Other options for the dreaded colonoscopy prep

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  • Mark says:

    I don’t know why more GI docs don’t look into Colon Hydrotherapy as a method for cleansing the colon just prior to the colonoscopy. It has been shown to get the colon even cleaner than the awful preps currently being used.

    A *LOT* more people would get colonoscopies if this were an alternative prep offered. They could even have trained people and equipment on-site, so you get the colonic flush, then move over to the GI doc for the rest of the procedure. All done on the same day.

    Some prep is required, like all-liquid diet a day before, and maybe a few other things. Nothing like the awful prep currently used!

  • Lori says:

    Had such a bad reaction to the Duclolax and Miralax they had me taking before I even started the Movieprep. Barely got 12 ounces down of Movieprep and passed out and ended up in the ER. Will not be doing this again until they come up with a easier way.

  • Not famous says:

    Thanks for the info. But. Other people shouldn’t be given pills instead of the jug then. And then brag to other people it isn’t bad. Dr Oz didn’t have to drink the crap so I imagine other celebrities and stars don’t have to. That sucks.

  • Colleen says:

    I am trying to take it got about 1/2 a pint of the first pack left i am drinking water as well but i have now it coming from both ends and i feel terrible there is no way i can take the other pouch i have just sent hubby to the shop to get me some tablets this is terrible its like we are punishing ourself

    • Lisa says:

      I agree with you! I was supposed to go in for a colonoscopy yesterday-3/5. I had to drink more of the awful stuff yesterday morning. Half hour later, I started shaking so bad, was so weak I could hardly walk, my mouth was so dry, I could hardly talk, and I was on the toilet and couldn’t get off. I ended up cancelling my appt. I felt like I had the flu all day, still this morning not 100% yet.

      • Scott says:

        Lisa can a hydro therapy colonic by a professional take the place for cleaning out for a colonoscopy?

    • Pilot says:

      No one must work anymore.
      How do you do this prep at work the day before?
      Can you go right back to work after the test?
      If not, you mean you have to take off 2 days of work for this?

  • Larry Lee says:

    Does anybody knows which Prep medication requires the least amount of fluids to drink? I can’t take that much liquid within a short time all the fluids blocks my Urinary tract, and causing the need to be catherized, ouch

  • Jeannine says:

    Hi, what im wondering is why is it that all this stuff can’t just be put in a pill? One could take 1, 2 or whatever pills needed and drink lots of water to flush and clean the colon. This stuff literally makes me sick, freezing, vomitting etc.

  • Jody says:

    If you take Movicol for a week prior to your date for the procedure, then yes, only drinking clear liquids such as broth, jelly ‘no added sugar’ ( yellow only) i did have soup but only packet soup as it was like puree, gadorade the yellow one, plenty of water, I was even eating bacon because of the fat content, even up to 3 days prior to my procedure and my bowel was very clear. That has been my experience.

  • Renne Provost says:

    I recently had a colonoscopy, and i guess i wasnt compleatly cleaned out, so the excess amount was drained right on to me, leaving me soaked in it, the whole time of recovery, and was never cleaned up nor given a towel ,nothing they just left me soaked. Is that normal or is that totally un sanitary, and un excepted.

  • Marie Jackson says:

    I have to take my test tomorrow at 1130 and drink the Mira lax and take the pills today @ 12pm and 2pm but I’m so hungry I didn’t get to eat last night

  • Riekie Armsrong says:

    Nope, I stayed awake and watched the camera path. Very interesting, painless.

  • Riekie Armsrong says:

    I am in the middle of this prep for the second time. (had it a year ago) Foul tasting. Last time, I could not drink the last glass so I didn’t. All good. I can only drink it standing over my kitchen sink and trying to do the glass non stop.

  • Joan says:

    Weren’t you sedated before the procedure? Most people I’ve talked to said they just went to sleep and woke up when it was all over.

  • Bernadette Terrell says:

    This stuff made me so nauseated. Couldn’t finish the first last glass. Will try to get it all tomorrow. Feel so bloated. My brother says his doc has pills about 4, taken 2 twice. Gonna try ginger ale.

  • Rita says:

    Use a straw for the prep, kept it off my lips and could drink it faster.

  • Marion Hewick says:

    Thank you for this article I am reading it at 4:00 a.m. and it is helping me to gulp down this horrible prep! I feel as though I am drowning with each gulp.

  • Sarah thompson says:

    I started at 5pm and haven’t had a bowel movement yet. What do I need to do

  • Loretta Damon says:

    “Mind over Matter!” is a very old saying. This isn’t a friendly palliative medicine to clean the colon; focus on the reason for drinking it rather that the taste. I did this, and I also held my nose; first exhaling deeply and then taking in a healthy breath. I was able to get this down in three separate gulps and quickly drank my first full glass of water. I was surprised how good the water tasted and how quickly it washed away that other taste.

    Another consideration is to meditate on how other individuals suffered 100+ years ago. I’m sure, but I imagine they did not have this present day medical knowledge or proceedures. I know colon cancer was deep in my family background. I was born in 1954. My grandfather had died from this form of cancer and my mother had severe colitis most of her life. She passed away from heart failure. She was born in 1917. Her father was in his thirties when she was born, so you do the math. Preventative medicine is the best medicine, another good saying. Good Luck!

  • Marilyn says:

    All that sodium is dangerous for some of us. There’s got to be a better way.

  • Jennifer Waggoner says:

    I heard that you can use an enema If you aren’t clean by morning? Is that safe? if your having a real tough time drinking the prep the night before would that be an option?

  • Michele Haney says:

    What if the stuff makes you so sick you just can’t take it. I’ve tried and tried to guzzle this stuff and it just makes me hot and makes me throw up?
    Respectfully Michele Haney

  • Sasha says:

    I need a colonoscopy, but I’m not able to take laxatives. How do I get my colonoscopy without taking laxative?

  • Gary Balfe says:

    I am 71 years old and just battled colon cancer. I had to have a tumor removed and spent 9 days in hospital with a couple of problems during surgery. Now its been 1 year and I need to get a follow up colonoscopy. I had a date set and was worried because I really had a hard time with the prep for the 1st one. I hate water and have a small bladder and can’t hold a lot of fluid. (I know this because I also battled bladder cancer two times.) I used a suprep kit. It was the worst crap that I ever tasted in my life. I was told to drink 64 ounces of fluid the night before, and another concoction of 64 ounces the next morning. I took it with water. I could not drink the first batch. I took my last gulp and threw up everything I had just drank. I told my wife there was no way I could try another batch in the morning. I had to cancel the procedure. Now the Dr. wants me to use Miralax with some type of fluid, (maybe gatorade) over a two day period. You would think after going thru colon surgery that I could get thru a prep for a check up. I had no problem during the colonoscopy procedure, just the prep. I pray I can get thru this. Anyone use Mirilax with gatorade? I pray I can get through this.

    • Cara Glenn says:

      Sorry your dealing with this after all you have been through. Glad your here to tell your story though. :)

  • Paola says:

    Should someone that is edema take this?

  • SarJay says:

    I wouldn’t chug it. . I thought the same idea. Get it over quicker. Nope. Threw a lot back up and had to refill. Literally tears were falling. It needs to be ice cold with ice. Drink it through a straw. Chase each sip with another clear beverage, not carbonated or red. Mentally encourage yourself. Cheer for you after each cup is finished! It can be done.

  • Jeannie says:

    I’ve tried three times and cant get it done yet.Ive took laxatives supositories and liquid. But nothing worked so I had bloodwork done results was i need further testing on my liver and gall bladder but dr still wants me to have colonoscopy.

  • Elaine Eveleigh says:

    I had a colonoscopy before Christmas two small polyps were removed and the doctor said another flat polyp on the bend still needed removing. I was sent for another colonoscopy in February this Dr said he couldn’t find the other polyp. Now Ive been asked to have another one? Is this normal? Is there an alternative? I am seventy eight.

  • Penny Nichols says:

    I can only drink half of the miralax. Keep throwing up. Took me 3 hrs to drink the first 32 ounces. Now what?!

