ToiletPapericon-colonpreptips

Prep – it’s one of the most dreaded steps involved in getting screened for colorectal cancer via colonoscopy. There’s a lot of reasons why. The prep drink tastes salty to some. Few enjoy a mad dash to the toilet. Plus, there’s several prep options to do and it can get confusing when GIs differ on which prep is best.

While teams are working on how to improve and better colonoscopy prep, the simple fact remains:  your entire colon needs cleaned out before this test. There’s no getting around that. (You do have other screening options, by the way, that do not require this entire colon cleanse.) But for a colonoscopy, everything has got to go. Literally.

Tips to Endure “Prep Night”

If you’ve chosen to undergo a colonoscopy for your colorectal cancer screening, we’re here to help. We polled some of our top volunteers – many of whom receive colonoscopies very frequently because of their personal cancer history or family risk.

Here’s some of their best tips for surviving the night before a colonoscopy:

chris-colonoscopypreptips

“Personally, I start decreasing the size of meals two days prior to starting prep. This makes for a much easier prep night. I’d also recommend getting a box of Dude Wipes prior to starting prep.” – Chris Ganser, fighter

amanda-colonoscopypreptips

“Here are several of my tips:  have plenty of clear liquids available (like broth); have something to sip after each drink of the prep; a few days before the test I like to start gently cleansing by drinking digestive tea once a day – it makes for a much easier and quicker prep; keep vaseline or coconut oil nearby; wear elastic-waisted pants (you will have no time to mess with buttons); start the prep a few hours earlier then recommended so it does not disrupt your sleep; charge your phone and get a good book to read (you will be in the bathroom a lot!); even if you’re running clear, drink the second half of the prep so you get an effective scope; remember that once you’re through the prep you’re through the worst part; LAST –  plan a good meal for afterwards – I always make my driver take me out for a big breakfast! Then, go home to nap.” – Amanda Houston, survivor

trish-colonoscopypreptips

“I avoid things like nuts, popcorn and seeds beginning the week prior. Same with avoiding things that are bright red. I try to stick with lighter-colored foods a few days prior. I don’t eat red meat a lot anyway, but I definitely don’t eat it the week before and I eat smaller portions of meat starting two days before my test. I make sure the prep I am drinking is cold. It makes it so much easier for me to drink it. Plus, I put it in my large Tervis Tumbler with a straw. For some reason drinking it with a straw helps me. After the colonoscopy, it is sooo important to EASE back into regular eating. I also take a probiotic for a few days afterwards to help my gut get back to normal.” Trish Lannon – survivor

walter-colonoscopypreptips

“I like a long, hot bath after the fireworks have calmed down. Nothing is more soothing and relaxing.” – Walter Hickman, survivor

maria-colonoscopypreptips

“I like to buy really soft TP before the test, it helps (along with some vaseline) to tame the savage beast.  I also find a cool wash cloth can help as well. I usually start a bland diet the entire week prior for just a few days. That really helps things move more smoothly.” – Maria Williams, advocates in memory of her friend Belle

sheila-colonoscopypreptips

“I taper my food a few days before and ease back into food afterwards. I avoid spicy stuff after the test, especially if they have removed a polyp.” – Sheila Schrack, survivor

kristin-colonoscopypreptips

“I treat my prep & colonoscopy like a special event. It is my cleanse, so I treat myself well during this time. I eat light, bland foods a couple of days leading up to the prep. I buy organic low-sodium broth and eat it for my lunch and dinner. I find a really good JELL-O and make it ahead. (Boxed JELL-O comes in so many different flavors.) I splurge on good apple juice – like Martinelli’s Gold Medal – it’s my favorite. I also buy white grape juice and usually some flavored sparkling water or Diet 7-UP to settle my stomach. I also drink the prep solution COLD and through a straw. It’s easier to suck it up. I know it’s hard to drink all of these liquids, but another thing I found very helpful is to drink Pedialyte. This hydrates me better than water. I become dehydrated very easily and it makes for difficulty when putting in my IV before the test. Drinking Pedialyte has helped tremendously. It also now comes in packets so you can mix it yourself. Of course the wipes are essential. One last thing I sometimes get is gummy bears – pull out the red and purple ones and suck on the light ones for a little treat.” – Kristen Keesen, survivor

marsha-colonoscopypreptips

“I also eat lighter meals about a week before the prep. For my first colonoscopy I had a chicken Philly sandwich for my last meal before the test, and that was a big mistake! The next time I had a nice dinner of salmon, rice, broccoli and salad. Everything went so much smoother. 😉 Definitely have some wipes available, I prefer Preparation H.” – Marsha Baker, dad passed away from colorectal cancer

What Do YOU think?

These are some of our tips for surviving prep night, but what are some of yours? Leave a comment and let us know! 

