Patient Information

Prep tips & FAQ's

The prep tastes terrible, what can I do?

Add plenty of ice to the prep, drink it with a straw, mix it with white grape juice, crystal light flavor packets, or follow each sip with a scoop of lemon Italian ice.

I feel nauseated while drinking the prep, what can I do?

Stop drinking the prep and take a 30 minute break. Go for a short walk, read a book, or watch a TV show to distract yourself. Then when feeling better go back and start drinking again, making sure the prep is cold and sip it slowly through a straw. You do not need to consume the entire prep fast.
If you do vomit and you are unable to continue drinking more of the prep, please call us and have a phone number of a pharmacy that is open, in case we need to call in a prescription for an anti-nausea pill or more bowel preparation medicine.

I drank the prep, but I haven’t had a bowel movement yet, what should I do?

Wait. The timing of bowel movements depends on the person, but on average bowel movements start within two to three hours after taking the prep. If you have not had a bowel movement within three hours of drinking your first dose of prep, you may need extra laxative. The best options are: drinking a chilled 10oz bottle of citrate of magnesia (but do NOT take if you have kidney problems), taking 2 dulcolax tablets, or insert a dulcolax suppository. These all can be bought over the counter. Call us if these options are ineffective. If you have baseline constipation, please make sure to discuss this prior to the night of the bowel preparation with your doctor.

Can I drink additional liquids while I am drinking the prep?

Yes, you can drink extra clear liquids (Gatorade, water, chicken broth, jello, etc) while you are drinking the prep. The more liquid you drink, the better your bowel preparation will be and it will keep you hydrated. Do not drink alcoholic beverages.

When do I have to stop drinking all liquids, including the prep?

You must have nothing further by mouth by 4 hours prior to the procedure.

How do I know if the prep worked and I am ready for the procedure?

Your bowel preparation is ready for the procedure when your bowel movements consist of clear water or yellow liquid only.

Can I take my morning medications on the day of the procedure?

Most morning medications can be taken with a sip of water anytime before 4 hours prior to procedure. However, some medications may need to be held. Please refer to your specific bowel preparation instructions given to you in the office for instructions on medications that need to be held.

My bum is sore from all the bowel movements. What can I do?

Use wet wipes when wiping and apply a topical zinc based barrier cream such as Butt paste or Desitin.

Can I have my colonoscopy done if I have my menstrual period?


I have a cold, cough, rash or open wound. Can I still have my procedure?

Please call our office ahead of time if you are not feeling well to discuss whether it is safe to proceed with the prep and the procedure.

“I have diabetes and my sugar is very low. What should I do?

Please suck on a sugary candy and/or drink a clear liquid with sugar (such as Gatorade) and please call us if you sugar does not return to normal. Please talk with your primary care doctor or us prior to the procedure if you have questions about managing your diabetes during the bowel preparation process. You should be given instructions on how to take (or hold) your diabetes medications prior to the procedure.

Can I drive later on in the day after the procedure?

No. Because you will receive anesthesia for the procedure, you cannot drive or operate heavy machinery until the next day.

Can I drink alcohol when I go home after the procedure?

No. You can resume drinking alcohol the next day.

How long will the procedure take?

Please expect approximately 2.5 hours door to door for your procedure in total.