  • Rosalind Danderson says:

    It it worth the trouble guys … knowing is half the battle.

  • Marsha says:

    I can do the colonoscopy, however, I have a narrow angled glaucoma and my opthalmologist told me one of the criteria to avoid eye pressure that cause N A glaucoma closured is to not drink 4 glasses of water in one sitting. and as you know the eye pressure tend to go higher during night time. so in colonoscopy prep at 6pm have to drink 64 oz and then early AM before the procedure, another 64 oz.. so I’m afraid to do this as this will have a bad effect on my eyesight..

    Pls advise

  • Carol Sklenicka says:

    4 years ago, at age 72, I thought I was having my last colonoscopy, after 5 previous ones. Prep involved Ducolax, plus two bottles of Magnesium Citrate. Began throwing up on second day of prep, became dehydrated, fainted in bathroom, hit my head on sink, and woke up on the floor, covered in blood. Had six stitches in my head, due to gash on scalp. Soon after, I lost ability to walk, write, talk. Had emergency brain surgery to stop bleeding on brain, caused by fall. Recently took Cologuard test, came back positive. Doctor prescribed low volume prep, plus anti nausea pills before procedure. Will report back after procedure.

  • Soledad Donnelly says:

    For a regular constipaciones Can you have 1/2 of dose 140 g ?

  • Stacey Bader says:

    I have a severe allergy to salt/sodium. Are there any preps that do no include a lot of salt?

  • Kathy says:

    I’ve managed to choke down 3/4 of the jug of Go-lightly for my colonoscopy tomorrow. My ability to tolerate it declined dramatically for the most recent liter. I added the lemon-flavor packet at the beginning, per instructions, and I agree with others it is quite nauseating. Two things have been helping me. First, I’ve been sipping heated, fat-free broth (mine is vegetable broth, but certainly other clear, fat-free broth can be substituted), a small sip immediately before I swallow a larger sip or two of the prep. This is helping immensely – I highly recommend this strategy. Second, while I had been able to maintain the prescribed pace of drinking the prep for the first half, I’ve slowed down since then, because it started to nauseated me more. For me, the answer is to slow down and ingest it at pace my body will allow. I’m a female in my mid-50s. Third, be kind to yourselves and get plenty of rest. Relaxation will help your bowels function better. I avoid vomiting, because it’s too hard on my heart. I’m not passing solids anymore anyway. I just plan to do the best I can. I hope my input helps others. Good luck, everyone!

  • Linda says:

    What clear liquid an help the most with hunger. I still have 18 hours to go and am starving.

    • Rachelle Harris says:

      Gatorade and jelly and apple juice. I took electrolyte solution too which is basically like Gatorade and I had lemon tea with honey to keep myself strong enough and even then because my health is so complex I had a big problem. And I have had several of those successfully with no problems previously so it was very disconcerting. I also had to cancel on the morning even though I had done my prep correctly. I felt weak, pale and so dehydrated and as if I was coming down with an APPALLING cold. It took at least 24 hours to recover and I stayed in my bed for that whole day and my dear husband cooked for me – I was exceptionally unwell from that prep. It was as if my immune system could not cope at all this time.

  • Lucy Baker says:

    I never knew that eating healthy seeds and nuts get caught in the colon… I tried to drink that horrible stuff and ended up throwing up so much, I wasn’t cleaned out, doctor was pretty upset… Tried cologuard which came up positive, waiting for doctors appt. to get scheduled and hopefully can do it this time… I have acid-reflux really bad which is probably what’s triggering the vomiting…

    What can you suggest to begin eating and drinking to naturally begin flushing out my system?

  • Brenda Jones says:

    I’ve had this procedure before and took only pills with water. Maybe 6 pills one time and 5 pills every 3 hours. Now they say insurance will not pay for the pills….I don’t care, much easier.

    • Cat says:

      Brenda I took the pills many years ago as well but when I asked about them this time my Dr said they had been taken off the market because they can damage your kidneys!

  • Brenda Jones says:

    I’ve had this procedure before and took only pills with water. Maybe 6 pills one time and 5 pills every 3 hours. Now they say insurance will not pay for the pills….I don’t care, much easier.

  • Deb Johnston says:

    I started my first prep last night at 8 p.m.
    Just took the 2nd at 3 p.m, today .
    Omg I’m only half way there. Another dose tonight at 8 then my last at 6 am tomorrow morning .
    My scope set for 10 am that morning. Along with a gastric scope (down my throat).
    My question is as follows :::
    Has anyone had horrible headaches since the first one.
    I woke this morning and hurt to even open eyes. Still having them this afternoon.
    I’m drinking plenty of water and ginger ale. 2 Litres in between doses.
    Absolutely throbbing.

    • Melissa says:

      Yes horrible headache did u find anything to help

    • Rachelle Harris says:

      I had horrendous headaches. I was so sick and weak and exhausted and have successfully done exactly the same prep in the past with no trouble at all actually. With Covid restrictions I couldn’t possibly have had the procedure because I felt as if I was getting a cold. And the doctor banned me from taking immune support or any other natural therapies. For a WEEK before.

      Not pleasant by any stretch of the imagination. I believe it was too dangerous to proceed with this reaction.

  • Maggie Fyfe says:

    My problem is that I have Candida (overgrowth of the “wrong” bacteria) in my colon. Taking the prep surely will reduce any “good” bacteria even more? Especially reading that the solution is sweet? And do they add any “good” bacteria/probiotics to the prep?

    • Rachelle Harris says:

      You will need to repopulate your gut with good powerful probiotics after the procedure. They wash you out.

  • carol mcguinness says:

    I’ve had 3 colonoscopies and I’ve never used that awful prep. I drink a bottle of mag citrate and that’s all.

    My friends who took my advice did the same and all had good results.

  • Gillian bishop says:

    When drinking the prep for a colonoscopy I had a bowel spasm , intense pain and then I fainted. This has happened for my past 2 colonoscopies and my doctor had no alternative test including the fecal occult test which can be misleading if you have haemmorids. Is there another test available.

  • Lillian E Jeffries says:

    Thank you, very informative.

  • Kim Arroyo says:

    I Desperately need help!
    My sister has special needs. She was suppose to have a hysterectomy surgery two weeks ago, but COULD NOT, AND WOULD NOT DRINK the bowel prep.
    Her surgery has been rescheduled for this coming Thursday.
    Isn’t there a pill she can take in this “RARE” SITUATIONThank you,
    Kim Arroyo

    • Rachelle Harris says:

      I think they might have a virtual colonoscopy where you swallow a capsule and its got a nano camera in it. Ask the doctor although I don’t believe it might be as effective.

  • Gillian bishop says:

    During my previous two colonoscopies I had a painful bowel spasm and fainted so I can’t go through that again. Any other solutions…..?

  • Peggy Jo Beauchamp says:

    Every time I get a colonostomy de prep causes me to have a serious urinary tract infection and I have only one kidney is there anything that I can do about this

  • L. Morris says:

    Your article is no help to patients who either can not have strong laxatives or can’t take the bowel prep liquid. You should have included bowel preps for such people, such as a clear liquid diet.

  • Vera-D. says:

    There’s a group completely left out of obsessive cancer screening. I have had generalized anxiety since birth. I even faint during stuff like dental cleaning. I know I cannot do screening as even if they found cancer I cannot go through with any surgery to fix anything. I also would be obsessed with the cancer returning and would have no quality of life. When I get cancer, that is it, medical aid in dying. The constant barrage of screening for every cancer, gives me panic. I’ve opted out of screening and am okay with the consequences, but cannot stand the constant tongue wagging from people who do not have mental illness. We die a decade earlier, sure, but we never clog up long term care homes with Alzheimer’s either.

    • Ashley M says:

      Hello Vera. I don’t know you but you are the only other person I have ever come across who feels the same way. I feel so less alone! I do not want any procedures if there is a cancer diagnosis. My panic disorder would put me in the ground ground before the cancer ever could Assisted dying for me too!

