep after the big unwind/out pour is over? Doing it at 6pm just to repet it at 3AM is ridiculous as you would never make the trip to the hospital without depends! Instead, I followed the Moviprep box instructions of doing the drink doses 2 hours apart, rather than waking up at 3 AM as the dr. office scheduler wrote down for an 8 am procedure. Just seems the dr. office assistants should be more thoughtful to tell all of easier ways to do this expensive, gross tasting drink. Wait until they have to do it, and they will know what it is all about.

  34. I am scheduled Tomorrow at 8 am. I ate very little yesterday and took 1 Overnight Ducolax. Today I started drinking the Miralax/lemonade mix at 2pm and at 4 was vomiting Everything up I had just consumed! No way I can down any more of that mix! I just took another Ducolax and I’m taking another in an hour. I haVe nothing but liquids today – and yesterday was light and for the previous week – low fiber diet. Think I’ll be okay? I can’t imagine drinking the prep again – makes me nauseated just thinking of it! Think this is enough prep for tomorrow??

  35. I see lots of people complaining about the taste and I want to remind you of an old childhood trick that works great.
    Have a glass of water at the ready first of all. Then grab the prep drink in one hand, take a deep breath, hold your nose with the other hand and then chug the drink. Breathe through your mouth if you have but don’t let go of your nose. When finished with the prep, drink the water or whatever allowed drink you want until you clear the taste from your mouth. Not a big deal.
    Hope this helps.

  36. Colonoscopy tomorrow afternoon. I took my last Dulcolax at 9 p.m.. My last bathroom trip was at 10:45 p.m.. How late should I expect to be up tonight?

  37. It’s Halloween night and just finished my prep. First time never having candy on Halloween! Ha ha My first colonoscopy is tomorrow morning at 8am. The prep went better than I expected and I want to share my approach in case it’s helpful to anyone.
    I was very nervous about the prep because my hemorrhoidal tissue is easily irritated and often I deal with external hemorrhoids, including thrombosed ones. So I decided to start my liquid diet three days early in hopes of there not being much in my colon to deal with during the prep. My prep happened between 2pm and midnight. Mag citrate at 2pm, lots of liquids, then 4 senna tablets that I crushed up and added to Powerade zero; then lots of liquids, at 7 pm I took 4 dulcolax pills that I crushed up and added to protein enhanced water. Also had bone broth for some of my liquid throughout prep. I consumed upwards of 175 ounces of clear liquid during that time. I slathered on Desitin diaper rash barrier cream to shield tender skin from moisture and it helped tremendously. Also did a couple of warm water sitz baths to keep area clean. My strategy worked in that the entire prep was very manageable and my hemorrhoidal tissue isn’t angry. Just a little annoyed. Not eating solid foods for three days wasn’t the end of the world. I hope this info is helpful to someone.

    1. Hi Lisa, So glad to hear that your strategy worked and the prep was manageable! Did you get to enjoy some Halloween candy after your colonoscopy? 🙂 I hope it all went well – thank you for sharing your experience!

  38. My gastrointestinal dr. has me on a 2 day prep. 1st day Monday- light breakfast then 2 entire bottles of magnesium citrate at separate times, liquid diet until colonoscopy on Wednesday afternoon at 3:15 pm. I got thru the first day okay but today is the second and I am really struggling! Emotionally and mentally, so I am guilty I gave in and had 2 small bites of a Reese’s peanut butter cup around 4:15 pm. I have taken my linzess 290 and 1 hour later a Senokot, hopefully to correct my guilty mistake. At 8 pm I am scheduled for the SuPrep and then again at 6 am the day of the procedure. Does anyone know if I have permanently messed up my prep by eating the 2 small bites of chocolate with peanut butter? Now I’m so worried about it!

    1. Wow! My doc has me take 3 Dulcalax pills 2 evenings before test. Clear liquids all day the day before test and 1 10 oz bottle of Citrate of Magnesium. Easiest prep ever. Have a colostomy bag after rectal cancer. My doc is a colo-rectal surgeon. I understand why you had a rough time. Hope everything turned out OK

  39. My gastrointestinal dr. has me on a 2 day prep. 1st day Monday- light breakfast then 2 entire bottles of magnesium citrate at separate times, liquid diet until colonoscopy on Wednesday afternoon at 3:15 pm. I got thru the first day okay but today is the second and I am really struggling! Emotionally and mentally, so I am guilty I gave in and had 2 small bites of a Reese’s peanut butter cup around 4:15 pm. I have taken my linzess 290 and 1 hour later a Senokot, hopefully to correct my guilty mistake. At 8 pm I am scheduled for the SuPrep and then again at 6 am the day of the procedure. Does anyone know if I have permanently messed up my prep by eating the 2 small bites of chocolate with peanut butter? Now I’m so worried about it!

