Procedure Preparation - Colonoscopy

Instructions for your colonoscopy

You have been scheduled for a colonoscopy.  A colonoscopy is an examination of the colon (large bowel) with a lighted flexible tube called a colonoscope.  Your efforts at cleansing your colon are essential for an accurate examination. 

One Week Before Procedure

Your physician will prescribe a bowel preparation kit. Please fill your preparation prescription at your pharmacy.

Read these instructions carefully at least one week prior to your exam. For more information about the benefits and risks of colonoscopy, please refer to the information pamphlet given to you, or call our office for additional information.


Please Contact your PCP/Cardiologist for cardiac clearance if any of the following relate to your current health:

  • You are currently being treated for a cardiac condition.
  • You have a cardiac stent and are taking a prescription medication. 
  • If you are currently taking any “blood thinners”; such as ASA, Plavix, Coumadin or Lovenox to receive medication.
  • You have a pacemaker or defibulator please let our office know immediately.


Medication and Diet Instructions

Five days before the procedure:

Stop taking medications listed below

    • Aspirin  (Bayer, Ecotrin, Excedrin)
    • Coumadin (Warfarin)
    • Ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, Motrin)
    • Ketoprofen (Orudis)
    • Naproxen (Aleve)
    • Salicylate Products/Pain/Arthritis Medication
    • Valdecoxib (Bextra)
    • Other Non-Steroidal (NSAID) medications
    • Plavix (clopidogrel)

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be continued or substituted as a pain-reliever for aspirin.

If you have an artificial heart valve, you need to talk to your primary care physician or cardiologist about using an alternative anticoagulant. Make sure the doctor doing your colonoscopy knows that you have a prosthetic valve.

Three days before the procedure:

  • Avoid eating nuts, seeds, popcorn, grapes, green peas, beans and tomatoes.

Day before the procedure

Start drinking clear liquids in the morning and continue throughout the day. Clear liquids include black coffee, tea with no milk, soda, Gatorade, Propel, water, clear juices (apple juice, white grape, white cranberry), clear broth, popsicles and lemon Jello (no red, blue, or purple flavors). Do not eat any solid food while on this diet. Do not drink alcohol. No dairy products. Deviating from this diet may prevent adequate preparation for the colon exam.

Bowel Preparation

In the morning, the day before the PROCEDURE; add lukewarm drinking water to the top line of the bottle.  Cap the bottle and shake to dissolve the powder.  You may add the flavor packets to the solution that are enclosed with the prescription or use Crystal Light drink mix to improve the taste of the bowel prep.  However, the mixed solution should be clear (no red or purple flavorings).  Use the bowel prep mixture within 48 hours.  Refrigerate until ready to drink.  If you are taking other medications, please ask your physician if you need to adjust you dosing schedule.

Step 1: MIX THE SOLUTION - At 5 p.m.(or whenever you get home for the day); take the bisacodyl delayed-release medication included with the prep kit with water (do not chew or crush).  Do not take within an hour of taking an antacid such as Tums or Rolaids.

Step 2: TAKE BISACODYL MEDICATION - At 5 p.m.(or whenever you get home for the day); take the bisacodyl delayed-release medication included with the prep kit with water (do not chew or crush).  Do not take within an hour of taking an antacid such as Tums or Rolaids.

Step 3: DRINK ALL THE SOLUTION. PREPARATION THE DAY BEFORE YOUR COLONOSCOPY -  At 5 p.m., drink one 8-øunce glass of the solution every 10-minutes until the entire container is gone. Drink each glass quickly rather than drinking small amounts continuously.  This should precipitate bowl movements in approximately one (1) hour.  BE SURE TO DRINK ALL OF THE SOLUTION.

Step 4: WAIT FOR BOWEL MOVEMENT - The bowels should eventually empty a clear yellow liquid.  No food, drink, or water after midnight (12:00am) the day prior to your procedure.  If by 7 a.m. the bowl movement is still not clear, please call your physician at (847) 247-0187.

Cardiac Patients

If you are being treated for hypertension/high blood pressure, continue to take your medication as directed.  On the day of the procedure take the medication with ONLY a sip of water. 

Diabetic Patients

If you are taking an oral hypoglycemic (“sugar pill”), do not take it the day of your procedure.  If you are taking insulin, please take 1/2 of your prescribed a.m. insulin dose, the day of your procedure.  Call your PCP if you have any questions about your medicine during your preparation period.

General Information

You must arrive between ½ hour to one hour before the scheduled appointment according to the guidelines of the procedure location. Your entire stay for the procedure will be approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours.

You are not allowed to take a taxi or public transportation home after the procedure. A friend or relative will need to drive you home, and someone will need to be with you for at least two hours to make sure there are no problems from the sedation or the procedure.

After the procedure, do not drive a car for the remainder of the day and do not make any important decisions until the following day.

Biopsy results are usually available within seven business days.

Patients with pacemakers need to inform our office when booking this appointment.

Patients with internal defibrillators must have the procedure at Condell Medical Center.