      • Pilot says:

        Wow, I am just like you guys.
        I’m so tired of the people who just do whatever they are told.
        I have diverticulosis, and it’s a constant battle to keep my insides calmed down.

        My fear is that the prep would cause me so much pain, I wouldn’t be able to do it.
        My fear is that the scoping would irritate my insides so much, I’d be a mess for months, and have to miss work. I’m so sensitive inside.

  • C j patterson says:

    The sodium in the prep caused my blood pressure to spike
    Although i felt fine, doctor refused to do colonoscopy .
    This means he’s left me to die from colon cancer.
    I see no other alternative.

  • Karina says:

    This stuff is horrible from all the technology out there I can’t believe there having us drink this—— there punishing us for having to go up our rectum. Mine is tomorrow my stool test was positive but if I can’t get through this drink then I guess I’ll never know

    • Ashley M says:

      Hello Vera.
      So with you on this. I do not want any procedures if there is a cancer diagnosis. My panic disorder would put me in the ground well before the cancer ever could.

  • MARY says:

    Why can’t the nasty tasting stuff which makes it so salty be consumed in an encapsulated form or is the amount too big?

  • Lynda says:

    I keep throwing up the prep.
    They were unable to perform colonoscopy- what other alternative is there?

  • Mary says:

    Can the stuff be added to Jello and eaten rather than drank?

  • Mary Taylor says:

    No matter what prep I use or how slow I drink…I throw it up & get EXTREMELY sick !! Can’t my hospital give me a IV plus enema prep ?!

  • Francisca salinas says:

    Can still take my Prehumatoid arthritis medication while taking the solution

  • Mary McKeon says:

    Among the 5 colonscopies during previous years (and polyps the first year), I have had many of similar problems with the preps mentioned in comments, ending in nausea/near vomiting and huge mirgraine headaches. The last time, the doctor had me use my usual daily dose of one tblspoon Mirilax (increased to two times a day) during the week before colonoscopy. Second day, take 8 oz. bottle of Magnesuim Citrate sold OTC in lemon or cherry flavor. It tastes like fizzy soda. On the last day before the colonoscopy, and the morning of, take Suprep prescribed by doctor. I vaguely remember 4 years ago, this was combination was easier for me. Hope this helps.

  • T says:

    To anyone using the 4 liter prep;
    On my 5th colonoscopy,colon cancer runs in my family. I sympathize with you all having trouble vomiting it up. This year I have a new and super GI doctor. She suggested taking a prescription anti-nausea pill before the evening and morning prep. I can’t overstate the difference it made. No problem with nausea and only vomited a miniscule amount this time. I encourage everyone to request anti-nausea meds to take along with your prep, it made a world of difference for me!

    • Sylvia says:

      Im dreading to go and have my first colonoscopy cause knowing me i know i wont be able to do the prep as it is im already getting nervous and feelanxious and scared i hope that if i can take all those pills that it will work but still very nervous .any advise on how not to get nervous and feel nauseous nauseated just by thinking about it

  • Cinda says:

    I have a question. My colonoscopy is scheduled in 3-1/2 hours. I have to check in in 2-1/2 hours. I am still literally “peeing out my butt!” Will this have stopped in time cuz I’m not going to sit in a waiting room with this still going on.

  • Tracy says:

    I am a 50 year old female prepping for my first colonoscopy. I did as the doctor required and only had fluids today. I wish I researched and read the comments on this site prior to prep day. I would have eaten lighter the last few days to make the clearing of my colon easier. The most difficult part for me if getting the required liquid down. It tastes awful! I the second drink I almost threw it up and am dreading the final drink at 3am. I will take the advise of others to mix it with apple juice. I was hoping I could just skip the last drink but I don’t think I can. I am drinking lots of water hoping this will help me clean out my colon. Hopefully the test will be “nornal” so I don’t have to do this again any time soon.

  • Kristi says:

    128 ounces not 64 as previously stated

  • Kristi says:

    Golytly requires 64 ounces of water be added to the jug the night before, can I change it up and add only 32 ounces? Drink 2 ounces of Golytly followed by 6 ounces of water every ten minutes As per the directions?

  • Cathy says:

    Recently had my first colonoscopy. I’m a 58yr old female and suffer chronic migraines. My sister had a colonoscopy a few months before me, she’d never had a migraine in her life, but got one from the prep and was vomiting from the prep on the way to the hospital with a massive headache. So I knew it was not going to be a good experience for me. I couldn’t finish the prep before severe nausea and a thumping headache began, at about 1am in the morning. I had to sit up all night with a bowl, really wanting to go to the ER for relief. I thought I’d put up with it to get the thing over and done with, and I had asked to be booked in early due to my migraines. But was I? No, I suffered until 1pm, the second last person to go to theatre. No matter how much medication they gave me my migraine and nausea persisted, all they could do was stop the vomiting. I told the anesthetist I wanted to die I was so sick, and I meant it. I am so tired of debilitating migraines, and when you warn a doctor that what he is about to do to you will give you one, you think they would listen to you. Will I ever have another one? NO.

  • Barry slater says:

    I drank the pegllyte t Sunday night my colonoskphy is not till Wednesday can I just not eat till then

  • Christina says:

    I have been repeatedly told that I have a moderate amount of stool in my colon on x-ray however my last colonoscopy was uneventful and I was not informed of any complications. To clear out the stool in my colon would another full bowel prep be advisable to re-set my system? I can’t live on daily laxatives, its just not possible as i’m underweight so i’d rather just clear out the system and start over. All my bowel movements are small and very very painful often watery and the abdominal pain after is extreme. However if another full prep will clear me out i’m all for it. I need help. I’m freaking out trying to figure out why i’m not “empty” enough for my GI specialist and the fear is taking over my life.

    Please advise.

  • Anne Kane says:

    AAAAARRRRRGGGGG! Came here for help tolerating the prep. Now I know the scope is six to eight feet long. I did not need to know! Even if I suspected!

  • vincent volpe says:

    I’m 81yrs old I have heart failure and its working at 41% also have kidney disease at 1.7 which is not that bad

  • Jennifer Tanner says:

    Reading this has definitely helped me feel less like an odd ball. I have had several colonoscopies (unfortunately) and have gotten to the point that I throw up the goLightly reflexively. Despite this, my Dr still refuses to prescribe something different and gave me two goLightly’s and Zophran for nausea. The comments have been helpful with suggestions to get it down – ice, apple juice – and I’m hopeful that all will go quickly this go around. I’ve been on a liquid diet for the last 4 days and am going to have just clear liquids for the next two as I start the prep. My procedure is in 3 days. I’m also going to use OTC laxatives to help the process. This had better be worth it, though I really hope nothing is wrong that will require this again. I’m thinking I’ll be looking for the MRI option next time

  • Judy Newton says:

    June 13th I drank the prep soultion using a straw to drink it , took 5 min, to drink it and the rest as one would say is history Being ice cold is the best. and drank a lot of f\ulid befor the prep helped a lot I drank cold white crandberry juice right after I drank the soultion then drank the cold water.
    My husband will be doing this next week but he does not like to drink water like I do

  • Tammie Yeager says:

    My doctor did a colonoscopy he had to use a child’s unit to go up inside and he said my colon was so stretched-out and so full of scar tissue and he couldn’t even get part of the way up how do I know that there’s no cancer up in the stretched-out part and what can they do to check the rest of it?

  • Pamela J. P says:

    I have IBSD was scheduled for colonoscopy my 4th, I got the prep done with minor problems and had the test. The first 4. The 5th I though I would die, I was having a flare with the IBSD and had watery diearea for 3 days and was already dehydrated. I called the Dr. to reschedule but they said continue with the prep. I did and half way through drinking the gallon I had a seizure . There is no way I will ever try again. The nurse said I was exaggerating and being a baby! I had two people with me one was an EMT wanted to take me to ER. I declined and 5 days later I was able to eat soft food. Not a good experience !!!!

