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View Full Version : Your favorite colonoscopy prep regimen? (need answer fast)


Mama Zappa
06-07-2010, 03:53 PM
Odd subject line, huh?

Anyway...

I'm visiting a gastroenterologist tomorrow for stomach issues, and will most likely also be discussing a screening colonoscopy (oh joy) while they're at it.

I know there are options, including drinking a gallon of nasty stuff (GoLytely et al), drinking a smaller amount of nasty stuff with a lot of water, taking pills with a LOT of water...

So... who's done this recently and what regimen did you use? If the doc offers options, all else being equal I'd rather use the one that involves the lowest ratio of nasty stuff / pure water (or other liquids - apple juice?). I just figure they'll try to push the GoLytely (or whatever) as the default.

I know the end result (hah) is that I'll be excreting pretty much anything I've eaten since the 2nd grade... sigh.

cjepson
06-07-2010, 04:44 PM
I've only ever done the two small bottles of nasty stuff (Fleet Phospho-Soda, IIRC). The first time I had to do this, I got pretty bad nausea after each bottle. The second time, no nausea at all. I don't think they reformulated the stuff... I think I just knew to drink a lot of water afterward. More like constant small sipping than guzzling.

I would assume that eating mild, not acid-y, food in the day or so prior to the prep would make things less uncomfortable also.

thirdwarning
06-07-2010, 04:53 PM
My doctor put me on a three day regimen of nothing but clear liguids (but it included hard candy and gumdrops) with the Fleet Phospho-Soda in the evening of the last day and the morning of the procedure. It really wasn't so bad, and I never had the explosive problems that other people here have reported. Maybe there just wasn't much of anything left to 'explode'.

I did a lot of chicken broth because it gave me an alternative to sweet.

OpalCat
06-07-2010, 05:14 PM
Fleet Phospho-soda was what worked for me. I think I did it with ginger ale. I barfed up the GoLytely instantly.

teela brown
06-07-2010, 06:43 PM
My doctor put me on a three day regimen of nothing but clear liguids (but it included hard candy and gumdrops) with the Fleet Phospho-Soda in the evening of the last day and the morning of the procedure. It really wasn't so bad, and I never had the explosive problems that other people here have reported. Maybe there just wasn't much of anything left to 'explode'.

I did a lot of chicken broth because it gave me an alternative to sweet.

Three-day regimen? Weren't you starving and shakey?

as_u_wish
06-07-2010, 07:17 PM
I strongly recommend the two small bottles plus lots of water versus the large quantity of yucky liquid. I mixed the little bottles with a very small amount of Sierra Mist. Chugged it and followed with lots of water. Unpleasant but not worth the amount of drama some people seem to give it.

BrotherCadfael
06-07-2010, 07:37 PM
I'm not sure the word "favorite" is quite appropriate here...

Mama Zappa
06-07-2010, 07:57 PM
I'm not sure the word "favorite" is quite appropriate here...Well, yeah.... but "loathsome but at least in the same hemisphere as tolerable" would have made the title too long ;).

Mama Zappa
06-07-2010, 08:21 PM
Phooey - look like Fleet Phosphosoda isn't available any more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phospho_soda
or at least is harder to get (and now has a black-box warning):
http://guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?ss=15&doc_id=9619&nbr=5139

Miralax may be an alternative. I guess I'd have to mix up a lot of that, too, but my son took it for many years for encopresis and never complained about it.

pricciar
06-07-2010, 09:15 PM
Miralax mixed with Gatorade works out quite well. It doesn't taste great, but it doesn't taste awful, either.

I usually used orange. They tell you not to use red, but I think that's crazy. Red gatorade doesn't really look anything like blood. (And my doctor agreed that they just put that down to be extra cautious and not to worry about it. Of course if your doctor cares don't drink the red!)

Mama Zappa
06-07-2010, 10:17 PM
Miralax mixed with Gatorade works out quite well. It doesn't taste great, but it doesn't taste awful, either....
Why Gatorade vs., say, apple juice?

Nutty Bunny
06-07-2010, 10:30 PM
I have to have one every 2 years and I was so happy that the Miralax prep is the preferred choice of my gastroenterologist! It isn't as "colon-blow" as go-lytely or phospho soda are, but if you're good about your clear liquid diet, you'll be good to go. I've never been big on chugging anything and the go-lytely was a nightmare for me and I was never as...prepared as I should be. The Miralax is tasteless and textureless.

Nutty Bunny
06-07-2010, 10:33 PM
Why Gatorade vs., say, apple juice?

If you get some low-sugar Gatorage (G2, I think it's called), then you're not getting a rush of sugar like you would with apple juice. You do have to drink a lot of the stuff, you know?

