The most important step of getting ready for a colonoscopy is preparing the bowels. Because your healthcare provider will need to see the inside of your colon clearly during a colonoscopy, you must make sure your bowels are emptied before the procedure. There are usually two medications used for emptying the bowels: one that causes diarrhea and one that helps the first medicine go through your system faster.
An Overview of Bowel Prep
A very important part of a colonoscopy is being able to see inside your large intestine or colon. If your colon has too much food in it, your doctor will not be able to see your colon clearly. To help your doctor see it better, you will need to clean out your bowels by either using special medications or giving yourself an enema. Cleaning out your bowels is called a "bowel prep." This 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 preparing the bowels using one of several types of liquid solution.
(If your doctor has prescribed Fleets Phospho-Soda® for your bowel prep, then click Bowel Prep Using Fleets Phospho-Soda for more specific information.)
Medication for Prepping the Bowels
To help clean out your bowels, you will be given a prescription for two medications.
The first will be for a liquid solution of one of the following:
Each of these drinkable medications does the same thing -- cause diarrhea. Most people find that the lemon-lime flavor tastes the best, but if this is not available, a good alternative is the plain-flavored version. You can then add lemon or strawberry-banana Crystal Light to help flavor it.
Your second prescription will be for Reglan®, also called metoclopromide. Reglan is an anti-nausea medicine that will help the drinkable medication go through your system faster.