  • Barb Madden says:

    I have taken Pepgylte which is disgusting. I did add Splenda to it but it didn’t do much. Also, I found it impossible to drink 8 oz every 15 mins. Why must it be so much in such a short period of time? I added ice to the last 8 oz because it was easier to get the. Last of it finished. So, is ice okay to add so you can finish the prep? It did take me 2 hrs to swallow all of it not because of taste but because I felt so full

  • paul white says:

    Thank you for the information; I am prepared for the short term pain for the long term gain;

  • Steph says:

    I can not believe that we can remove major body organ through a small puncture type opening but can not design/manufacture a mixture for colonoscopy prep that is able to be taken without gagging and vomiting. Why can’t we be given a quick dissolving “pill” then drink whatever amount of liquid to dissolve it – I can not drink even the 16oz (x2) preps…I vomit almost immediately on taking the second glass.

  • Tamara says:

    Hi,Even I can understand the pain of that because one of my friends had the same problem and it was heavily bothering her and is planning to do colostomy formation with Central Sydney Colorectal Surgeons at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) Medical Centre.

  • Lynette says:

    My 86 year old dad just went through a colonoscopy procedure. He did the 4l Peglyte option. The morning after the colonoscopy, he started vomiting and couldn’t stop. His blood pressure was very high and he became very weak – so weak that we had to do 2 nights in hospital. My question is whether there is any research around the side effects of these preparations on elderly patients. I believe it’s the mixture that caused his reaction.

    • Carol says:

      Lynette, the preps are very dangerous for some seniors. They throw off your electrolytes (life threatening) and mess up your water volume which can mess up your antidiuretic hormone and cause sodium loss among other issues. My dad at 85, had what aappeared to be a TIA a half hour after drinking Sod/Mag suprep. I called the ambulance and he was hospitalized for 10 days. Not a TIA… his sodium level could have caused coma or death. His blood and salts levels we’re way off. He had LABS prior and he was fine. The doctors here in California either don’t know or wouldn’t admit that the prep caused it… It’s common sense. After much research, I’ve found medical reports about this and, why these are given to seniors or anyone with any medical issues is unbelievable. Now, with a history of polyps and a positive Cologuard test, at 86, for anyone in this situation, I’ve had him on a low fiber diet for 5 days, today and tomorrow are liquid fasting days with 2 ounces of castor oil each day at noon. The following morning will be two enemas, 1/2 hour apart, 2 hours before leaving for the appointment. The castor oil and enemas was something
      I got from a hospital that does high risk patients but should not be given unless agreed by a doctor. Keep in mind that diarreaha alone can cause electrolyte imbalance, so hydrate with coconut water, Pedialyte, water, and clear juices. So far, with one day to go, he’s doing ok. Hoping he’s cleaned out for colonoscopy.

      • Kate says:


        My father is 81 and had the exact same type of reaction. I found him in an almost comatose state and it took many minutes before I could get any physical response from him at all. I have never been so frightened in my life. I cannot believe they do not give more warnings to elderly patients before giving them this potentially dangerous prep.

      • MIKE says:


    • Margaret cassidy says:

      Why would they do that T his age and what if they find something surgery or chemo would be very difficult on him

  • RT says:

    Can this medication make ypu collapse???

  • Lee says:

    My Colonoscopy Experience:

    I 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:
    – morning: 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.

    Day of: 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.

  • Judy says:

    I had my first colonoscopy about 6 years ago. I had my second 2 days ago. With my first one, I was able to walk (about 20 minutes) to the hospital on the day of the procedure, whereas my second prep left me lying on my bed at home with a migraine and having vomited so much I felt as if I was suffering from the Norwalk virus. I had phoned the office to cancel, but the nurse instructed me to try a gravol (fortunately, I did have some in my cupboard), and call her back in two hours. I had to call my husband home to drive me in, but I did make it. About an hour and a half later, I was able to have a bath and get dressed. I still felt ill but the gravol had helped. For this second colonoscopy, I was given Pico Salax and dulcolax tablets. I don’t believe the Pico Salax sufficiently cleaned my bowel. I did not experience the expected “drainage” the evening prior. I would like to know what the medication was for my first procedure, that had worked very well. It may not have tasted great, I don’t recall, but at least I was able to function and suffered far far less. I never want to go through this again and also want to mention that water had been pumped into me during the procedure. I recall being in pain while sedated, and wonder if this was the reason. The nurse in recovery told me the doctor had pumped water into me because I was questioning, as I was dressing, why fluid was being expelled from my rectum. Can you tell me what prep med was commonly used around 6 years ago? Is it still possible to obtain it?

  • Elaine says:

    My coworker’s colon was perforated during the procedure n she had to wear a bag for 6 months

  • David parr says:

    I thought I spelled puke correct but my phone had other ideas.

  • David parr says:

    What about hydrocolon therapy 1st is that a possible alternative to p.e.g. polyethylene glycol . I mean yuck puck and gag no way baby help!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Last year I tried the Miralax prep mixed in Gatorade and vomited it all up after the 4th glass. My arms and hands started tingling and I turned white as a sheet. I cancelled the procedure. Today I’m trying again. Had a product called MoviPrep – you mix 2 packets together with luke warm water, then refrigerate until ready to drink. You have to drink two bottles of this garbage, one in early afternoon and one around dinner time. It has a lemony taste. Dr. gave me anti- nausea medication to take 1/2 hour before drinking. I finished it and everything looks clear. I made it through, but it was not great.

  • Anonymous says:

    Due to poor bowel cleanse six years ago my doctor thought a two day prep would work better. I was on liquids the day before the prep started and then a ten ounce bottle of gaggy magnesium citrate accompanied by three eight ounce glasses of water. Four fours later another round. Next day, suprep six ounces and more water followed three hours later with another round. I have gagged and cried through every bottle of it. It tastes awful and I could barely keep it down. I tried a straw, apple juice and Gatorade. Nothing makes it go down without gagging. My procedure is tomorrow afternoon and I pray I am clean. It just seems like there should be a better way. Laxatives and a good emendation prior to perhaps? I don’t know, but I’m already dreading then next one in five years!!!

  • Faye r says:

    I think I made it with more water than 64 oz is that okay

  • ginger murray says:

    You do you do if you repeatedly vomit up the solution

  • Rennette Madill says:

    Don’t know why Pico Salax isn’t available in the US. I think it is prescribed widely in Canada. You get 2 packets of lemonade tasting powder, mix each in about 8 oz of water and drink at prescribed times. Works very well. No gallon of vile nausea producing liquid like in the past and I believe still widely used in the US.

    • Kllee says:

      I live in Canada and asked if I could use pico salax amd my specialist said he did t recommend it because depending on the size of your colon, this product may not clean you out enough. I was so disappointed.

  • Barbara Copeland says:

    Pick Salax not Salad, ha ha

  • Barbara Copeland says:

    I wouldn’t drink that jug , I used 3 days before 4 dulcolax then the next night 4 dulcolax then the night before the exam 4 dulcolax again and about 4:00 I had a sachet of Pico salad and it’s 1/4 cup tastes good and believe me your all cleaned out, pls believe me I’m 61 and was born constipated had it my whole life but this prep works then there’s another one called purgative, I believe that’s what it’s called, all from Shoppers drug mart

  • Anissa says:

    Please work on easier preparation method for the test

  • Kathleen Clarke says:

    Thank you for this article. It helped me help my Mother drink her drink like a good girl!

  • No Name says:

    Get over it! There are A LOT of alternatives! No one needs to suffer! There is generic phosphosoda, which beat the gallon of gag juice anyday!

  • Chris shore says:

    My husband has type 2 diabetes and has tried a colonoscopy 3 times. Each time with a prep he ends up in the hospital. He breaks out in hives, blood pressure drops and he passes out. Hospital gives him Benadryl and steroids. He stays in the hospital for about 4 or 5 hours. Last ER Dr said he is having an allergic reaction. What can we do? He took the cologuard test and it came back positive. Can he be hospitalized to do the prep?