  40. Colonoscopy prep is dreadful… but the alternative is so much worse! My grandma died of colon cancer and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Now my mom has to get screened every two years to check for a possible growth, and I know I will have to in the future as well. It’s even worse because colon cancer usually shows no symptoms until it’s too late. Keep in mind that it’s important to continue with a good diet before and after the colonoscopy! Not really the gummy bears, but definitely lighter food and probiotics to help your gut bacteria grow.

  41. Well I had my first colonoscopy and endoscopy in 2016. I was just 20 years old. Man that prep was the nastiest thing I had ever tasted. Once I got done pooping my brains out. It was happy happy fun time with those scopes. I asked if they used the same one for both ends. I thought it was a valid question to ask. Honestly I didn’t care if they did use it for both as long as they used it on my upper first. Then they told me that they use separate ones. I sighed in relief. Fast forward post procedure they told me the took off 8 polyps and one was precancerous. That was so scary to hear at my age. I’m grateful I got it done. Now I have to get it done every 3 years. On a final note I was gassy for days.

  42. I am having my test today at noon. The last time I took the prep which was 12 years ago I was so sick I just vomited my guts out for hours. I had to cancel the test. The doctor then gave me 90 pills and liquid diet for 3 days and I turned blue!! This time with Moviprep I am ok. I took my last dose around 730am and hoping Im cleaned out in time for my noon appt. I know one thing the clean out is not as bad as what it use to be..

    1. I was Scheduled to get my colonoscopy tomorrow,I took the prep which is called GOLYTELY or stuff I’ve ever tasted in my life on top of six stool softeners with no results. Now on my way to emergency room to see why I haven’t had a bowel movement. I had a gastric bypass many years ago and my poor tummy isn’t feeling too good right now I also had one polyp years ago so know how important it is. Wish me luck on my way to emergency room now. Hopefully I will get something better to take next time pills would be very good thank you for letting me know what you took and how much better that was,????????

  43. Hi all!

    Having my first colonoscopy and endoscopy at the same time on Friday! Eek!

    I’ve been told to drink a 10oz bottle of clear magnesium citrate tonight (Wednesday) but that I can eat a light breakfast tomorrow morning (Thursday) before 9am. Then, the clear liquid diet begins. Thursday night it’s 1 pouch of Prepopik followed by another one 6am Friday. The procedure’s at 1pm so I imagine that will be my last drink.

    Question: From reading about all the different ways to prep, it seems like overkill to do both the magnesium citrate AND the Prepopik? Is it not counter-intuitive to take Magnesium Citrate tonight and then eat in the morning before starting my fast?

    I get needing to be 100% empty but is it necessary to do both??????

    Thank you for your insight!

  44. I didn’t pay close attention to the prep instructions and took 4 ducalax tablets at 3pm with Miralax and Gatorade, and then took Miralax and Gatorade at 6pm before I realized I had nothing to take for the 2 am prep. What do I do. The colonoscopy is scheduled for 8 am

  45. Don’t worry about the prep or the procedure. Just do it. It’s much better than the alternative. I miss my dad who passed from CA of the colon. Had my 5th colonoscopy this morning and it’s over and done with. The best half hour of sleep ever.
    I’ve prepped with Golytely (don’t know who named it), half lightly with Ducolax and the past 2 times with newer prep called Suprep which is the way to go(pun). I stocked up on low sodium chicken broth, jello, white grape juice, bottled water Gatorade etc
    The suprep is 2 stages one at 5pm and the 2nd at 1:30am for a 7:30am procedure. I chilled the prep in the refrig added the required 16 oz water along with a packet of Crystal Lite and drank it through a straw followed by 2x 16oz bottles of water within an hour.
    It was much more palatable. Can’t compare to the unflavored and cherry flavored old fashioned Golytely.
    I was allowed the clear fluids and jello between the 2 preps but none after the 2nd dose. I was required to stop the 81mg aspirin 5 days ago, the metformin for Type 2 diabetes But was allowed to take my BP med with a small sip of water. I do have a great GI Doc.
    Hey your also going to loose a few pounds! Ha! Had a wonderful breakfast afterwards. You owe it to yourself and your family.

    1. Thank you for information I will ask for Suprep as couldn’t get my test today after taking half my prep and 6 stool softener still haven’t had bowel movement that Golytely was awful. On way to emergency room.????????

  46. I am having my colonoscopy Tuesday. The precibed prep costs $100!! I’m on disability and can’t afford that! I wonder if my doctor can give me another option. I was shocked at the cost. SUPREP is what they had prescribed. Mercy!!