And, if you’re ready to meet some of these advocates, get involved! Sign up and share your story. Then, join our Advocates group on Facebook to connect. Let’s fight colorectal cancer together!

Last but not least, support these brave survivors and help empower them by funding our fight!

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80 comments on “Colonoscopy Prep Tips”

  1. 1
    Karen Avendano on May 3, 2018

    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..

  2. 2
    Alex on May 2, 2018

    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!

  3. 3
    Glenda on May 2, 2018

    Thank you TONY C. It was easy peasey! And yes, I’m smaller today than I’ve been in 30 years!

  4. 4
    Glenda on May 1, 2018

    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

  5. 5
    TONY C on April 28, 2018

    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.

  6. 6
    Karla on April 12, 2018

    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!!

  7. 7
    Lisa on April 8, 2018

    Doing my first and it took 30 minutes.

  8. 8
    Abby on April 7, 2018

    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))

  9. 9
    Mary on March 22, 2018

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

  10. 10
    Richard Conrad on March 18, 2018

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

  11. 11
    Wendy on March 12, 2018

    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.

  12. 12
    Ramona on March 7, 2018

    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

  13. 13
    Debra Ayers on March 1, 2018

    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.

  14. 14
    Jody on February 27, 2018

    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?

  15. 15
    Cheri on February 26, 2018

    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?

  16. 16
    Loretta Duncan on February 22, 2018

    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!

  17. 17
    MK on February 10, 2018

    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

  18. 18
    Melissa Lynch on February 8, 2018

    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.

  19. 19
    maryanne butler on February 1, 2018

    going for consult today thursay feb 1 2018 at 3pm not sure when they’ll set up the test

  20. 20
    Steve Gee on January 31, 2018

    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.

  21. 21
    SV on January 30, 2018

    Had a colonoscopy today – it went very smoothly. So the short version is that the prep was not bad at all, and the procedure itself was really well managed and comfortable (and respectful) –
    I would tell anyone who’s nervous about the prep and/or procedure that it can be quite easy and manageable (yes, it can vary for different people, of course – but I did want to provide a positive experience to help assuage concerns for anyone who has not done one before).

    I had my first one 7 years ago, this was my second. Enough time had passed so that I didn’t remember too much about the details of prep and the procedure, and was somewhat nervous when the time came around. This was ordered by my PCP after my 50th birthday, and to follow up on the first time, when I’d had it done for bleeding – no issues, just a hyperplastic polyp then.

    The prep this time was actually really easy – my apprehensions were needless.

    I was asked to do the Dulcolax-Miralax prep – one day liquid diet, with the 64 ounces of Miralax/Gatorade broken up into two sessions, one at 5pm the evening before, and one around 4am (5 hours before the procedure). The hospital kept sending email/texts with reminders about each stage of the prep, and (electronically) checking that I was on track.

    I ate light the day before the liquid diet – and took Metamucil and a laxative to help for the next morning, so my GI system was pre-prepped. I avoided corn/beans/lentils etc.

    The liquid diet for a single day was really not onerous. I did get some good chicken soup and strained it so I could drink something tasty instead of the packaged broth (which I remembered tasted awful the last time around). Lemonade and coconut water were helpful and refreshing too.

    The prep itself was surprisingly manageable. The two Dulcolax at 2pm kicked in and I think cleaned a lot of my system out even before I started the Miralax at 5pm. Getting the 32 ounces down was quite easy – I used a straw, the taste with Gatorade was actually not bad at all, and I used a timer to drink a glass every 15 minutes (3-4 glasses). A few sips of lemonade also helped. The Miralax took some time to kick in, about 2 hours for me (I’d expected it to be much quicker). The process was really not bad – just evacuation of mostly liquids, no abdominal pain – compared to a food poisoning bout, this was nothing! I was wondering whether it was really fully working, and whether there was any solid stuff in there that wasn’t coming out, but apparently not.

    The part that was a bit problematic was getting up in the early morning (4am) to do the second half of the Miralax prep – again, it took a couple of hours for it to kick in and evacuate, so just enough time before leaving for the hospital. I went to the restroom again in the hospital before being called in for the procedure, so I was all set for the nurse to get me ready.

    The procedure itself was really well managed. The whole process felt caring and respectful of the patient, all the staff were friendly and helpful and solicitous – even the routine of wearing two gowns, one open at the back and another over that, open at the front, was helpful in terms of not feeling vulnerable in a single flimsy hospital gown flapping open at the back 🙂 Warmed blankets/sheets were an unexpected and welcome touch.

    I was given moderate sedation (fentanyl, midazolam) and was conscious throughout the procedure (the last time, I was completely knocked out and didn’t remember a thing).

    In the procedure room were an attending MD and an assisting doctor, plus the endoscopy nurse.
    I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort (they took out a small polyp), and the whole procedure was over in half an hour (it felt like less, maybe because of the sedation).