  • Diane Conibear says:

    I started the prep with 2 days of Dulcolax and was on the toilet for 2 hours from 5 to 7 am with horibble stomach cramps. The next day (day before surgery), could just eat a light breakfast and was so hungry, weak and shaking by 3pm., I had some brothings but it didn’t help. I knew I had to take one of the packages by 4pm and drink 2 liters of water, then another toilet session. At 3 am I was supposed to take the 2nd packet followed by 2 more liters of water, followed by another bathroom marathon. Then get up and drive an hour to the hospital for my 7:45 admittance time and 9:00 surgery.
    Anyway I gave up when I got so hungry and shaking from this who fiasco and cancelled.
    My question is: Is there a better (more humane) way to do this prep?
    Hope you can answer. Thanks,
    Diane Conibear

    • Patricia penuen says:

      i liked your comments. . I have always refused the test as redent as 5 years ago. I am now getting ready to have one next week because I have no other choice and taking the miralax and dulcolax. I dont see how I can get through the fasting for almost 3 days so I dont blame you for giving up when you started shaking, and were probably nervous, feeling sick at the same time. That is why food is a comfort for many reasons …, so alternative test , prep procedure should be made available..

  • Tava Edwards says:

    I am 78 years old and it is time for my third colonoscopy. I have microscopic colitis so dr. insists on this procedure every five years. I don’t mind the prep too much but last time as they were about to start my blood pressure spiked because of dehydration. It was frightening and I am really afraid it will happen again. Is there any solution to this, I drank all I could until the last few hours when nothing is allowed. Am putting this off as long as possible. help please!

  • Katie says:

    I tried to have that drink but I couldn’t I’m meant to have my colonoscopy tomorrow what else could they do instead of having that drink

  • Clarence says:

    I have just finished the 3 litres of Peglyte. within an hour there has been tremendous activity, but the outcome is still not clear
    I have an extra litre to be taken at 3;00 A.M. tomorrow, as my procedure is booked for 7:30 A,M,. my concern is being clean/clear enough for the cameras to work efficiently. I would hate to have to start all over again. My question is this. should I rush out and grab another bottle of the Peglyte and chug another 3 litres? will I be compromising my electrolytes whilst guaranteeing a clean colon? or will the extra litre complete the job 4 hours before the procedure?

    • Sara Slagle says:

      I’m always clear by bedtime. I think I’m going to start mine early so I can have something that tastes good before bed!

  • Annie says:

    I struggled for HOURS to get the first half down. Purely miserable!
    I read the suggestion on here to try apple juice. Big difference! I may make the procedure after all. Thanks to those who leave suggestions!
    God bless

  • Ed Schvantz says:

    I am currently doing my prep for colonoscopy.

    It took me all day to get down the first litre. The i remebered I had some Crystal Light. I added one tube of the lemon flavour to the litre of Klean Prep and it was suddenly absolutely palatable. I went through a whole litre in no time!

  • Kim rundquist says:

    Was told next visit talk on rectal exam very nervous fearin vomitin feelin weak faint.56 years old.colon issues on dads side.punchy anxious dizzy in doctors office.history anxity depressiion

    • Kim rundquist says:

      56 years old never had rectal prep procedure.colon cancer dads dizzy shakey in doctors office piunchy fearin ide faint or
      weak ot vomit of prep
      .scared.never had procedure.basketcase

  • Eylse says:

    I am required to drink 8 Litres, so a two day prep prior to my colonoscopy. If after 6 litres I am expelling
    clear fluid from my bowels, do I still have to drink the other 2 litres?

  • Gelena says:

    I had three colonoscopy in my life. Now I am due for the fourth. I follow all instructions and I do drink all four liters of the dreaded substance. It absolutely do not work for me. I did not have even one bowel movement . So they had to do colonoscopy of unclean rectum. I don,t know the reason for my system,s sabotage, but it is what it is. What can you recommend? I am very prone to constipation and am taking metamucil on a daily for years. Hope there is help for those like self. Thank you.

  • Cindy says:

    I threw up most of my prep. Tried smaller doses instead of all at once stillthrew it up. Suprep was what was given. My stomach couldn’t hold the liquid. The did colonoscoopy but large intestine wasn’t totally clear. What do I suggest next time.

    • Cheryl says:

      I hsd the same problem. Even though i told the GI doc i had the problem keeping the prep down he insisted on using SuPrep again. I consumed only soup without solids for teo days before starting the prep. I stored the prep in the fridge so it wss cold and used a straw like the GI doc recommended
      Barely kept 1st dose down snd kept gagging for hours, couldnt keep any of the second bottle down at all. Called the GI doc to let him know and wanted to finish off trying mirslax but he said if I couldnt fo the suprep i needed to cancel so i did, i knew i wouldnt be able to keep the SuPrep down. Time to find another GI doc who will let me try miralax and dulcolax combo
      Which many have told me is easier. Im annoyef after being halfway there i could not try miralax n dulcolax after 2 dsys of only liquids and 12 hrs of on and off the toilet and almost running clear i was told to think I could keep the prep down as though I had control of my body’s need to vomit the poisen out was sll in my head. Extremely frustrated knowing my DNA test was positive for having a gene mutation for colon cancer. It increases the probability by 10% only but still it concerns me. Maybe i will ask about the virtual version or an MRI.

      • Arayah says:

        Is it okay to finish off colonoscopy prep with miralax? I started drinking the golytely a few hours ago and I’m nowhere near being finished(gagging/retching). For my first scope years ago I used just miralax and was completely clean. Do you think it’d be okay for me to just switch to the miralax? My procedure is in the morning and it’s already 1am and I haven’t “gone” yet.

  • Sonic Magnolia says:

    Also check with your doctor. If you don’t have kidney problems you can use Pico Salax. Way smaller doses and just S effective

    • cyrus says:

      No, not quite as effective.

    • Carol says:

      Yeesh, only comes in orange or cranberry flavor. My problem is the flavoring. I can’t do ANY Gatorade because I can’t stand the flavors. I used pedialyte (to replace the electrolites lost with the laxatives) with MiraLax AND Crystal Lite lemonade packet. I can do that for about 4 ounces, then I have to add that rest to apple juice to get it down. Ends up me having to drink more liquids. Every 15 minutes I do that until I get the 32 ounces of Pedialyte/Miralax mix drunk…

  • Sonic Magnolia says:

    Come on whiners! It’s like a day and a half of moderate inconvenience versus a possible colostomy bag or death by colon cancer. I have one every three years and am grateful for the procedure (also covered by Canada’s health care system).

    • Joan says:

      I agree Sonic. It really is nothing. I have had 2 colonoscopies and a small polyp removed. I am due for another in a few months. It is quite easy. Might save your life everyone.

      • Gloria Mcmillian says:

        I rarely drink anything. Is the drink ok? I will not be able to if it is really nasty stuff.

      • Shelley says:

        the usual preps taste like drinking salt water with extremely sour lemon taste. My husband can
        keep it down whereas I cant. Murilax is a Gods send. Ask for that.

    • Dave says:

      Sonic, I find your comment insensitive and completely lacking compassion. I tried to hork down the vile prep as directed. This resulted in me INVOLUNTARILY vomiting over a liter of the prep into the tub while at the same time having a bowel movement. I have never had a more nauseating and distressing experience with my digestion. I failed in my honest efforts to prepare for my colonoscopy and had to reschedule. Now close to 24 hours after this episode my gut is making horrendous gurgling noises trying to recover from this awful experience. If our bodies violently reject the solution through involuntary gagging and vomiting, how can you call us whiners? All we’re doing is laying out the facts that the prep isn’t working for us. I’ve read that the MiraLAX solution is tolerated better than the GoLYTELY prep. Patients are reporting that combining MiraLAX, an over-the-counter laxative, with 2 quarts of Gatorade tastes better and is easier to take than the standard 4-quart Golytely colonoscopy preparation. In a randomized clinical trial, almost 100 percent said they would repeat it again, compared to 1 out of 4 who wouldn’t take GoLYTELY in the future. In addition, doctors found no differences in how thoroughly the two preps clean the colon. This article was back in 2012! Why the heck don’t we all get the MiraLAX prep? Do doctors not know this? Here’s the link to the article:

      • MacKenzie says:

        I have my first colonoscopy in the morning and was give Suprep. I drank the first 16 oz drink and threw up about two hours later. I’m not trying to drink the second one but have only taken a few sips and have already thrown up again. Does anyone know I can switch over to the Miralax prep? It sounds like it is much more tolerable for those who aren’t able to keep it down.

