Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation Instructions
Please read all instructions and get prescription filled at least three (3) days before your colonoscopy examination.
You should have:
- A prescription for bowel cleansing medicine, usually Picoprep or Picosalax, to be obtained from your pharmacy
- Bowel preparation instructions (this sheet)
- A pamphlet explaining colonoscopy
- A hospital patient information booklet, and forms to be completed and sent to the hospital
ON THE DAY BEFORE THE EXAMINATION
Start taking clear fluids only, no solid food allowed. This is all you can have for the day prior to, and on the day of the colonoscopy. Clear fluids include:
- Strained fruit juices without pulp (apple, white grape, orange etc)
- Water, tea, coffee (with some milk)
- Clear broth/soup or Oxo
- Sports drinks such as Powerade are very good during this preparation
- All of the following but not coloured red or purple:
- Soft drinks and flavoured cordials
- Plain jelly (without added fruits or toppings)
- Clear ice blocks
1. At 7pm (the evening before your procedure day):
Add 1 sachet of Picoprep/ Picosalax to 125ml of cold water and drink
Immediately drink one full glass (250mls) of clear fluid (as listed above).
Follow this with at least 3 more glasses.
2. At 7am (the morning of your procedure):
Mix 2nd sachet of Picoprep/ Picosalax as above and repeat the process.
It can make it easier to take the preparation if you chill the mixture, drink it through a straw, or suck barley sugars. It can also be mixed with lemonade or honey.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU KEEP DRINKING WATER (OR OTHER CLEAR FLUIDS) UP UNTIL 2 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR APPOINTMENT TIME, BUT HAVE NOTHING TO DRINK IN THE 2 HOURS BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
High quality colonoscopic examination can only be achieved if the colon is clear. For this reason, you are asked to follow this regime of bowel clean out.
Do not exceed the doses given in the instructions.
The Picoprep/Picosalax preparation often works within 30 minutes, but may take as long as 6 hours. It may cause multiple urgent bowel movements, so remain within easy reach of toilet facilities.
The aim of this preparation is to have you passing clear, light, straw coloured water out of your bowel. If it is muddy, or solid, you may need an enema, so please report on time for your examination. Expect to be at the hospital for at least 2 hours, but delays may occur and your stay may be longer.
- Contact us if you are a diabetic or you are on anticoagulants/ blood thinning medicine, eg warfarin, dibigatran – you will need further instructions and you may need to be monitored by your GP before your procedure.
- If you are on aspirin or related, eg. Cartia don’t take this on morning of colonoscopy.
- If you are on iron supplements, stop these 1 week before the colonoscopy.
For 24 hours after the procedure, you cannot:
- DRINK ALCOHOL
- OPERATE ANY HEAVY MACHINERY
- RIDE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT ALONE
- SIGN ANY LEGAL DOCUMENTS
- MAKE ANY IMPORTANT DECISIONS
If you have any questions, please phone the Christchurch Gastroenterology Group
Page Updated 12/8/14