I feel sick enough drinking a lot of liquid. I don't need a ton of sugar making me feel more sick.

pricciar
06-07-2010, 11:02 PM
Short answer:
That's the prep they told me to take and I thought it tasted reasonably good for something you are forced to drink to go to the bathroom.

Short guess:
During the prep you are losing a lot of fluids. Gatorade has electrolytes that allow you to replenish these fluids more effectively than water or apple juice could.

Magiver
06-08-2010, 12:14 AM
Bullion and frozen ice treats (of the correct color) made things tolerable. The less solution you have to drink the better. It doesn't matter how great it tastes if you have to guzzle a gallon of it.

TreacherousCretin
06-08-2010, 12:28 AM
I've had three c-scopes so far. First two times I prepped with GoLitely, which for me was nightmarishly horrible.

Third time around I was offered an alternative- repeated small amounts of very nasty tasting syrup, chased with water. It was easy as could be. I strongly advise against the green gallon of Golitely- it's unnecessary torture.

Mama Zappa
06-08-2010, 05:05 PM
Just got back and I "won"... sort of... I need an endoscopy for the upper GI issues, which was the primary reason for going in then; they can do the colonoscopy at the same time. I asked to avoid the GoLytely and instead got "extended Osmo prep" which involves pills washed down with large amounts of Gatorade.

And *two* full days of liquid diet. Oh joy.

What's especially fun is the scheduling. We're returning from vacation on Saturday, the procedure is on Monday... so I've got to be on a liquid diet while flying.

The next appointment would have been a week later, when we'll be driving the kids to camp, so this is actually a better option.

Hey, at least I'll get drugs.

Funny story from a friend. She had the colonoscopy with a large jug of nasty stuff. Evidently it worked well enough that she didn't have to finish it. A couple of days later, her husband was trying to get the kids ready for school, the kids were dawdling, and finally he shouted "the last one out the door has to drink Mommy's lemonade!".

The kids were ready in record time.

BobArrgh
06-08-2010, 05:52 PM
I'm not sure the word "favorite" is quite appropriate here...

For that matter, I don't think "GoLytely" is an appropriate term, either. The one time I did that stuff made me feel worse than a stomach ailment I picked up in the Orient.

BrotherCadfael
06-08-2010, 05:57 PM
I like Dave Barry's take: "you need to install seat belts on your toilet bowl."

Harmonious Discord
06-08-2010, 06:18 PM
The method I was given is such a favorite I don' know if I'll ever submit to one again. It's that good.

P.S.
Remember the waiting room is full of people all waiting for that examine, and you all feel like you need to use the one bathroom.

thirdwarning
06-08-2010, 11:57 PM
Three-day regimen? Weren't you starving and shakey?

I thought it would be awful, but it really wasn't. There wasn't any limit to how much I could have, just limits on what. And the chicken broth was sort of close enough to food to make it okay. I had some variety and with the gumdrops I had some chewing. Not bad at all. The Phospho-Soda went into something like six ounces of ginger ale and actually that was the worst of it, because I had cheap ginger ale. Tasted nasty. I thought it was the Fleet but it was the pop.

Spice Weasel
06-09-2010, 12:16 AM
This is kind of like asking one's favorite way to be flayed alive.

Have done GoLytely and HalfLytely, they were both awful. Let me know how that pills and Gatorade thing goes; that sounds tolerable.

Indistinguishable
06-09-2010, 12:21 AM
They do one with Miralax, don't they? That's probably not too bad (though I see it's both no longer relevant to the OP and has already been mentioned a couple times).

I had one with the standard GoLytely, which was pretty miserable. But the experience is somewhat intrinsically uncomfortable anyway. For what it's worth, I never actually thought the drinking of the GoLytely was as nasty as everyone made it out to be; in fact, I hardly thought anything of it. The entirety of the discomfort was in the ensuing effects (particularly because my problems included very painful defecation at the time).

rhubarbarin
06-09-2010, 01:06 AM
My prep was no prob and the procedure itself was a breeze. DulcoLax, then Gatrodade with Miralax - no bad taste. I puked a little after I finished it, but it was okay (not scared of puking). I only pooped about 6 times all night. No urgency really.

Liquid before my endoscopy and colonoscopy, however, was hellish. I felt like utter shit very soon even though I ate thousands of calories worth of grape juice, apple juice, and broth. Most people tolerate fasting better than me though - some even enjoy it.

Remember that recommendations between doctors vary and you can do whatever the heck you want, as long as you're peeing nice and clear from your butt by the end.