    • Deborah says:

      Your lack of empathy is impressive! I have to conclude that you didn’t read the other comments.

  • Jan says:

    I’ve done this several times before. Each time it’s less than pleasant. All of the comments regarding taste, messiness and lack of food are accurate. Sometimes you just do what you are supposed to do, like it or not. I don’t like it. Here goes the first three litres of peglyte. One more litre at 5.00 am tomorrow morning. Then I get driven down to the clinic.

    For those who can do it, hang in there. For those who can’t all the best.

    Also I agree that there should be a better procedure but no one has developed one. I wish someone would, because two thirds of the comments here indicate there are people who have difficulty with the procedure.

  • Victoria says:

    I saw somewhere that you can get the 4L PEG and with special instructions turn it into a 2L PEG. Does anyone know how to do this? What are the directions? Cannot get the whole 4L down even on the split schedule.

    • Sonic Magnolia says:

      See if your doctor will let you use Pico Salex instead. Way smaller amounts of liquid. Good luck

  • Carol says:

    i have regular colonoscopies because of family history of colorectal cancer. i think this will be my 4th one coming up this week. i asked for the Miralax prep instructions which i’ve used 2 times before. although the instructions say mix with Gatorade, i mix with unsweetened apple juice. of course it tastes sweet because apples are sweet but the Miralax is pretty tasteless. procedure is to mix half of 8.3 ounce (i’m in the USA) bottle of Miralax powder with each of 2-64 oz apple juice containers. You drink one container the night before procedure (8 oz every 15 mins or so) … the second container you begin 4 hrs before the procedure and finish drinking 2 hours before scheduled procedure. My procedure is at 10am so I will begin second dose at 6am and finish by 8am. i haven’t had any issues with this prep (except hunger, of course, but this is the first time i’ve been on a low carb diet for over a year which has lessened my hunger tremendously and i hope this helps!). The Miralax prep has worked very well as far as the doctor has been concerned.

    • Arayah says:

      Is it okay to finish off colonoscopy prep with miralax? I started drinking the golytely a few hours ago and I’m nowhere near being finished(gagging/retching). For my first scope years ago I used just miralax and was completely clean. Do you think it’d be okay for me to just switch to the miralax? My procedure is in the morning and it’s already 1am and I haven’t “gone” yet.

    • Shelley McDaniel says:

      My doc is prescribing the miralax prep for me too. I have had several colonoscopies in the past and never been cleaned out properly because I couldnt stomach the golightly prep. Miralax has no flavor. My doc actually tried the golightly bowel prep and agreed it was horrible. Ever since then all he prescribes is miralax prep. Good luck!

  • Wendy says:

    I had a colonoscopy 10 years ago which one polyp was removed.Since the test was a nightmare do to the fact that I spent a total of 60 hours on the commode there is no way I would be able to tolerate it again.In the last 10 years I have been diagnosed with a muscle disease called polymyositis and I also have fibromyalgia, these are just a little bit of my problems. I also have a bone disease called madelung’s bone deformity.I just went to the Dr yesterday and he wants me to get the colon test which I am not going to. My muscles are just about all gone and it would be impossible to sit on a commode for that many hours. When I got home the last time I spent an extra 10 hours in the bathroom.My legs hurt and I can’t even feel them after 20 minutes of sitting I can’t feel them so it would be impossible to do this procedure.I just spent the last 4 months very sick.The kind of sick that you are to sick to even go to the Dr. But I know that I have something really wrong with me I finally went to Dr. I am scheduled for a battery of test which I dread but depending on results he said it could be on hold for now.No matter what I still won’t get it done.Wouldn’t you think that in this modern day and age they could have come up with a new way to do the procedure? Well I read all of the comments and it seems like everyone wants a new way to get the test.Since they are so sure I have cancer again somewhere else I still won’t get that test. Just wanted to add my 3 cents in. Luck to everyone.

    • Elaine says:

      I agree. Can’t we take pills and then drink water?

      • Joanna Copeland Shropshire says:

        The pills are hard to get down . I went that route and only could get 15 down. I had a bad reaction to the pills and my inside my mouth blistered so bad . I can’t keep the liquid prep down either . I throw it up . You would think they could do something else .

    • Gloria Mcmillian says:

      I feel as you. I had my first appointment 16 years ago for the procedure and backed out. Over last 16 years cancelled 2 more times. I get sick just thinking about going through it all. I rarely drink anything and feel little thirst. So drinking nadty stuff just will not work. I hate to think I may cancell again this month.

  • Dot McMillon says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I am going through the prep right now; and I guess I needed someone to talk to (or read from) for encouragement. My procedure is tomorrow morning. I’m only a third of the way through the prep solution nuLYTELY. Thanks again.

  • Kimberley Wrenn says:

    I have had this test for years and no matter what I do for the prep nothing works I have that gag trying to drink the solution is there any other way around it

    • Sonic Magnolia says:

      Pico Salax. Check it out

      • Sherry Straus says:

        Didn’t work for me, even with a 3 day prep. Got all the way to the OR room even though I had already reported prep didn’t work but they want to make sure.So of course it was not able to be completed and I am now booked to try again, another 3 day prep with a different medication.

  • Jackie Murphy says:

    I have a mental block about any kind of liquid medicine and need a colonoscopy done. My daughter just had the procedure done and she took 32 pills instead of the normal prep. She also can not keep the normal prep. down. What are you thoughts and opinions on this prep.? I’ve tried several times and I keep throwing up with the liquid. Please HELP me.

    Thank you,
    Jackie Murphy

    • Louisa Morgan says:

      What kind of pills did your daughter take? I prefer to do this

      • Donna Terry says:

        I tried the 32 pill method which my Dr. no longer allows. It was ok in the beginning but the pills were huge and became more difficult to swallow toward the end. You have to drink lots of water too. You bypass the awful taste of the other prep but in the end the horse pills were just as bad. I am preparing for my prep Sunday…dread it already!

      • Barbara stark says:

        Senna tablets. 32 pills. It was not at all
        Pleasant but I simply can’t drink that other stuff. I keep
        Putting off colonoscopy due to the prep.

  • Concerned says:

    Hmm. It seems that the invasive colonoscopy is favored over an MRI. However, given the risks vs benefits of the procedure, I think the MRI route is the way to go for general screening. If you have blood in your stool then obviously I think the invasive colonoscopy should be used. If your polyp is already cancerous, I don’t see how the colonoscopy screening would be of any use. BTW, I had no idea that a 5-6 foot tube was used. I can see how that can easily rupture the bowel or have it go into spasm. There is no info here on how to curb your hunger during the cleansing stage. You will be essentially fasting for 24 hours and no you’re not allowed to eat any protein.

  • Joy green says:

    Just home from having a colonoscopy and they had to stop in the middle of it because the pain was horrendous , they sain my bowel went into spasm

  • Greg says:

    I just wanted to throw this out there in case there is anyone who is looking for advice on drinking their golytely/colon prep. I couldn’t find anywhere that said definitely if there was anything extra to add to the drink. The first glass that I had was chilled, “flavored” with the lemonaid pack and drank with a straw. (Trying to bypass the tastebuds) I nearly threw up on the first glass. I then experimented with putting in high quality apple juice to mix with the prep. The more I would put in, the better it would taste. Turns out, the prep worked exactly the same, so as long as you are drinking the same 8oz you should be OK. I probably would only add 3-4 oz, so I’d drink 11-12oz of fluids in total every time that I was due to down it. It also helped to take some good wiffs of the drink first, seems like it helped me psychologically to be able to drink it when it smelled just like Apple juice.

