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Readers Respond: Most People Agree The Colonoscopy Is A Breeze -- It's The Prep That's Hard

Responses: 63


Updated February 16, 2013

Tip On Drinking The Various Mixes

Try two glasses -- fill the first one to the top, the second halfway. Chug-a-lug the full glass and then you only have the half to go. Psychologically it makes it easier.
—Guest Paul

Prep No Longer Challenging

I had 64 oz Gatorade with Mucolax powder and Dulcolax pills. Half the amount of liquid compared to previous gallon of Golytely, not unpleasant taste and texture, and no enema. Seemed to be just as effecive cleaning out the bowel.

Tried A New Prep

I have just spent the afternoon and evening getting ready for my 4th colonoscopy and, yes, the prep has always been the worst part. My doctor prescribed HalfLytely and I was getting very anxious about having to drink this horrible liquid. I am so grateful for the people who suggested that there are other methods. I asked my MD if I could do something else and she recommended the Miralax method in Gatorade. What a difference! I ate lightly the day before the prep, very light breakfast, noodle soup for a noon lunch. Took the two laxative pills. My procedure is in the morning and I am going to bed with empty colon and NO discomfort or stress. Again, thank you for taking the time to put your ideas on this website. I would never have known to ask for another choice in prep methods. I am spreading the word because so many people won't get this done simply because they have heard about the negative experience.

Oh Boy - This Prep Is Horrible!

I have been drinking this horrendous liquid. I am about 3 liters in to a 4 liter jug of this stuff and I am gagging and throwing up. I have my colonoscopy tomorrow and I can't gag anymore of this vile drink down. I hope they can still do this procedure because I can't go through this again.
—Guest Guest

Have Extra Clothes

I drank the gallon of liquid and kept it down just fine. About an hour after I started drinking it, the bowel movements began. They shoot out very quickly. I don't care who you are, you are going to have "accidents" sfter drinking this. Be wise....put extra clothes in the bathroom. That is what I did. Believe me, they came in handy on at least 2 occasions.
—Guest Vicki

Colonoscopy Tomorrow Morning

I am on the last quart of my liquid prep. It hasn't been too bad for me. No cramping and I can tolerate the taste. I'm kind of surprised because I don't normally drink as much fluids as I should. I feel like I am choking when I drink large amounts. I can live with this.
—Guest Cindy

Not As Bad As I Expected

I had my colonscopy yesterday. The Dr had me drink the Nulytely the day before. I mixed two of the flavor packets in mine. I used Orange and Pineapple because I like both of those flavors. The combo of the two flavors seemed to "confuse" my taste buds. I could taste orange and pineapple. I didn't really taste the 3rd flavor -- salt. I used a straw and just sucked it down. I have a really sensitive stomach so I thought it would be hard for me to keep it down but is wasn't hard at all. Be sure to chill the mixture really well -- the colder the better. Another thing is I used a cup I had gotten from a fast food restaurant that had a lid and a straw on it. That way I wouldn't smell it. It really didn't seem to have a smell to me. I had expected a really horrible experience but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as bad as I expected. Incidentially, I have a queasy stomach about things like this. Next time I have to have a colonscopy I won't dread it so much.
—Guest Susan

Miralax and Gatorade

I just completed my colonoscopy yesterday. I have had 2 and so far, this prep was the easiest. It consisted of a 64oz of g Gatorade and a bottle of Miralax powder. The powder was tasteless which made drinking it very tolerable. Not too bad!
—Guest KKenyon

Patients' Rights

I know that doctors and patients are supposed to work together as we are all part of the team. I had to take Nulytly as my doctor wanted me to use that. The last colonoscopy I had, the prep was different. A small packet that I mixed up in an 8 ounce glass, together with a little Sprite, and away we went, there were pills afterwards, and a fleet in the morning. I had to drink liquid for 2 days but it worked wonderful. I asked the office if I could do that treatment, and was told no. Did I have some rights per se? I took the Golytely stuff and it was just an awful experience. I ended up vomiting quite a bit back, as a result I now have to go for another test at the hospital, a berium enema. This could have all been resolved had I been able to take the meds. Am I a complainer? No I am not, I wanted the test to go well, I have no beef with the doc, he just needs to realize that the prep he gave me didn't work for me. One size fits all doesn't count here. Thanks in advance.

Gatorade and Miralax

My Dr also had me do the Gatorade and Miralax. This has been the best prep for me so far. Not bad drinking this mixture!
—Guest cathy

Past Experience

I have had more scopes than I can remember. The Lo-So prep, was one of the best, and of course it is off the market. The gallon of Golitely and Nutelly were not effective for me, I kept vomiting instead of what your supposed to do. And the pills, which I used for the past 2 were my favorite prep by far, but now they're off the market. I'm having a time with my new Gastro, after moving to a new state, of explaining why I refuse to use the gallon or half gallon prep he wants me to use. So now I'm trying to find a prep over the counter that will work this time around. There has got to be a better way to prep for this.
—Guest UC for 14 yrs


Have had 6 colonoscopies so far! Diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 27. What works for me is chugging the 8 oz. glass (lemon flavor) and sucking on lemon drops in between. This gives my system time to create more room for the next glass. The pill sounds like a better deal to me. Hopefully next time!
—Guest Annette

Colonoscopy Prep

I have had a few done and the Gatorade prep is the best. You just put the MiraLax powder in Gatorade (no red or purple) and drink 2 large bottles. The MiraLax has no flavor so it was way easier to drink. I would do this one every time!
—Guest Guest Jodi


I just did my prep the night before last. First 3 8oz glasses were simple... and then got harder and harder. I had to fight throwing up with every sip. I got about 3/4 of it down. I didn't eat much the day prior, so going to the bathroom wasn't too bad at all. The drink itself was the only hard part. I tried the suggestion of using a straw, and positioning as close to my throat as possible. It helped... a little bit. It took two hours before I got sick, had to get up a few times during the night, and got sick a few more times in the morning. The colonoscopy was a breeze! Slept through the whole thing. Get HYDRATED afterward or you'll pay the price! Sick sick!
—Guest Beth

How to handle the heinous half lytely

For those of you that hate the taste of saltwater as much as I do, here's a few tips I've picked up from my medical training and my 3 colonoscopies to date 1) Be aware that your taste buds are on the front tip and front part of the sides of your tongue. 2) Your sense of smell plays quite a large role in your sense of taste. Thus I suggest getting a straw, plugging your nose, and try to suck it more toward the back of your tongue (without choking of course). Also be sure to have the BCD's close by: Book Charmin Desitin Happy prepping!
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