  47. Wondering about the FMS patient. I’m having an ECD and Colonoscopy the same day. Did you suffer a flare or any other Fibromyalgia problems after your test? We have enough pain and exhaustion without added complications.
    ((Gentle hugs))

  48. Thanks for that, really appreciate the information! Makes me feel better about sitting on the toilet for the past hour!

  49. How long does it take for a cleansing flow begin after drinking fluid prep Been 45 minutes and no movement at all !

  50. Hi Jody
    I hope it went ok! I could have written what you wrote. I’m going tomorrow and my biggest fear is the propofol. I’m very drug sensitive too and have CFS/ME/FIBRO and Chronic Lyme.

  51. The worst part of the colonoscopy is this detestable drink. You would think someone would have made it on strawberry or blueberry flavors. The actual procedure itself, is ez breezy. You do not feel a thing. Best wishes! Here’s to a happy, clean colon

  52. Drink clear magnesium citrate all are once. It’s ok at room temperature. It’s sorta light salty lemonade with a slight fizz. Not terrible. Can drink water afterwards. Then prepare for a nice long potty break.

  53. I have my first in 4 days at 12:15. I was supposed to 3 yrs ago at age 50, but the surgeon canceled and I never rescheduled, then had the at-home kit test 2 yrs ago. I don’t have an issue with the cleanse as I’ll actually like having to do it. My biggest concern is the anaesthesia. I don’t do well with medications even at a low level. I have ME/CFIDS/FMS. I’ve had POTS symptoms and issues for 15 years. I fear heart or blood pressure issues while under anaesthesia. I had a breast reduction 3 yrs ago and did ok with it but I still fear it. Should I request what one person did, with a mild sedation where you’re still conscious some?

    1. No one seems to answer questions on this site, but here goes …

      Just wondering how it all went for you last year, Jody. I’ve got most of the health issues you described plus a few others, and I have many of the concerns you shared. I have an endoscopy/ colonoscopy combo scheduled in a couple weeks and am obsessing about the potential for problems and/or flares. Any advice?

  54. The cleanse I used 9 months ago did not completely clean me out. I am having a repeat tomorrow. I am on clear liquids today and tomorrow, start prep tomorrow at 4pm, then finish the prep at 10pm with procedure at 7am. The doctor told me to use magnesium citrate tonight though. I have the 10 oz bottle. Do I drink this all at once? Can I drink gatorade after?

  55. Really? The diet is only for one day of your life! Compare the “harm” you feel juice, kool-aid, etc. will do to your body, and compare it to cancer gone undetected? Should be a no brainer!

  56. I’m 48 and had my first colonoscopy yesterday. Have a history of colon cancer in my family so my PCP suggested I get one asap. Endured significant anxiety in the days leading up to the procedure. Needless to say it was completely painless. Got myself all worked up for nothing.

    As far as the prep goes, my doctor prescribed Prepopik. It’s a dual dose solution that you drink the night before and the morning of your colonoscopy (timing of the dose depends if your scheduled for morning of afternoon).

    It was an orange flavored powder that you mix with 5oz of cold water. Follow that up with five 8oz cups of water that you drink at your own pace over the next few hours.

    It was easy to drink and worked fast. Highly recommend this approach.

    Thanks

  57. I’m having my colon exam February 9, 2018, on my birthday. The drinking part for me is the worse part, I’ve drink 3 cups of 16 ozs, and my colon is cleaned out, it’s running water now, I would recommend not drink pepsi with it. It taste nasty. I’m eaten orange popsicles only. The nurse and doctors DOESN’T hurt none of there patients. Stop with that. They treat you with respect.

  58. Thank you for the insight. I am prepping now with a similar procedure & scheduled for one in the late A.M. tomorrow. This has put my mind at ease.

  59. My mom is prepping for colonoscopy tomorrow. She drank half the laxative ending around 6pm. So far she is only voiding water not diarrhea. Does that sound normal? Everything I read says prepare for massive diarrhea voiding. Thank you

  60. Thank you for the suggestion. It sounds most helpful. My husband went for an emergency appendectomy which was supposed to be an outpatient procedure, and ended up staying 9 days in the hospital because they had to remove about 4 inches of his colon. It was cancer. Dr. asked if I ever had a colonoscopy. I have not, and he said it was the MOST PREVENTABLE cancer and I should have on. I have an appointment Tuesday, and this site has been helpful in finding out what to expect. Years ago, my cousin had one and was traumatized so much that I chickened out. I am in my early 70’s. First time for everything, I guess. I’m pretty scared, especially for my husband of 52 years and myself.

  61. Assaulted?? I work in a colonoscopy department and I say this with concern for you. Please see someone for your irrational thoughts of being assaulted with a colonoscope. You are right about people dying from the anesthetic and unknown health conditions…but the team of Drs and nurses do not assault people!

