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It’s that time of the year which that everyone dreads…annual physical and those above age 50 dread it even more as they have to undergo that 11-letter word – colonoscopy.

The procedure itself might be completed without any problems, but it is the preparation before the procedure that everybody dreads.

Preparing For Colonoscopy

So, how does one prepare for a colonoscopy? Well here are the three simple steps:
  • Start eating a low-fiber diet three days before the colonoscopy. Stop taking any anti-diarrheal medications
  • Maintain the low-fiber diet two days before the colonoscopy
  • Start a clear liquid diet a day before
  • The evening before the procedure, start consuming the laxative. Start around 4-5 PM and finish half the bottle by 7 PM and finish the remaining laxative the next morning

Having The Colonoscopy Prep

For many people, drinking the colonoscopy prep is something they dread. The main reason is the fear of throwing up.

You do not swallow the whole prep in one go. Half of the prep is drunk the day before. You start it around late afternoon and then finish it the next morning.

You must follow the instructions which are mentioned in the handout given by the medical center and not the instructions on the bottle.

Preparing Laxative Drink

The laxative is a prescription medication that is picked up either at a medical center or given by your physician.

Follow the below-given instructions to make the laxative prep.
  • Fill up half of the laxative container. Shake the container thoroughly and fill the container to the top line.
  • Use flavoring packets, if needed. Taste the flavor by mixing it in a glass and drinking it. Once it has passed the taste test, mix the packet with the entire bottle.

Drinking The Laxative


  • Have 8 ounces of liquid every 15 minutes. Do not sip; drink it quickly.
  • Complete half bottle of laxative by the evening before the D-day. This should take around 2 hours (a glass every 15 minutes). Store the remaining drink in the refrigerator and then having it the morning of the procedure.

Avoiding Throwing Up

Drinking a prep is easier said than done. A majority of the patients have episodes of vomiting or feel nauseous.

When you start feeling sick or throw up, the first thing to do is stopping the bowel prep. Take a break of around 30 minutes to even an hour. After the nauseous or throwing episode has passed, restart taking the prep, this time a bit slow.

Many people throw up as downing the laxative quickly is too much for their body to handle.

A trick is chilling the prep before drinking it. So don’t forget to put that bottle in the refrigerator. Having cold water, along with bowel prep, has also been found to be helpful in many cases.

Another method of avoiding the nauseous episode is taking a dose of anti-nauseous medication. If you had one previously and have tolerated it well, then go ahead and take a pill.

Some of the common anti-nauseous drugs include Zofran (ondansetron), Compazine (prochlorperazine), Phenergan (promethazine), or Reglan (metoclopramide).

You can also suck hard candy or lemon after drinking the prep to help overcome the taste. If nausea and vomiting episodes continue to persist, contact the doctor and talk about it. If possible, reschedule the procedure.