Before you undergo a colonoscopy, endoscopy or any type of cancer screening, please inform us of your entire prescription medication history – we need to know about all medicines, if any, that you are presently taking. Depending on the medication, you may need to refrain from taking some of them before the test. Especially if you take insulin or blood thinners, we need to know. We will coordinate with other doctors about dosage adjustments if necessary.
Make plans, too, to arrange for a friend or relative to take you to and from our clinic. You will not be able to drive after the exam, and it’s best to have somebody stay the night with you if you live alone.
Seven days Before Your Exam
You must refrain from taking any type of aspirin product. We’ll provide a detailed list of products to avoid. If you regularly take supplements containing iron, you must stop taking them as well.
Have plenty of liquids on hand to drink before the exam. You can have Gatorade, clear fruit juice (no citrus or acidic brands), coffee or tea without milk, and Popsicles if they contain no cream or frozen fruit. We will also prescribe a special drink mix (such as GoLytely or NuLytely, or Miralax) designed to help eliminate fecal matter from your intestines, so make sure you get the prescription filled and follow the instructions.
One Day Before Your Exam
This is very important: you cannot eat any solid foods the day before and the day of your exam! We understand how frustrating that is, but it’s important that you are cleansed inside so we can properly perform the colonoscopy. Stick only with the liquids mentioned above – but don’t drink anything red or purple. You can even have a cup of bullion for lunch or dinner if you wish. Also, the morning is a good time to prepare your prescription cleansing drink to have in the evening. Keep it chilled in the refrigerator – our patients say it tastes better when it’s cold.
At 4:00 pm take 4 Dulcolax tablets followed by 2-3 glasses of clear liquid.
At 4:30 pm mix 4 ounces of Miralax in 32 ounces of Gatorade and drink.
At 8:00 pm mix another 4 ounces of Miralax with 32 ounces of Gatorade and drink.
The Day of Your Exam
You should not have been eating food the day before, and five hours before you report to the clinic you need stop the liquids as well. Don’t be tempted to take a glass of water – your colon needs to be empty. Refrain from any medications, and bring an extra set of clothes just in case of an accident.
Once you arrive at our offices, we will help you through every step of the colonoscopy, and after it is finished you will rest until we determine when you are able to leave.
If you have any questions about what to do before your exam, please call us today at 757-412-4919.