    1. Thank you for your comments and I’m sure that most medical personal are kind and caring people. But they can also become somewhat desensitized to procedures (such as colonoscopy) that they routinely perform. Comes with the territory and allows them to perform their work efficiently. And I understand that “assault” is a loaded word. However, imo, it is not “irrational” for a person about to undergo colonoscopy to feel concern about a “foreign object” being introduced deep into their body. If the procedure is done with their full consent, without undue pressure and with them having a clear understanding of the benefits, side effects and potential risks, the patient will be less likely to perceive the process as an assault.

  62. You want to talk about wiping out intestinal flora & fauna? Try taking a handful of antibiotic before a twice yearly dental exam. A precaution I must take because of my having had hip replacement a couple of years ago.

  63. I hope the Golitely I’m taking works for today’s colonoscopy. The SuPrep I took last time, not very diligently, did not work. I have a bidet, and believe me, this has made this Pre-process amazingly comfortable.

  64. I just realized on the day before I woiuld need to avoid any solid foods and to stick with a clear liquid diet. So far I’ve only had water and gum, does anyone know if its ok to chew gum? My appointment is tomorrow at 1:30pm and I’m already dreaming of and missing food. Help!

  65. I’ve had many scopes. Polyp growth on almost every one of them. Great process for preventing colon cancer. The process is no big deal. But the prep sucks. I have such a hard time drinking that Miralax concoction. Nausea, bloating, I end up with a few dry heaves. But eventually, the action kicks in, and I wear out the floor enroute to the library. When the inspection is complete, the nurse brings some crackers and coffee. Then we head to Stan’s diner for some French toast and bacon.

  66. I’ve had At least 5-6 colonoscopies . In 2010 the first one discovered the cancer,2weeks later I had surgery then chemo which left me with neuropathy, no balance,I walk like a drunken duck! A nurse advised keeping the prep in the fridge in a large jug.Ipour it glass ,put cling film over it ,make a hole and drink it through a straw!Still not nice but I can drink it! Don’t know why they can’t make it easier to drinkI had the last one In Nov I7

  67. Thanks for the tips! At age 54, I am getting my first coloscopy this week. I have a family history of cancer, but those who suffered from it also suffered from stomach problems forever before they were screened and diagnosed. I don’t have stomach issues so I think I will be in the clear. One thing I noticed is that everyone I know who has had a colonoscopy tells horror stories about the prep and sometimes the procedure. Now, when I finally have the resolve to have one, all those people shrug and say “Oh, no big deal” and “Can you work an extra shift the night before? You’ll be fine.” !?!?!

  68. Jane, I am actually having a hard time sleeping I am so upset about this. I am not a weak, fragile female. My husband is confused as to why I am so traumatized by the thought of doing this test because he knows how strong I am. But I have zero trust in the medical profession. I went to the hospital in April with chest pains and spent 3 days there getting a heart scan and heart cath all because of an incompetent doctor who gave a false positive on a stress test. (They must not have been making budget and needed to shove through some more expensive tests).
    Doctors act like a colonoscopy is no big deal but they are wrong. Anytime you introduce foreign objects into your body you risk infection and injury. Thousands of people die or are injured by this test every year – I have read stats as high as one in every thousand people die – I made a deal with my doctor. I will let her do these tests this one time but when they come back clean she is not to ask again in 10 years. And no men in the room. Bad enough I have to be unclothed and unconscious. I’m not leaving myself open to being assaulted too.

  69. I have a colonoscopy scheduled for Jan 11 and I am scared and angry about it. I HATE giving up control of my body to a doctor. They tell me the colonoscopy is a great cancer screening tool and then present me with a list of cancer causing pseudo foods to poison myself with two days prior. The nurse acted like I was an idiot when I told her that I don’t drink juice, soda or koolaid and I needed a better solution. She suggested gatoraide which is just another version of koolaid. ugh..I eat a 90% clean diet,organic, no chemicals, certainly no excess sugar. the diet they are suggesting encourages yeast infections, high blood sugar and kidney damage. I’m not sure I can subsist on a diet of mineral water and chicken broth for two days.
    I’m also worried about kidney damage, destroying my intestinal flora, secondary infections from a scope that cannot be properly disinfected, punctures to my colon and being so weak and sick afterwards that it takes weeks to recover.
    I don’t know that I can knowingly damage a body I work so hard to keep healthy. Why aren’t doctors taught proper nutrition in school? Why are they so beholden to big pharma that cares nothing for health and sees only profit in keeping us sick?

