Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy

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Please find below information sheets about your procedure together with advice on how to take the bowel prep (preparation). Please feel free to download the appropriate sheet and print it off for your reference. The better your bowel prep the better the quality of your test.

There are two different information sheets for colonoscopy depending on the type of bowel prep you need to take: our standard prep, listed as ‘colonoscopy prep’, or a different type of prep known as ‘lavage’.

The standard prep is a combination of Picoprep/Colonlytely (although Glycoprep or Golytely can be used if your pharmacist does not have Colonlytely). This method of prep is suitable for 90% of patients. However if you are over 70 years of age, have kidney problems or have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease) you will need to use the ‘Lavage prep’ listed as ‘Lavage prep advice’. Download the sheet according to whether you are on a morning (AM) or afternoon (PM) list – the timing of when to take the prep will vary.

Some useful tips for your prep:

  • Don’t wander too far from a bathroom; you will need to go to the toilet a lot. Going on a country walk would not be a good idea.
  • If you are prone to constipation please take your normal laxatives everyday for 4 days before the test to help the prep work properly.
  • Chill the Colonlytely (or Glycoprep or Golytely) in the fridge. This can make it easier to drink. Adding Lime cordial sometimes helps as well.
  • Nausea, Vomiting and Headaches – If you are prone to these discuss using an anti-emetic with your GP or Pharmacist (e.g. Maxalon or Stemetil). For headaches, Anagraine (Paracetamol & Maxalon combination) can be taken 1 hour prior to starting your bowel prep and then regularly as per the instructions on the packet.
  • Delicate Skin – Using baby wipes and a nappy barrier cream on your bottom can make it more comfortable.
  • If you are unsure which prep you should use please contact the rooms.
  • A useful link on bowel prep can be found on GESA’s website:

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