#1 Prep Instructions for Your Colonoscopy


On this page, you will find three options for bowel cleansing instructions: our prep video, a downloadable PDF of our Getting Ready: Prep Instructions for Your Colonoscopy #1 brochure, and text instructions.

Please note: the information on this page is only for prep #1 instructions.

Please plan on being at our facility for approximately 2 hours from your arrival. If your procedure is scheduled late in the day (4:00 PM or 4:30 PM), please be sure your ride is here NO LATER THAN 5:45 PM.

1. Click on the arrow to watch our video #1 Prep Instructions for Your Colonoscopy:

2. Click to download a PDF of #1 Prep Instructions for Your Colonoscopy


3. Follow the #1 Prep Instructions for Your Colonoscopy below:

7 Days Prior to your procedure stop taking or eating the following:

no-symbol-circle-with-slash-prohibition-sign_21356402Iron supplements

no-symbol-circle-with-slash-prohibition-sign_21356402Fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Citrucel and Fiberall

no-symbol-circle-with-slash-prohibition-sign_21356402Do not eat nuts, seeds, popcorn, or corn (other examples include tomatoes, granola with dried fruit, raisins)

Take all other medications.


  • You are diabetic.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You are on Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix or any other anti-coagulation therapy.
  • You have an artificial heart valve, internal cardiac defibrillator (ICD), prior history of heart valve infection or require antibiotics prior to medical procedures.
  • You are on dialysis, or have chronic kidney disease and see a kidney specialist.

Purchase the following items from any pharmacy or grocery store:

(If you have purchased our Colon Prep Kit, please skip this step.)

Simethicone (the generic) or Gas-X anti-gas tablets, either 125 mg or 180 mg. You will need 2 tablets.




Miralax/Gavilax 238 gm bottle (8.3 oz.) powder




64 oz. Gatorade (orange, green or yellow), Propel Water, Vitamin Water, coconut water or Smartwater


Purchase one 10 oz. bottle of liquid magnesium citrate to use IN CASE your prep is not going as well as expected, especially if you suffer from occasional or frequent constipation. It’s inexpensive, and you can always return it if you don’t use it. Do not do this if you have kidney problems.




OK to eat one meal, before 11 AM, but only from the following list of foods:

  • Boiled or poached egg
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt (no granola or fruit chunks in it)
  • Chicken, turkey or fish without skin
  • White bread or toast without butter
  • Plain tofu

At 11 AM: Begin drinking ONLY clear liquids. Clear liquids may be taken up to 3 hours before your procedure.


A clear liquid is one that you can see through.


  • Clear beef or chicken broth, such as bouillon cubes dissolved in water
  • Popsicles, except for red, purple or blue
  • Coconut water (NOT coconut milk)
  • Strained fruit juice such as apple or white grape juice
  • Coffee and tea (without cream or dairy products)
  • Gatorade
  • Soft drinks
  • Kool-Aid
  • Jell-O
  • From 2 to 5 PM: Mix your 8.3 oz. bottle of  Miralax or Gavilax with 64 ounces of orange, green or yellow Gatorade, Propel Water, Vitamin Water, coconut water or Smartwater.
  • (You may mix solution ONE HOUR before and chill in the refrigerator.)
  • Once it’s mixed, drink an 8-ounce glass every 10 to 20 minutes until you have drunk half the mixture (32 ounces).

As you drink the mixture you may feel nauseous or like you need to use the bathroom. It’s a good idea to stay close to your bathroom while you drink the mixture. If you do start to feel nauseous, stop drinking the prep solution for a while until the feeling passes, then resume. At this point, about 2 hours after you’ve started drinking the prep solution, you should have started having bowel movements.

HERE’S A TIP! If you find that you have not yet started moving your bowels 2 hours after you started drinking your prep solution, please continue drinking the other half of the solution (the other 32 ounces).



4 to 5 hours prior to your scheduled procedure, drink the remaining 32 ounces of the Miralax or Gavilax mixture, 8 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes, until it’s all gone. If you had to drink the entire 64 ounces the day before because your prep was not working well, then you should take the 10 oz. bottle of magnesium citrate at this point, instead.

Stop drinking all liquids 3 hours before your procedure.

After finishing the Miralax/Gavilax mixture, take two (2) Simethicone or Gas-X anti-gas tablets. These tablets would be the last thing you take by mouth before your procedure, except your usual medications with a sip of water. Complete this process 3 hours BEFORE your scheduled procedure. Do not eat or drink anything else! Your stool should be clear and yellow. This chart will help you judge your progress!

HERE’S A TIP! Many people who have an early morning exam with us ask if they really need to wake up at 2 or 3 AM to do this. The answer is “No, you don’t have to.” If your exam is before 10 AM, you can take all of the prep materials the day before the exam.

Your stool should be clear and yellow.
This chart will help you judge your progress!

The importance of a GOOD PREP

Your prep is one of the most important parts of your colonoscopy. Without a good prep–your bowel empty and clean–your gastroenterologist will not be able to see your colon clearly. This could lead to missing a polyp or rescheduling your colonoscopy.

Here are photos that show the difference between a good prep and a bad prep, so you can see why prep is important.

Important Notes

What are the risks?

Colonoscopy is a standard medical procedure, but all such procedures have some risks. These problems do not happen often.

  1. Rarely, the instrument may tear the wall of the colon. This may require surgery.
  2. There may be adverse drug reactions or heart/breathing complications.
  3. In rare instances, bleeding may occur, usually when tissue or polyps are removed. This may mean being admitted to the hospital for additional care which may require a transfusion or surgery.

Important: You must bring someone who will meet you inside the recovery area after your procedure and drive you home.

  • A ride service driver or taxi driver is not acceptable.
  • Preferably, your driver will remain in our waiting room, or be available with 15 minutes notice.

Please leave all jewelry at home.

Please plan on being at our facility for approximately 2 hours from your arrival. If your procedure is scheduled late in the day (4:00 PM or 4:30 PM), please be sure your ride is here NO LATER THAN 5:45 PM.

If you have any questions, please call the office at 773-7964.