Bowel Prep Using Fleets Phospho-Soda
Before your colonoscopy, you may be asked to do a bowel prep using Fleets Phospho-Soda. A bowel prep is the process of cleaning out your bowels before a colonoscopy. There are many different medications you can use to help empty your bowels, and Fleets Phospho-Soda is a type of over-the-counter laxative that is commonly used.
An Introduction to Bowel Prep Using Fleets Phospho-Soda
A very important part of a colonoscopy is being able to see the inside of your large intestine or colon. If your colon has too much food in it, your doctor will not be able to see it clearly. To help your doctor see it better, you will need to clean out your bowels by giving yourself an enema or using special medications. Cleaning out your bowels is called a "bowel prep." The bowel prep is one of the most important parts of having a colonoscopy, even though it is done on the day before the procedure.
This article discusses bowel prep using a laxative known as Fleets Phospho-Soda®.
(You can read about bowel prep using the liquid solutions Nulytely®, Golytely®, or Colyte® by going to the eMedTV article Bowel Prep.)
Medication for the Bowel Prep Using Fleets Phospho-Soda
Fleets Phospho-Soda is a laxative that can be bought over the counter at most pharmacies.
When you purchase this item, be very careful not to confuse it with Fleets enemas. They are made by the same company and the boxes look similar, but Fleet enemas are taken rectally and Fleets Phospho-Soda is taken by mouth. If you are unsure, make sure to ask your pharmacist.
You will need to buy a total of 3 ounces of the Phospho-soda.
Specifics on the Bowel Prep Using Fleets Phospho-Soda
If you are using Fleets Phospho-Soda for your colonoscopy bowel prep, on the day before your colonoscopy, you should only have clear liquids to drink or eat the entire day. This includes: black coffee or tea, bouillon, water, juice (specifically apple, grape, or cranberry), soda pop, Gatorade®, hard candy such as Life Savers or lemon drops, and Jell-O.
Make sure not to eat or drink anything with blue or red dye. Red dye, like the kind in cherry flavored Jell-O, looks like blood inside your intestines. Blue dye makes it more difficult to see the inside lining of the colon. You should also avoid any dairy products like milk, ice cream, or cream soup.
At 4 pm, you should begin by taking 1 ½ tablespoons of the medicine with a half cup of water or root beer. You will take the same amount again at 7 pm.
In between 4 pm and 7 pm, you will need to drink at least three to six 8-ounce glasses of clear liquid. Try to drink more if possible.
The Fleets Phospho-soda works by taking extra water from your body and moving it to the colon. This causes the feces in your colon to break up and start diarrhea. It can take up to 4 hours for the diarrhea to start. In order to keep you from becoming dehydrated, it is very important that you drink as much liquid as possible throughout the day.
After you have taken both doses of the Fleets Phospho-soda, you can still have clear liquids until 4 hours before your colonoscopy.
(Click Colonoscopy Prep for other important instructions related to preparing for a colonoscopy.)