Spice Weasel
06-09-2010, 01:08 AM
For what it's worth, I never actually thought the drinking of the GoLytely was as nasty as everyone made it out to be; in fact, I hardly thought anything of it.
I think some people handle it better than others. For a lot of people (myself included) it triggers a gag reflex with every swallow, and according to the instructions that came with mine results in the side-effect of vomiting in 50% of users. The instructions said to wait 5 minutes if you throw up, and then drink more. At some point it actually feels like self-inflicted torture.

I say with absolute sincerity I would rather have knee surgery or some other comparable medical procedure than drink that stuff again. Hopefully by the time I am 50 they will have come up with a better way.

Indistinguishable
06-09-2010, 01:28 AM
For a lot of people (myself included) it triggers a gag reflex with every swallow, and according to the instructions that came with mine results in the side-effect of vomiting in 50% of users.
Oh. That's interesting, that it can cause such a strong emetic effect for some people and nothing of that sort for others. I wonder why that is.

Also, apparently, Miralax and GoLytely are the same polyethylene glycol? I had no idea.

Lynn Bodoni
06-09-2010, 06:47 AM
I think some people handle it better than others. For a lot of people (myself included) it triggers a gag reflex with every swallow, and according to the instructions that came with mine results in the side-effect of vomiting in 50% of users. The instructions said to wait 5 minutes if you throw up, and then drink more. At some point it actually feels like self-inflicted torture.

I say with absolute sincerity I would rather have knee surgery or some other comparable medical procedure than drink that stuff again. Hopefully by the time I am 50 they will have come up with a better way. I've HAD knee surgery, and I've had GoLytely. I'd much rather have knee surgery, thankyouverymuch. I've also had breast surgery. Again, I prefer the surgery to the colon prep. Although "prefer" rather implies that I want something. It's not that I want any type of surgery, it's that if I'm given a choice, I will avoid the colon prep more than the surgery.

Mama Zappa
06-09-2010, 09:14 AM
Oh. That's interesting, that it can cause such a strong emetic effect for some people and nothing of that sort for others. I wonder why that is.

Also, apparently, Miralax and GoLytely are the same polyethylene glycol? I had no idea.
Yeah - I noticed that myself when reading last night. I wonder why Miralax is relatively tolerable but GoPainfully is so awful?

My son used Miralax daily for a number of years (to treat encopresis) and never complained. We'd just mix up a cup with juice and his dose at night, and he'd drink it with breakfast. We could have mixed it up in the morning but this gave it longer to dissolve thoroughly. I remember his initial dose was a bit larger than his maintenance dose, to help "clean the pipes" (in lieu of an enema) but not, I suspect, colon-prep quantity.

OpalCat
06-09-2010, 09:59 AM
It certainly did for me. I would drink it, then immediately have to put the cup down and throw it all back up again. It was awful. That's why I switched to the phospho-soda stuff.

ETA: this is re: GoLytely making people barf

Spice Weasel
06-09-2010, 03:24 PM
I've HAD knee surgery, and I've had GoLytely. I'd much rather have knee surgery, thankyouverymuch.
Yep, me too -- two knee surgeries when I was a high school student. This is an informed opinion, I swear.

Wisdom tooth extraction, well that's a harder call.

Mama Zappa
07-26-2010, 12:20 AM
Partial update: tomorrow (Monday) is "the big day" and I'm midway through the process. The way the Osmo-Prep works is on the evening before, you take 4 tablets every 15 minutes (with 8 ounces of Gatorade with each 4 tabs) for an hour - total of 5 doses and 40 ounces of fluid. The tablets had a brief salty taste, usually only on the first tab (I guess the taste was masked by the Gatorade I used to wash down the first tab).

About an hour after the 5th dose, well, we all know what happened. That's almost entirely stopped so maybe I'll get to sleep some tonight.

The fluids-while-travelling wasn't so bad except our flight was a bit bumpy and even after it had been totally smooth for an hour, they had the seatbelts sign on and the flight attendants weren't in a rush to bring drinks, and since we had bulkhead seats my bottles of juice etc. were in an overhead bin and I was getting to feel a bit ill. I finally just stood up and got my drinks.

I also made 2 batches of finger-jello last night pretty much as soon as we arrived home, so I had something to "eat" today.

Of course, at 7ish tomorrow morning I get to do the pills/Gatorade all over again - only 3 doses (so 12 tablets). From tonight's evidence, this will be overkill. I guess one advantage of GoPainfully or Gatorade/Miralax is that once you're excreting clear water (or unmodified Gatorade) you can quit drinking. With the Osmo-Prep, I was given no such instructions.

I think the Dulcolax was.... overkill. Why on earth do they prescribe that?

Some random thoughts (hopefully funny) from tonight:
(sniff) "skunk? when did I eat a SKUNK???"
and... do NOT absentmindly put the *lid* down on the toilet. You will regret it.