    1. Dawn, thanks for sharing that perspective with us it’s great insight into how some feel about this procedure! We did want to make sure you knew there might be at-home options like a FIT test or stool DNA that wouldn’t require the bowel prep or any diet modifications, might ask your doctor’s office if that’s an option for you!

    2. I’m very glad I happened across your comment. I’m not in great shape right onw, either physically nor emotionally, and there would be no one to attend to me, or help me keep my perspective, either before or after ANY procedure. I also agree that it is absurd to advise ingesting toxic substances as part of this procedure. It also doesn’t help that even the most benign of physician visits has turned into a nightmare of incompetencies that cause so much stress I’ve developed sudden hypertension. Guess that means no colonoscopy for me. I just wish I didn’t feel like I’m making excuses and being some sort of femme fatale, (I never used to be so fragile), but that’s where things stand. It is also not that minor a procedure.

  70. I am midst of trying to get the movie prep down. It makes me gag even tho dr gave me phenegren. But BM have already started and I am behind on drinking the prep. I wonder if I even need it all. I ate very light for 2 days before.

  71. I just had my colonoscopy and it was seamless….I ate lightly 2 days going into the prep, lowered my calories.. I did a leading dose of bisacodyl at 3:00 pm, the day before the procedure. then Miralix in Gatorade at 6 and 4:30 am..It worked, I was not happy getting up at night to go potty, but I was totally cleaned out by the procedure..I got good new, an all clean, she removed on small polyp and I was completely knocked out. I thought they hadn’t started when I woke up and was blown away when the nurse said we’re all done.. (I want some of the that drug to take home!!) I am so relieved, colon cancer runs in my family and with a mother and sister having it, I want to be sure nothing bad is lurking in my body.

  72. I am 25 and having my first colonoscopy. I’ve heard nothing but horror stories from my family, and I have really bad anxiety without their help. Thanks so much for the tips!

  73. I’m litterly scared this is my first colonoscopy I’m about to be 50 in March I hear the prep is horroable but there are stuff to sooth u help me here I need all the advice I can get but keep in mind I have several health conditions to take in I don’t need to get nauseadded I get nausea on the regular so what u guys got to tell me an my birthday is March 3rd an I just decided to get this crap over with didn want to wait till bday my colonoscopy is dec14

  74. Here is what helped me with the gallon of drink. DO NOT put flavoring in mix. Instead pour it in your glass and mix in Crystal light Lemonade until you like the taste, easy to drink. Between drinks, suck on a banana popsicle. I don’t know why banana, but trust me. These were tips given to my by the nurse in the office from what she has collected for patients–trust me, makes a big difference.

  75. Thank you so much for all your tips. Am having my second colonoscopy this pm. Am concerned, because they removed several polyps last time, and one was pre-cancerous and embedded in colon wall. But hey, that’s why we do it. The thing that helps me not get sore is that I apply a generous amount of butt paste (for babies) before I start to drink the liquid.

  76. I do not recommend magnesium citrate at all (the sparkling laxative!) It is not safe for those with renal issues and can mess up your electrolytes. It is an old medication rarely used any more for those reasons. It is not recommended by the medical profession. If your MD recommends it, get a new doctor. Barbara, RN

  77. I am to have my colonoscopy done on Friday. This will be my fourth one. The prep drink is awful because I start to vomit sooooo Between the required glasses of the gallon of prep, I gargle a bit of strong mouthwash to clear out the yucky taste–it really works. Spit it out of course. Sucking on a lemon between the glasses of prep sounds good, too. Although thie procedure is NOT
    fun, I am sad thinking of my 56 year old nephew jusr diagnosed with advanced colon cancer who never had a colonoscopy.

    1. Hope all went well, Tommie. Great tips thank you. Please let your nephew know about us & our free resources!

  78. Thanks for the detailed comment. I did not even think of getting depends! That would be a huge relief just in case. Two days away from my first colonoscopy. Wish I would have read the material a week ago. Of course I had popcorn and chocolate covered peanuts last night.

  79. I’ve had 4 colonoscopies over the years and this is what works for me in terms of the prep. This doesn’t mean it will work for you and you should talk to your GI doc. First of all, I cannot stomach the large quantities of the typical preps and I hate having to hang out at the toilet alll day long. I do eat lightly 2 days before the exam and I do a clear liquid diet the day before. I drink 2 bottles of Magnesium citrate on the day before, one in early morning and the other in early afternoon. Then I do the rest of the prep, using large volume saline enemas (NOT the fleet enemas). By large volume, I mean 2-2.5 quarts. It’s important that the water reaches the far end of the large intestine and that requires a large volume. I typically take 2 of these enemas in the early evening. If I have a late morning or early afternoon appointment, I also take one more so that it is finished 2 hours before my appointment. I was only able to do this once and the doc remarked on how clean I was. Again, this may not work for you, but it works for me – no nausea and no waiting around the toilet all day.

