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Preparation Instructions for Colonoscopy

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Buy a box of PICO - SALAX (2 packets). It is available at any pharmacy, without a prescription. (Durham Endosurgery Center will give you a prescription to remit to your drug plan, if desired.) You should also buy two tablets of Dulcolax.

If, for any reason, you have been given a different preparation ( such as MOVI-PREP, Bi-PREP, Colyte, Golytely) by the doctor in Durham Endosurgery, please follow the specific instructions on those packages. If you have been given preparation Purg-O-Dan from your pharmacy, do not worry, it works exactly the same way as PICO- SALAX.

Most people should be able to work the day before the procedure. All that you are doing during the preparation day is drinking CLEAR FLUIDS. These fluids can contain sugar, salt, calories, energy, and you can have as much of them as you want, whenever you want. You need not feel hungry or thirsty. The active ingredient, the PICO-SALAX drink, is taken after work, when you are home. The overall effects of PICO - SALAX last 6-8 hours, and you should be able to get a good nights sleep .


SECTION A: If your arrival QUOTED IS BEFORE 12:00
(See Section B, if you were told to arrive after 12 Noon)

  • Have a light breakfast, fluids only. A breakfast milkshake such as Carnation Instant Breakfast is OK. After that, only clear liquids throughout the day.
  • At or around 4:00PM (not important), take the DULCOLAX tablets. They will increase the contractions of the intestine, and help the prep to go through faster.
  • Around 6:00PM (or immediately after work, if you plan to work on the day before the procedure), take the first packet of PICO-SALAX. Mix the bag in cold water and stir for 2-3 minutes. The mixture may overheat, then let cool before drinking. Drink at least three big (8 ounce) glasses of clear fluids following the PICO-SALAX, over the next hour. Continue with clear liquids ONLY
  • At 10:00 PM, take the second sachet. Drink three glasses of 8 ounces of clear fluids over the next hour, and you can also continue with clear liquids up until 6 hours before your procedure (ie procedure at 11AM - stop ALL liquids at 5AM)
  • Individual responses to laxatives vary; for most people the bowel movements start around the time of taking the second sachet. You will have several movements that become progressively more liquid, eventually clear liquid. Some patients find movements begin within 30 minutes of the first packet. Please stay within easy access to the bathroom. (Ignore that one on your own risk!) Do not be alarmed if the movements are not perfectly clear; as long as they are the greenish water, the preparation will probably be fine.


SECTION B: If your arrival quoted is
AFTER 12:00
(See Sec. A, if you were told to arrive before 12 Noon)

  • Have a light breakfast, fluids only. A breakfast milkshake such as Carnation Instant Breakfast is OK. After that, only clear liquids throughout the day.

  • At or around 18:00 pm, take the Dulcolax tablets. They will increase the contractions of the intestine, and help prepare to go through faster.
  • At around 8:00PM take the first packet of pico- SALAX. Mix the bag in cold water and stir for 2-3 minutes. The mixture may overheat, then let cool before drinking. Drink at least three big (8 ounce) glasses of clear fluids following the PICO - SALAX, over the next hour. Continue with clear liquids only until bedtime.
  • At 06:00 AM, to wake up and take the second sachet. Drink three glasses of 8 ounces of clear fluids over the next hour. Nothing to eat or drink after 7:00 AM please.
  • Individual responses to laxatives vary; most people will have a few bowel movements after the first sachet, and a few more the next morning after the second. The movements will become progressively more liquid, eventually clear liquid. Some patients find movements begin within 30 minutes of the first packet. Please stay within easy access to the bathroom. (Ignore that one on your own risk!) Do not be alarmed if the movements are not perfectly clear; as long as they are the greenish water, the preparation will probably be fine.


THE DAY OF THE PROCEDURE
Do not eat. Nothing to drink for 6 hours before the procedure

This is extremely important and, if not followed, could lead to the cancellation of your procedure. (Small sips of water for medications are OK, but a full glass of water is not)

You are required to have someone drive you home.


A taxi is not acceptable. This is a liability issue as a result of sedation given. There are taxi services in Durham that will drive you and your car home, if desired. (Durham Endosurgery Center has no financial interest in these services.) These services require you to book days ahead.
Your friend or family member will be dropping off and picking up about 2 hours apart. We can be flexible with regard to procedure time, if getting a ride is a problem for you.
You will be fine for driving, and to return to work the following day.



Confused with more than 1 set of instructions for your Prep?

  • For PICO-SALAX and PURG-O-DAN, please prefer the instructions given to you at Durham Endosurgery Centre, over the instructions on the package

  • For all other preparations (Go-lytely, Co-lyte, MOVI-Prep, BI-Prep, etc.) please prefer the instructions on the package.

WHEN YOU HAVE SEDATION, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE SOMEONE DRIVE YOU HOME

A taxi is not acceptable. This is a liability issue, as a consequence of the sedation given. If you cannot get a family member or a friend to drive you home, there are taxi services in Durham that will drive both YOU AND YOUR CAR home, if you wish. (Durham EndoSurgery Centre has no financial interest in these services.) These services require you to book days ahead.

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