Hopefully I'll be able to eat tomorrow - it hasn't been too bad, doing liquids only, but I do want solid food. Since they're also doing an endoscopy (and conceivably taking samples) it's possible I may have some eating restrictions.

aruvqan
07-26-2010, 04:18 AM
I have had 2 very disasterous encounters with liquipreps, 2 different ones that had me crapping my brains out and seriously dehydrating me [and the crapping should NOT go on for a week. That is an unacceptable response to the active ingredients when taken at a proper dose.]

My doc now agrees that I will do a clear liquid diet for 3 days with an enema at the finish. I have much better results when I don't parch myself through crapping my brains out.

JuliaSqueezer
07-26-2010, 09:28 AM
I did the Osmo-Prep almost exactly as Mama Zappa described. No Dulcolax. The only prohibition I was given was to not eat/drink red or grape jello or Gatorade. Clear liquids like bullion, 7-up and ginger ale were also allowed. I had to start the prep at 4 pm the day before the early-next-morning procedure. Not so bad at all. In fact, it was pretty much over and done by 9 pm.

It was so much easier (and less nauseating) than the GoLightly that I had to use the previous time.

Mama Zappa
07-26-2010, 09:38 AM
I did the Osmo-Prep almost exactly as Mama Zappa described. No Dulcolax. The only prohibition I was given was to not eat/drink red or grape jello or Gatorade. Clear liquids like bullion, 7-up and ginger ale were also allowed. I had to start the prep at 4 pm the day before the early-next-morning procedure. Not so bad at all. In fact, it was pretty much over and done by 9 pm.

It was so much easier (and less nauseating) than the GoLightly that I had to use the previous time.
Did you only have the one bout of tablets (the 4 PM)? or did you have a second round? And how long was your liquid diet?

I'm jealous of your variety... I wasn't allowed orange or blue flavors of anything, in addition to the red/purple restriction .

I'm puzzled at the low-fiber diet I had to follow Friday - you'd think they'd want things nice and loose and ready to roll when the pills hit the gut.

JuliaSqueezer
07-26-2010, 10:11 AM
Clear liquid diet started at 7 am the day before the procedure, with Osmo-Prep starting at 4 that afternoon, taking 4 tablets every 15 minutes (with at least 8 oz of clear liquid) for 1 hour. So 20 tablets. Three hours of bathroom time.

Then 4 tablets at 8pm. They said if all was (ahem) "running clear" at that time, I could stop the tablets then. If not, do 2 more of the 4-tablets every 15 minutes til they were gone. I was able to stop at 8 pm, fortunately.

Nothing to drink (even water) after midnight. I think the procedure itself was at 8 the next morning.

It's interesting to hear the variety of instructions for the prep. I wasn't given any dietary restrictions, other than no aspirin or ibuprofin for 5 days before the test. You could take Tylenol.

One thing I did forget to mention, which were a big help: popsicles! (not red or purple, of course)

limegreen
07-26-2010, 12:51 PM
Just had the colonoscopy last week. Dulcolax pills, Miralax in Gatorade. It really wasn't bad at all. It didnt' alter the taste of the Gatorade at all that I could tell, so there was just the discomfort of drinking two large bottles of Gatorade, plus 8 oz. or so of liquid every hour. The really surprising part is that I'm still trying to get my system back together. Days of no poop, followed by twitchy runny stuff. Lovely. THAT wasn't in the instructions.

Mama Zappa
07-26-2010, 03:19 PM
Quick update: Just got back about a half hour ago. The morning prep had me worried - I needed to leave at 11:00 and at 10:45 I was still making regular dashes into the small room. I had visions of needing to bring a garbage bag to put on the car seat on the way there!

All in all, the osmo-prep method worked for me - doc said I was adequately "cleaned out".

The bad news is, there were a couple of polyps that were of a more flattened appearance vs. the stalklike sort. Apparently that's not ideal. Doc removed one and biopsied the other. I'll hear back on Wednesday whether either one has gone BAD. If so, well, we'll deal with that. If not, well I get to do this all over again in a year.

Mama Zappa
07-26-2010, 03:48 PM
Just had the colonoscopy last week. Dulcolax pills, Miralax in Gatorade. It really wasn't bad at all. It didnt' alter the taste of the Gatorade at all that I could tell, so there was just the discomfort of drinking two large bottles of Gatorade, plus 8 oz. or so of liquid every hour. The really surprising part is that I'm still trying to get my system back together. Days of no poop, followed by twitchy runny stuff. Lovely. THAT wasn't in the instructions.
Fun stuff.

I just might add Fibercon to the diet starting tonight - it can normalize both runny poops *and* the shit-a-brick variety.

BTW - if anyone hears of any further richter-scale activity in the DC area.... sorry, that was just me :D.

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