  80. Thanks for the quick reply… I am currently putting down the miralax and may take ya up on the phone number! Im totally bugged out about a second test, but I know if I dont get it done it will be a bad thing. I just keep having flashbacks of the 6 week hospital stay and 9 operations I went through the end of last year! I know my insurance company was not happy with the 1.2 mill they put out to keep me alive!

    Short version of why I am so worried.. due to the perforation I ended up getting 3 different flesh eating viruses and spent 6+ months recovering from it. Needless to say I’m a bit nervous as I dont really want a repeat..

  81. Has anyone else ever gotten perforated by colonoscopy? I had one a year ago and woke up the day after in a 3′ pool of blood on my bed. I spent 4 days in the hospital then had some major medical issues directly after that some people are saying was caused by the perforation in my colon. My new gi doc is aware of the previous issues and told me its a 1 in 4000 odds of having it happen followed by a 1 in millions with the rest.
    I go in tomorrow and I’m freaking out big time right now I have 2 hrs before start the day before procedures and know the chances of getting a reply today is slim to none!

    1. Hey Robert, we have heard of this happening to other patients, although it is not the most common story following a colonoscopy we hear. We’re glad you found a GI doc you’re comfortable with, there are many teams working to provide outstanding care to their patients. We’re sorry to hear this was an experience for you and we hope tomorrow’s procedure and experience is much more positive! If you need to speak with someone, our toll-free line has live counselors on the line who may be able to help. 877-427-2111.

  82. I loved the prep! Seriously! The only thing that seems different about me is I also like citric acid candy, like the old Fizzers. I had lemon ice cold and I easily could have kept drinking it. It’s so sad that that was one reason I put off having a colonoscopy.

  83. My Colonoscopy Experience:

    AI avoided headache and drinking all that nasty prep beverage!

    I didn’t do everything they told me to do and all went swimmingly anyways. But of course, what worked for me may not work for everyone.

    I am 36 year old female, 130 lbs, don’t typically eat large meals, have regular bowel movements one a day if I maintain proper fiber in my diet.
    – 2 days before: just snacking most of the day. No major adjustment; that’s how I eat.
    – 1 day before: Clear fluids: plain tea, apple juice, water, chicken broth *BM normal –started getting a headache by noon so I took 400mg ibuprofen and electrolyte tablet in water, headache gone in 30 mins–
    – *2pm BM normal (the double BMs might be because I was getting a little nervous about taking the laxatives – nerves are my natural laxative)
    – 3pm took 4 Bisocodyl tablets followed by 1 Litre of watered down Gatorade and then beef broth
    – By 4pm, I was actually feeling full. *BM loose
    – 5pm suppose to drink 4 litres of Peglyte (1 glass every 10 minutes) YEAH RIGHT! I put ice in it but after two glasses, there was no way I could down anymore. I had to take breaks and sip. For me, it wasn’t so much the taste as it was just feeling too full to drink anymore of anything. I have acid reflux to boot so it wanted to come up. But I wasn’t going to force myself. And it turns out I wouldn’t have to.
    – 7:30pm and I finished only 1/3 of Peglyte, but after *5 BMs, my stool was already liquid and yellow (Use Vaseline if you’re anus is sore, or have shallow bath; I was fine just being gentle and using wet cleaning cloths.)
    – About 4 more small runs to the washroom (all yellow and rushes out like pee), some water, Gatorade and beef broth (to compensate for giving up on the Peglyte) and in bed by 10pm — a slight bit of heartburn made it difficult to sleep at first but I got there.

    8am procedure: opted for full anesthetic. Came out fuzzy but no pain or nausea. Needed to pass all the air gas they put in me. That was the only uncomfortable moment.

  84. This prep is one that has been modified a bit over the years but works really well and is far less difficult to tolerate than the (IMO) antiquated Golytely and Magnesium Citrate type preps.

    I am about to go in for my 9th colonoscopy since 2000 having found a small cancerous polyp and had it removed by colon resection back in 2002. My first colonoscopy prep was recommended to me by a very nice lady I met on an IBS friends board on the internet. She found that eating a light, lower residue meal the night before prep day and taking two dulcolax tablets that same night at 10PM was a good start of the prep. The then next day you went on a clear liquid diet, took 2 more Dulcolax at 10 AM, slammed liquids all day and took two more Dulcolax at 4pm with nothing else by mouth after midnight. This worked well for me.

