Bowel preparation instructions for Colonoscopy appointments
|What is Picolax?|
Picolax is a preparation used to clear the bowel before some investigations and/or surgery. It comes as a powder that when mixed with water makes a solution, which you are then able to drink as instructed. It works by increasing the activity of the bowel and also by holding water in the bowel, which helps to wash it out.
You should expect frequent bowel actions and eventually diarrhoea. Some intestinal cramping is normal. Using a barrier cream, such as Vaseline, locally after each bowel action will help to reduce soreness around the anus.
Please make sure you are near a toilet once commencing your bowel prep
- 7 days before your procedure - Stop taking all iron tablets but continue all other medication.
4 days before your procedure - Stop taking any constipating agents i.e. lomotil, codeine phosphate etc, but continue all other medication.
2 days before your procedure - Eat foods which are low in fibre. Avoid foods such as fruit, green, vegetables, cereals, baked beans and brown bread. Choose foods from the ‘foods allowed’ list below.
Have plenty to drink - at least ½ pint/ 1 glass, each hour (If you are having an endoscopy at the same time, please stop drinking fluids 2 hours before your appointment)
IMPORTANT INFORMATIONIf you take clopidogrel, warfarin or aspirin let the doctor or nurse know as soon as possible. Please phone the switchboard on 0207 272 3070 and ask for bleep number 2711.
If you need to have antibiotics when you have your teeth taken out; if you have had rheumatic fever or if you have an artificial valve in your heart, you must tell the doctor because you may need to have some antibiotics before your test.
Also, please let us know if you have any of the following as we may need to make special arrangements
If you have any queries about your preparation or procedure, please phone the hospital switchboard on 020 7272 3070 and ask for bleep number 2711.
If you have a morning appointment, start the diet at midday the day before.
|12-12.30pm||Liquid Lunch (i.e. clear soup, yoghurt, juice etc) from the list of permitted foods only.|
|1pm||Drink plenty of fluids (a large glass of water, fruit squash or a large cup of Tea or Coffee).|
|2pm||Dissolve the contents of one sachet of picolax in a glass of water. Stir for 2-3 minutes then drink the mixture. If the mixture becomes hot allow to cool sufficiently then drink.|
|2-6pm||Drink plenty of fluids every hour.|
|6pm||Dissolve half the second sachet of picolax in water and drink as before.|
|7pm||Diet Supper: Clear soup or Bovril only. No solid food. Continue to drink plenty of fluids.|
The morning of your test: Between 6-7am dissolve the remaining half sachet of picolax in water and drink as before. Continue with clear fluids only. No solid food until after your appointment.
If you have an afternoon appointment, eat normally until 4pm the day before.
|4pm||Drink fluids (large glass of water or fruit cordial or a large cup of tea or coffee)|
|6pm||Dissolve one sachet of picolax in a glass of water. Stir for 2-3 minutes then drink the mixture. If the mixture becomes hot allow to cool sufficiently then drink.|
|7-8pm||Diet suppers: Clear soup or Bovril only. Plenty of fluids.|
The morning of your test
|7-8 am||Take one sachet of picolax as before.|
|8am||Drink plenty of fluids. No solid food until after your appointment.|
'Allowed' foods list
Foods allowed (small quantities)
Foods not allowed
Last updated27 Jun 2008