    Tldr: you can add Apple juice to your mixed prep.

    • Donna says:

      Did your mix have the lemon flavor then you added apple juice? Was it one ounce to a full glass? I can’t tolerate even plain water and don’t like lemonade taste. I do drink apple juice. I hate to find out the day before that I can’t drink that stuff. Is the original drink a very sweet taste as lemon is sour to me and reading the mixture is too sweet? Appreciate any input.

  • verna says:

    i could not drink the golighty. I asked by Pharmacist what they used before golighty and he handed me a small bottle of castor oil and told me to drink all of it which i did. after the colonscopy i asked the Dr. if i was cleaned out and he said i was really cleaned. i never told him about what i did. has anyone else took this?

    • Carole says:

      Verna, did you have to also drink a lot of fluid? How did you go about the castor oil prep? Timing? Mixed with anything? Still have to starve for two days before the test? I cannot keep ANY kind of prep down and I’ve had to cancel my first colonoscopy twice now. And my family has history of polyps, so I don’t what to do!

    • gigiSnowflake says:

      I am in my seventies and need to have a colonoscopy, family history, I tried drinking the prep, on fourth glass I had dry heaves and strong urge to vomit, nothing came up but it was very frightening, since I had no problem with no solid food for TWO DAYS I was wondering if I stopped solid foods for more days would I be able to skip the prep, my blood pressure shot up high, body can’t tolerate the prep

      • Gloria Mcmillian says:

        You and I are in a similar situation. I have no clue how to get through this torture.

      • Cindy Chavez says:

        I mixed castor oil with tomato juice
        Worked like a charm
        However, to this day I can’t drink a Bloody Mary.

      • Bjae says:

        Hi Cindy, so u avoided the mixture. Completely? Where did u get this idea, Dr. Another whom it worked for. U said to date no blood. This statement said last month. So u have experienced this right away? Mine is 2mrw morn. When did u start drinking it. Was it on same schedule as the true prep? Thx. Asap please.

      • Deborah says:

        Similar situation. I believe my blood pressure went crazy high and passed out on floor..didnt break my nose…face all bruised.
        They wouldnt go ahead with it.
        I doubt it was low b.pressure…who knows and could it be hydration..

      • Lois says:

        I had similar experience after PEG and Pico Salax. Confusion, chills, shaking, weakness, Decreased consciousness and low bp… I was rushed to emergency and given Intervenous therapy, wrapped in hot blankets until shaking stopped for 5 hours. I never got my colonoscopy.

    • Lois says:

      The combo prep I was instructed to take prior to colonoscopy could have killed me. I was in emergency on IV therapy for 5 hours after completing the PEG and Pico Salax prep I was instructed to do. Severe loss of potassium or electrolyte imbalance can cause cardiac arythmia, and I am convinced that if I hadn’t been AT THE HOSPITAL when I crashed I would be dead. 15 years ago I used castor oil as a colonoscopy prep and had no issues whatsoever.

  • Jenny says:

    Is there any prep without Asparatame in it?

  • monica says:

    what if I’m vomitting the prep?

    • Gloria Mcmillian says:

      I made my first colonoscopy appointment 16 years ago and continue to cancel everytime as it gets close. I do not fear the actual procedure but am so fearful of the prep I get ill before I begin the drink. I know it must be mental so I am really wanting to do this in a few weeks. I have cancelled 3 other times in last 16 years and had hoped after 16 years some new way would have become popular. This shows just how little advancement has been made.

  • Sophie says:

    What happens if you cannot drink the stuff. Just yesterday I tried to drink down a glassful of that awful mix and it came right back up. Tried sipping the next glass down waiting between sips and hopeful that would stay down, halfway through that glass and up that came too. I tried calling my doctor in desperation, but no one works on a Sunday. So this morning I had to cancel my colonoscopy. Are there any other alternatives as I cannot drink this stuff without it coming back up on me?

    • HJ says:

      The only thing that is helping is using a straw. I was gagging on the first sips and knew I would never get through 4 litres. Oh… and ice in the “drink”.

    • Valerie Lake says:

      I’m with you Sophie,did you find anything helpful?

  • Chill says:

    If your complaining about this operation then obviously your pain isn’t bad enough. I went into our hospitals ER with bad butt pain after a long day on my bicycle. When the surgeon came into to explain what I had an he wanted to do I didn’t think twice. 5 years ago I experienced this pain while on a bike tour in Austria. The doctor wanted to examine me by sticking his finger up there without telling me then I jumped off of the bed an refused. He said he could help me otherwise so I let him. The second time I kinda knew what to expect so I was prepared for the horrible finger test. Then when the surgeon said operation I couldn’t refuse. That was last summer. No problems since.

  • Joe says:

    I had my first procedure 3 1/2 years ago.about 4 days later I was having what I thought were cramps.i few days later I thought it was just a stomach bug.the pain became intense and I went to the clinic.the doctor diagnosed me as having some kind of infection.I was pissed.they put me on 2 different antibiotics at the same time.that in itself destroyed all good flora in my this day my digestion isn’t at all normal and I know it all started with a bogus colonoscopy.

  • Lisa says:

    What about colon hydrotherapy? They’re doing it at Danbury …

  • Ron says:

    I am prepping for my first colonoscopy tomorrow and like everyone was concerned about the cleansing proceedure . I have just used the product called purg-odan. The pharmacist asked me if I wanted the orange or cranberry flavour. I chose the orange and it tasted just fine. Like any other flavoured drink. Two packets of powder mixed one at a time in a cup of water. I had two dulcolax Monday after supper. No food after that. Drank one mixture at 10am the next morning (Tuesday) and the second at 4pm. My procedure is tomorrow Wednesday at 1:30pm. A bit of a time with out solid food but the flavour and cleansing was a breeze. No need for concern or worry.

    • Phyllis says:

      I am trying to get down my last liter and a half of Trilyte, with much difficulty. I sure wish I was using what you are. Think I could tolerate that much better than my prep. I hope I will be able to finish the prep.

  • J. Arnell says:

    Totally agree – the sweetness of the mixture is what is so awful. I would drink 4 litres of savoury, or salty, but this is gross.

  • Luinda Hunnicutt says:

    Thank you very much. I will drink this awful stuff because of your article above. Just to let I sure do not want to!

  • ML says:

    I’ll stick with the Phosphosoda and Gatyorade. I won’t give out my pharmacy’s phone number or address. It worked 10 years ago. I am almost a vegetarian, and I don’t eat processed anything. I don’t eat meat. I’m the one talking the prep, not them. If I have to, I will lie.

    • SM says:

      ML, I’m not sure what you’re saying, but I am very interested. Is this the “old way” of prepping you are referring to? Is it gentler somehow? Do pharmacies hesitate to give you what is required now?

      • Sara Slagle says:

        My Dr. told me that it can cause kidney failure if you don’t drink enough fluids. I worked hard at drinking clear fluids, after the bottle, but when I got to the hospital they said I was somewhat dehydrated. I guess the extra fluid in the prep assures that doesn’t happen.

    • Sherry Straus says:

      Is that over the counter? and better than Colyte? I don’t want sugar nor drinking a ton of it.I would rather drink water with something else. TY

    • Maureen says:

      Interested to know what you are talking about. Just failed my third attempt at prepping, can’t keep that stuff down. I would try anything that would work better but I don’t understand what you are referring to. Thanks so much in advance. I really need a colonoscopy but can not tolerate the normal prep.

      • Mary Ann Palmer says:

        I know what you mean
        My last attempt I had to call 911 and be taken in ambulance because I kept throwing up every sip. Had a reaction I guess but I tried again with smaller prep and same thing happened.
        I have history in my family my mom died of colon cancer and now my mail in test came back positive for blood. Don’t know what to do 4 gastro drs turned me away said there is nothing else for the prep.they won’t do it

      • Joy says:

        Mary Ann, I can understand totally. Last year I passed out after doing the prep. This year I almost passed out after it, and I was so sick. I was lying on the floor wondering if I was going to live. It was awful! In addition, my colonoscopy was cancelled for the next morning so I never had it. Four days later and my stomach is still giving me fits.