    I was out of recovery 45 minutes later, and able to eat a reasonable meal when I got home.

    Overall, I worried a lot over something that was relatively easy, prep and procedure. Hope this helps encourage anyone who’s concerned about this.

  22. 22
    Connie on January 22, 2018

    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

  23. 23
    Judy V on January 20, 2018

    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.

  24. 24
    Colon RN on January 18, 2018

    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!

  25. 25
    Jacqueline Crocker on January 11, 2018

    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.

  26. 26
    Jacqueline Crocker on January 11, 2018

    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.

  27. 27
    SHARON SIMS on January 10, 2018

    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!

  28. 28
    John on January 9, 2018

    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.

  29. 29
    Mrs Jean Collins on January 7, 2018

    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

  30. 30
    Carol on January 7, 2018

    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.” !?!?!

  31. 31
    Dawn on January 3, 2018

    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.

  32. 32
    Jane on January 2, 2018

    Thank you. I do not know why the magnesium citrate continues to be ordered.

  33. 33
    Jane on January 2, 2018

    To Danielle Burgess – the alternative tests you suggest would not replace a visual examination.

  34. 34
    Dawn on January 1, 2018

    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. 35
      Danielle Burgess on January 2, 2018

      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. 36
      Jane on January 2, 2018

      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.

  35. 37
    Glenda on December 12, 2017

    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.

  36. 38
    Jennifer Allen on December 9, 2017

    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.

  37. 39
    Marilyn Fender on December 4, 2017

    My doctor said to use Miramax(238 gm) in gatorade (64 oz). So much better than that nasty prep I had years ago

  38. 40
    Allison J on November 27, 2017

    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!

    1. 41
      Danielle Burgess on November 27, 2017

      Glad they helped, good luck!!

  39. 42
    Paulette Boswell on November 21, 2017

    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

    1. 43
      Danielle Burgess on November 27, 2017

      Glad the advice helped and good luck!! Way to go ahead and get this done!

  40. 44
    Ross on November 9, 2017

    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.

  41. 45
    Judith C. on November 9, 2017

    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.

    1. 46
      Danielle Burgess on November 9, 2017

      Good luck Judith, and great tip. Way to stay on top of your screening!

  42. 47
    Barbara Mcgee on November 6, 2017

    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

    1. 48
      Danielle Burgess on November 9, 2017

      Thanks for this tip and insight Barbara!

  43. 49
    Tommie Nell Ellis---Abilene, TX on November 1, 2017

    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. 50
      Danielle Burgess on November 9, 2017

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

  44. 51
    Chris M on October 31, 2017

    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.

    1. 52
      Danielle Burgess on October 31, 2017

      Good luck Chris!

  45. 53
    Bill on October 29, 2017

    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.

  46. 54
    Robert on October 23, 2017

    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..

  47. 55
    Robert on October 23, 2017

    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. 56
      Danielle Burgess on October 23, 2017

      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.

  48. 57
    Claire DeVore on October 21, 2017

    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.

  49. 58
    Lee on October 16, 2017

    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.

  50. 59
    William Geeslin on October 10, 2017

    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.

  51. 60
    Kathy B. on October 5, 2017

    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.

  52. 61
    Carol Hall on September 22, 2017

    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.

  53. 62
    Tessie Pino on September 20, 2017

    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.

  54. 63
    Victoria P on September 14, 2017

    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

  55. 64
    Sam on September 6, 2017

    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.

    1. 65
      Danielle Burgess on September 11, 2017

      Sorry Sam we are just now seeing your comment but hope that all was clear on your colonoscopy!

  56. 66
    Darlene ferris on August 28, 2017

    Thank you. Good advice. I will use

  57. 67
    Karen on August 12, 2017

    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

  58. 68
    Laura Stacet on August 10, 2017

    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. 69
      Danielle Burgess on August 14, 2017

      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.

  59. 70
    Momof2 on August 10, 2017

    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. 71
      Danielle Burgess on August 10, 2017

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

  60. 72
    Lindsey on July 25, 2017

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

    1. 73
      Danielle Burgess on August 1, 2017

      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.

  61. 74
    Val Hopfinger on July 13, 2017

    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. 75
      Danielle Burgess on July 13, 2017

      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.

  62. 76
    Preparing for a Colonoscopy doesn't have to be scary. - Big Cheese Studios on June 25, 2017

    […] @FightCrC Colon Cancer Alliance […]

  63. 77
    Cathy W. on June 2, 2017

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

  64. 78
    Trish Smith on June 2, 2017

    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)

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    Angie W on June 2, 2017

    Love the tips! I will defiantly try the eating smaller non meat based meals the week before.

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    Dana cannon on June 2, 2017

    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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