14 days or more before your colonoscopy:
- Stop taking blood thinners, such as Lovenox (enoxaparin), Normiflo (ardeparin), Fragmin (dalteparin), Innohep (tinzaparin), Coumadin (warfarin), Arixtra (fondaparinux), Plavix (clopidogrel), or Ticlid (ticlopidine).
- Talk with the doctor who has prescribed the blood thinners about your upcoming colonoscopy. Your doctor can help with any necessary changes to your medication schedule to support safe preparation for your procedure.
- After your colonoscopy, ask the doctor when you can restart your blood thinners.
- Stop taking iron supplements at least five days before your colonoscopy. You may resume taking them after your procedure.
- If you are a diabetic, consult the doctor managing your condition for instructions regarding any modifications to your diabetes medication or insulin shots.
- Avoid raw or leafy vegetables, raw fruit, and products containing Olestra (for example, WOW potato chips), for three days prior to your procedure.
One Day before Your Colonoscopy:
- On or before the day prior to your colonoscopy, purchase one 1-gallon bottle of Golytely, and a package of Dulcolax (bisacodyl 5 mg). You will need six tablets.
- Eat a light breakfast.
- If you take Lactulose, Chronulac, Krystalose, Enulose, or Sorbitol, stop taking these medications six hours before beginning your colonoscopy prep. You may resume taking these medications after your colonoscopy.
- Early that morning, fill the 1 gallon jug of Golytely with tap water, until the 1 gallon-level mark in the bottle; shake vigorously to dissolve the powder completely, and place to cool in the refrigerator. Very cold temperature makes the Golytely easier to drink.
- At noon, begin the clear liquid diet (i.e., no “milky” liquids or supplements, pureed or soft food). Acceptable clear liquids include:
- Clear broth or bouillon (without noodles or other solids), any flavor.
- Coffee or tea (without milk or cream)
- Soft drinks like soda-pop, Kool–Aid, Gatorade, Tang, lemonade
- Juices without pulp: apple, cranberry, orange, grapefruit
- Gelatin like Jello (no red, blue, green or purple)
- Popsicles (no ice cream or yogurt bars)
- Avoid red, green, blue or purple colored clear liquids and Jello because brightly colored substances in your system will make the exam more difficult to read.
- Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids on the day prior to your exam to avoid dehydration. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
- At 6 p.m., take four tablets of Dulcolax (bisacodyl), and start drinking the Golytely, consuming one 8-ounce glass every 10 minutes until you finish two-thirds of the gallon jug (12 glasses). Keep the Golytely very cold to reduce nausea, and drink it fast, to improve effectiveness of bowel cleansing. Keep drinking plenty of fluids until bedtime to prevent dehydration and weakness.
The day of your procedure:
- Take all other regular medications you usually take (example: take your blood pressure medication for sure). If you have medication that you do not have to necessarily take in the morning, for example, vitamins, wait until the procedure is over to take your daily dose.
- Five hours before leaving home to come to the hospital, take two 5 milligram tablets of Dulcolax (bisacodyl), and drink the remaining Golytely (4 glasses).
- Check in at Three Rivers Medical Center outpatient registration, located on the first floor of the hospital.
- Bring a designated driver. Because you’ll receive medication that will make you unable to drive or make important decisions, if you do not bring a driver, the procedure will be cancelled.
- Do not eat nor drink anything else, until your colonoscopy is finished. Immediately after your colonoscopy, you may take your regular medications, with water.