    However, my gastro doc wanted more…so she modified the prep for subsequent procedures to taking 2 Dulcolax at 12 noon, drinking 64 oz of Gatorade mixed with the huge 238 mg bottle of Miralax in close intervals until its gone… plus two more Dulcolax at 4pm and nothing after midnight. This also worked well though for me I have a rough time drinking that much liquid of any kind, much less in a limited amount of time.
    Now, for this upcoming prep, she has me taking 4 Dulcolax at12 Noon, and at 1PM start drinking that same volume of Gatorade/Miralax mix (8 oz every 30-45 minutes), and then 4 more frigging Dulcolax at 4PM, nothing after midnight. I am a bit skeptical about being able to tolerate this level of Bisacodyl as well that much Polyethylene Glycol. I think I might just do “the best I can” with it and let it go at that. After 8 previous colonoscopies, I’ve pretty much learned that they tend to overkill the prep a bit, which I can understand….but even if you don’t toe the line on the instructions, you’re going to come out clean enough to get a good procedure.

  85. This is my 3rd colonoscopy, you don’t feel anything. Some people sleep when they give them their medicine , i was awake and watched it on the screen what they were doing. the last one i kept dosing on and off. i am having my 3rd one on October 10 2017. They are checking for polyps and seeing what causes my lower stomach to hurt.

  86. The best advice I give family and friends during the prep stage is to apply Desitin or Boudreaux’s Butt Paste to the “area” prior to beginning prep and to reapply several times. Also, use soft TP and after the first few “explosions “, pat clean instead of wiping.

  87. I have an upcoming colonoscopy. My “first” colonoscopy ended up having to be done 3 times because the preparations would not cleanse me completely. The 2nd time/no go (pun not intended); when I woke up the dr said he had just ordered another gallon and that he would try a 3rd time later in the afternoon. As you can imagine, I don’t want to go through this again. I seem to have a very slow metabolism and this time I’ve been given 2 moviprep solutions. The instructions say to start at 6pm (should end the first solution by 7:30pm). My question is I’m not sure how much time I should give between one solution and the second one. Recently, I had diarrhea and had blood (from either a hemorrhoid or an anal fissure). I’m afraid that so many solutions will cause the anal fissure to start bleeding again. Any suggestions or thoughts? I’m to the point of cancelling because I’m so scared. I have an auto immune disease that wipes me with these types of procedures. Thank you.

  88. I have scope scheduled for the 26th. Prescribed OsmoPrep. This is new to me. The last time I had the 4 liter jug and started vomiting just part way in. Not fun. I hope this works better but was told to “keep a glass of liquid in your hand at all times the day prior”. Has anyone used this? Suggestions?
    Thanks

  89. Can someone answer this question. I followed the prep instructions using a gallon of gavilyte/golytlely. I drank the 1st half in about two hours this evening. I went about four or five times it was loose. The last bowel movement occured three hours after the start of the drink. It was brown. I have to do the other half late tonight. Is it normal that so far, this evening, the bm is not clear? Should it have already been clear? It’s still brown . I followed the dietary instructions all day. No solid food, nothing red or blue no dairy.

  90. thank you for sharing!!!!i was stressed because in the past i used HalfLIghtly prep where i did that the morning before the procedure and did not have to do it a second time later..i liked that one but guess it has been discontinued..so now this time will have to use one of the new ones..I have a hard time with change:) this will be my 4th colonoscopy..used the phosopho soda one the first time and then the HalfLIghtly twice..(i wonder if there is something out there that iworks like the Halflightly..got to do what gotto do..thanks all

  91. My boyfriend is having stomach issues. Nor sure what yet. He’s doing the colon prep. But he’s in big pain and he has thrown up. He has done half of the prep and he’s not going like he should. In fact, he’s hardly gone.at all. My question is, should he contenues the prep and just deal with the agonizing pain? He has a Dr. but doesn’t want to call him. He has the nausea pills and he did take one. But his pain is intense. Should he contenue?

    1. Hi Laura, this is a good question for his doctor. It can be hard to call, but best to work alongside the professionals who can help understand what’s happening.

  92. Wanted to weigh in here as I had my first colonoscopy yesterday. Can I just say I don’t know what the big deal is with people? I lost a cousin to colon cancer at 36, leaving behind 2 toddlers and seeing that… well I decided to go at 51 years old.