      • Dana says:

        Maureen-did you ever find a solution because I’m in same boat?

      • Valerie Lake says:

        I have tried the colon prep for the colonoscopy 3 different ways & I vomit it up all 3 times within an hour of taking. Is there anything else I can do?

      • Barbara says:

        I am having the same problem. I vomit every time I try to drink it. Were you still able to have your procedure? Mine is tomorrow and I am scared about what to do. Help! Any words of encouragement will be greatly appreciated

      • Juskee says:

        I have a colonoscopy scheduled this morning and omg the prep is by far the worst. They gave me Suprep and it can’t get no more worse. I gagged through the first bottle and dreaded the second as I comment. I will say after reading other suggestions a small pea of toothpaste on ur finger and coat ur cheeks and tongue and use a straw to drink solution helped me get down the second bottle. Good luck

      • TRISTIAN KIRBY says:

        There is pills you can take called osmoprep. Expensive and usually not coved by insurance.

      • Maggie says:

        But, they do a good job of cleaning the bowels out?

      • Hope E. Smith says:

        Any information on other methods as I can’t see myself stomaching the prep liquid. Just tried tonight for the first time and I threw up the 3/4 I drank. Have to reschedule. I would like to have done sooner then later.

  • Annaliese Schumacher says:

    As colonoscopies are so incredibly intrusive and completely disregard a patient’s privacy, other procedures should be considered. I have read that, as many people understandably refuse to undergo a colonoscopy, they have been experimenting with “virtual colonoscopies” using CAT scans. Although this procedure has it’s limitations (ie. it may miss very small polyps, and certainly can’t remove them), it may be helpful in determining what the risk is of refusing a colonoscopy if you have a positive FOBT. As only one in 20 positive FOBT tests will ever lead to cancer, it would be very useful to have other options.

    I would like to ask if a MRI could be used to detect polyps and/or cancer of the large intestine? Although the patient would no doubt be forced to pay for the scan themselves, might it save them from a completely unnecessary, and inherently disgusting, colonoscopy on receipt of a positive FOBT?

    • Paul Taylor says:

      Hi Annaliese

      You are right. High tech imagining equipment can be used to examine the colon without actually entering the body.

      But there are pros and cons with every procedure. And, in the case of an MRI, some patients may not like the experience any more than having a colonoscopy.

      The following information comes from the website of the American Cancer Society

      Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

      Like CT scans, MRI scans provide detailed images of soft tissues in the body. But MRI scans use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays. The energy from the radio waves is absorbed by the body and then released in a pattern formed by the type of body tissue and by certain diseases. A computer translates the pattern into a very detailed image of parts of the body. A contrast material called gadolinium may be injected into a vein before the scan to better see details.

      MRI scans are a little more uncomfortable than CT scans. First, they take longer − often up to an hour. Second, you have to lie inside a narrow tube, which is confining and can upset people with claustrophobia (a fear of enclosed spaces). Newer, more open MRI machines can sometimes help with this if needed, but the images may not be as sharp in some cases. MRI machines make buzzing and clicking noises that you may find disturbing. Some centers provide earplugs to help block this noise out.

      MRI scans can be helpful in patients with rectal cancers to see if the tumor has spread into nearby structures. This helps plan surgery and other treatments. To improve the accuracy of the test, some doctors use endorectal MRI. For this test the doctor places a probe, called an endorectal coil, inside the rectum. This must stay in place for 30 to 45 minutes during the test and can be uncomfortable.

      MRI is also sometimes useful in looking at abnormal areas in the liver that might be due to cancer spread or to look at the brain and spinal cord.

      Here is the weblink:

  • Katharina says:

    First of all, I have not tasted the mixture, I have only heard about the taste. The one thing I am wondering about is: Is the added sugar necessary or is it only there to “hide” the salty taste? If sugar has no purpose other than masking the salty flavor, could there not be a “savory” preparation, perhaps vegetable, beef or chicken broth flavored, that works with the existing taste rather than trying to cover it up? Perhaps that would be an improvement for some people, in particular those that do not like sweet and salty together.

    • Paul Taylor says:

      Hi Katharina:

      The surgery favouring is added to mask the salty flavour. Who knows, maybe the companies that make these products will consider your idea.

    • HJ says:

      Agreed. Doing the prep right now and the “sweet” is terrible. I do not like sweet! I do not add sugar to any drinks and artificial sweetners are even worse.

      • Sara Slagle says:

        Hey, ivestarting drinking the prep. Leaving it room temp, putting in liquid aminos (about 1 tspin a 10 oz cup, adding about 2 tbsp liquid beef bone broth and 8 oz prep. Just tastes like broth! (I stained aminos because of residue.). I hate Gatorade due to the sweet/salty taste. Downed 2 cups in 5 minutes.

    • Sara Slagle says:

      I did that 3 years ago and plan todo it again.

    • Maggie says:

      This is by far the worst drink I’ve ever tasted. I want to throw up. I was just wondering if I have to finish the last few ounces . I’m on my first dose, and it’s not going to well.

      • Lisa M says:

        I heard if you hold your nose while drinking it you won’t taste it. I also heard if you use a straw and bypass your taste buds, that would work better for you next time.

      • Louise Marcozzi says:

        I threw up multiple times. My next colonoscopy is due June 2021. I am so dreaded it.

      • Tina M. says:

        Nope, I’ve tried all the ’tips’ and none have worked for me. Three failed preps in 30 days. I can’t keep the liquid down.

      • Nick Bova says:

        Me too lol. This is like Fear Factor.

      • Angela says:

        I know your post is old but I just threw all of my prep up

      • Hope E. Smith says:

        I just drank 3/4 and drank a container of Gatorade and threw it all up. Now I have to cancel procedure tomorrow and pray I’m not charged very much. I think I’ll try the muralex and pills as I tend to get nauseous with horrible tasting drinks/food. Even tomatoes make me nauseous. I will try again next month. I wish you luck..

      • Tina M. says:

        I’m having the same problem. I gave same problem with food, but all this liquid isn’t lasting, it just comes up. I’ve never had this problem in 2015.

      • Kawanda Grier says:

        I know what you mean ,I’m doing it now and I’m on the first glass and I really feel nauseated,this drink is definitely NOT going well so I know exactly what you mean

      • Hope E. Smith says:

        Did you end up going through with colonscopy? I threw up most of it as I stated. So I’ll have to cancel.

      • TJ says:

        Hey, I’m so with you tonight…almost done and just hating it so much. I’m here on my google, googling what if I dont finish the hole jug of the nasty! Funny, here ya all are too! Well, i added sugar free country time lemonade powder to my whole jug of junk. Really better tasting for sure! I’m so running clear now! I’m gonna stop the torture and say…I’m good.

    • Angel says:

      Honestly the chilled prep with Crystal light lemonade works best & drinking apple juice to flush out the bittery salty soap after taste… tomorrow Jan 22,2020 is my first ever endoscopy & colonoscopy test! I’m a bit nervous & scared myself but also thinking that this could save my life so “sucking it up buttercup” ‍♀️

    • Nick Bova says:

      The best thing I’ve found so far is toothpaste. A pea sized amount to coat your mouth, then go to work. Have some lemonade handy to wash out your mouth.

    • Darlene Fowlet says:

      My sister had a colonoscopy years ago and they gave her a pill to clean her bowel

      • Kawanda Grier says:

        I need her doctor

      • Krystal larson says:

        The first time I was given the prep, it gave me a 2 day anxiety attack. I have had anxiety since 18 y.o. Without the pill was fine the next time. I’m a lot older now and 2 different preps made me so bloated I just could not finish it.

      • Patti says:

        My doctor told me that they do not use the pills anymore. She said they were taken off the market


Paul Taylor


Paul Taylor is a health journalist and former Patient Navigation Advisor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he provided advice and answered questions from patients and their families. Paul will continue to write occasional columns for Healthy Debate.

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