    Any Moms out there – compared to childbirth this is a walk in the park. I thought I did something wrong because I kept waiting for some violent explosion or something but God’s honest truth having the Norovirus was 50 x’s worse than this colon prep. Seriously – Diarrhea – Yes, but not out of the ordinary. I read all the tips. I think the reason it was so easy was a few days before I changed my diet. It was scheduled for Wednesday 6:30am. Saturday before had Chinese with chicken, veggies, white rice. Stayed away from whole grains and nuts/fiber. Sunday I again just ate light, cheese pizza. Monday, white rice for breakfast, mashed potatoes for lunch, tuna sandwich for dinner. Prep day, coffee, tea, clear gummi bears at work. Started my prep at 4:30pm. Set up in the bathroom with laptop, radio, applied diaper rash cream, baby wipes. An hour later movement. But it was no big deal – again, nothing as violent like norovirus was. Drinking the lemon-lime prep – I did refrigerate in morning. Drank in big gulps with straw toward back of throat. Sucked on a lime in between. Was done in no time. Salty lemonade was the taste but not enough to make me vomit or anything. I wasn’t “rushing” into the bathroom either. I got a pkg of depends and wore them under a sundress just for piece of mind and ease off/on. Drank the rest of prep at 10:30pm. Was done at 11:30pm. My elimination looked like chicken broth at that point.

    With my depends on placed a towel on the bed just in case and went to bed. Woke up later just because I was thirsty/dehydrated but no big deal. Wore depends in car (did not need though). Got to hospital, twilight sedation – don’t remember a thing. They removed 3 polyps so awaiting pathology. Definitely glad I had a driver, was a little more groggy than I thought I would be. Hubby took me to breakfast, got home and took a nice nap. Piece of Cake. Don’t be scared of this. People need to read the directions and prep correctly. Also did learn that I could have asked for the prep where you only drink like 2-12oz bottles of a different prep and then sub in your own drinks in between. She said they automatically just give the gallon prep stuff because it is cheap for insurance ($5) and they know all insurances will pay for that one. But I know I’d rather just pay extra on my own and drink less next time. No big deal though.

    1. Great to hear you had such a positive experience and the tips for how you got ready days before. Thanks for sharing!

  93. How did this prep work for you? My prescription is 89.00 and do not want to pay this! Having colonoscopy on Friday

    1. Hey Lindsey, one option is to work with the office and see if there’s any over-the-counter prep alternatives they can suggest, or any coupons or samples they can offer to help you get the prep you need.

  94. I took Movi-Prep the night before, sipping it slowly as instructed, using a straw.
    After two hours I vomited it all up. Mild diarrhoea next morning, but then told by hospital they were cancelling my appointment as the prep hadn’t worked.
    Dreading the next time. Does anyone have any advice?

    1. Hey Val, there should be other prep options… I would ask your GI clinic. Some require prescription and costs vary, but you do have options when it comes to prep.

  95. Clear broth, chicken or beef is very satisfying. It makes me feel so much better than using only the sweet options.

  96. You know you gotta do what you gotta do and this is the way my doctor prescribes the prep that I feel is really the way to go….literally! It’s easy to get down and the finish time is early enough to get a good night’s rest before the colonoscopy.

    YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING:
    *PLEASE NOTE*- No prescription is required. These items are all sold over the counter.
    You do not have to purchase the name brand, Generic works just as well.
    4 DULCOLAX tablets. (LAXATIVE NOT STOOL SOFTENER). Generic name is Bisacodyl.
    64 oz. of Gatorade or Powerade (CANNOT BE RED IN COLOR OR CONTAIN RED DYE).
    238 Gram bottle of Miralax (14 day supply). Generic name is Glycolax.
    You will need to mix your Miralax powder with your Gatorade or Powerade.
    *Please do NOT mix your solution more than 24 hours before you are going to start drinking it.*
    Before putting the Miralax powder into the bottle, you will need to pour a small amount of the liquid out to prevent it from overflowing.
    Mix the entire bottle (238 grams) of the Miralax powder with the Gatorade or Powerade.
    Refrigerate the mixed solution.
    DAY BEFORE THE PROCEDURE:
    At 4:00 pm, Take 4 DULCOLAX tablets by mouth.
    At 6:00 pm, Drink ONE 8 (eight) ounce GLASS OF THE MIRALAX/GATORADE SOLUTION MIXTURE every 15 minutes until half of the solution mixture is gone. (This should be 4, 8 oz glasses)
    At 8:00 pm, Drink ONE 8 (eight) ounce GLASS OF THE MIRALAX/GATORADE SOLUTION MIXTURE every 15 minutes until you have finished the remainder of the 64 oz. mixture. (This should be 4, 8 oz glasses)

  97. I find that if a take some of the prep then suck on a Lemon right after don’t get the seeds .It helps me so much ! Had a polyp as big as a grapefruit in my stomach at 27 . Surgery removed it. After removing my whole stomach . Now me and my two daughters have to get our colon checked often. I of my daughter ‘s had 80 polyps in her colon at the age of 16. Both daughters are doing awesome now . We all have no stomach. My other daughter has no stomach and just a little bit of her colon. We eat everything we want r doing great. But can’t wait for the day they get a better tasting prep . But the Lemon ???? helps so much!!

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