Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Digestive Health Center (DHC)

Getting Ready for Your Colonoscopy MiraLAX (7477)

Getting Ready for Your Colonoscopy MiraLAX (7477) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Digestive Health Center (DHC)


Getting Ready for Your Colonoscopy (MiraLAX®)

To help you get ready for your colonoscopy procedure; we have made this handout for you that has information

ξ Preparing ahead of time for your colonoscopy, including what you can expect on the day you
have it done.

ξ Your bowel preparation, which begins several days before your colonoscopy.

ξ Your low-residue diet, which you will begin three days before your colonoscopy.

Important: Please read this entire handout now. It has diet and bowel preparation instructions that you need to
follow several days before your colonoscopy procedure.

ξ If you don’t follow these instructions, your colon may not be cleaned out well enough for your doctor to
clearly see the inside of your colon.
ξ Your doctor needs to get a good look at your colon in order for your colonoscopy to be accurate. For this
reason, your colonoscopy may need to be rescheduled if you do not follow these instructions.
ξ Following these instructions so that your colon is clean also makes the procedure go faster and reduces the
risks of the procedure.
ξ If you have any questions, please call us. You can also find more information at
It is important to read this paper right away.
You start to get ready for your colonoscopy
7 days before you have it.

What You Do to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy
7 days before
3 days before
1 day before
The Day of

Take your medicines
after talking with your

Follow low-residue diet.

Pick up your supplies.

Make sure you have a
ride home.

Stop eating solid foods.

Begin clear liquids.

Begin your bowel prep.

Finish your bowel prep.

Don’t eat food.

Don’t drink anything
4 hours before your
arrival time.

See section on:
- 7 days before your
- Medicines

See section on:
- 3 days before your
- Diet – Low residue
- Other preparations

See section on:
- 1 day before your
- Diet
- Bowel preparation
- Helpful hints
- Prep Instructions

See sections on:
- 1 day before your
colonoscopy and day
of your colonoscopy
- No food or drink
- To do
- Going home

7 Days before Your Colonoscopy

Blood thinning medicines should be stopped:
ξ No prasugrel (Effient®) for 7 days
ξ No warfarin (Coumadin®) for 5 days
ξ No clopidogrel (Plavix®) for 5 days
ξ No Iron for 5 days
ξ No dabigatran (Pradaxa®) for 2 days
ξ No rivaroxaban (Xarelto®) for 2 days
ξ No apixaban (Eliquis®) for 2 days

Do not stop taking your blood thinning medicine without first talking to your doctor who
prescribes this medicine. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to safely stop this medicine.
Please contact us if you have questions.

Diabetes medicines (oral and insulin) will need to be adjusted for the time when you can’t eat. Please
talk with your primary doctor about this.

3 Days before Your Colonoscopy

Diet – Low Residue

For at least 3 days before your colonoscopy, do not eat the foods listed in the table below. These foods can slow
your digestion so that your colon is not clean enough for your colonoscopy.

Don’t eat these foods 3 days before your colonoscopy


Raw/Uncooked Vegetables


Potato Skins

Fruit with skin or seeds


Other Preparations
ξ You must have an adult to drive you home or your colonoscopy will be cancelled. You
may take a cab or bus home only if you have a responsible adult to ride along with you. The
cab or bus driver doesn’t count as your responsible adult; you need a support person to ride
with you. You should not drive for the rest of the day because of the effects of sedation.

ξ You should not make important decisions (personal or business) until the next day. Plan to go
home to rest. You should be able to resume normal daily tasks on the day after your

ξ You will need to buy bowel prep supplies at least 2 days before your colonoscopy. You can
buy these at your local drugstore. You do not need a prescription.

 Bisacodyl 5 mg laxative tablets
 MiraLAX® (238 gm or 8.3 oz bottle)
 Two 32 oz bottles of Gatorade® or Powerade® (cannot be red, blue or purple).

ξ If you are often constipated, you should have an extra day or two of a clear liquid diet and use
an over-the-counter laxative (like milk of magnesia) 2 days before your colonoscopy. Please
call us if you would like to talk with us about this.

1 Day before Your Colonoscopy

Please see the Prep Instructions Table on the next page for specific bowel preparation (prep)
drinking instructions based on your arrival time. These are very important. You must follow these
instructions to have a clean colon. You have to have a clean colon to have accurate colonoscopy


No solid food, milk or dairy products after the clear liquid start time in the Prep Instructions Table
on the next page.

These are clear liquids you may have, if they aren’t red or purple



Clear sports drinks (like Gatorade®)




Black Coffee (no cream or milk)

Apple Juice

Bowel Preparation (prep)
Mix half of the MiraLAX® powder in 32 ounces of Gatorade® or Powerade®. Mix well to dissolve.
Keep in refrigerator or on kitchen counter. Repeat this step later for your second dose.

If you take medicines, take them either 1 hour before you drink the bowel prep or 1 hour after you
finish drinking the bowel prep. Do not take them while you are drinking the prep because they may
not be absorbed.

Plan on each part of your prep taking several hours. Stay near a bathroom during this time.

Drink 1 glass (about 8 ounces) every 10 – 20 minutes but slow down or stop for 30 minutes if you
begin to have nausea or abdominal discomfort. Liquid stools should start within a few hours.

Keep drinking clear liquids until 4 hours before your appointment time. Drinking clear liquids can
prevent dehydration.

Helpful Hints:
ξ To lessen the taste of the prep liquid, try drinking it with a straw.
ξ To lessen the taste between glasses, try gum or hard candy.
ξ For a sore bottom, clean with baby wipes and put on a protective ointment (like A+D® or
Vaseline®) after bowel movements.
ξ For chills, use a blanket warmed in the dryer.

Before bedtime, mix your second dose of MiraLAX®/Gatorade® solution. Mix well to dissolve. Keep
in refrigerator or on kitchen counter. Use in the morning.

Day Before Your Colonoscopy Day of Your Colonoscopy
12:00 PM

10:00 AM - Start Clear Liquids
4:00 PM – Take 4 bisacodyl tablets.
6:00 PM - Start bowel prep. Drink 4
glasses of bowel prep before bed.

5 hours before your arrival time –
Finish remaining 4 glasses of bowel

Finish all drinking, including water, 4
hours before arrival.
Arrival after
12:00 PM

3:00 PM - Start Clear Liquids.
6:00 PM - Take 4 bisacodyl tablets.
8:00 PM - Start bowel prep. Drink 4
glasses of bowel prep before bed.

5 hours before your arrival time -
Finish remaining 4 glasses of bowel

Finish all drinking, including water, 4
hours before arrival.

Your last bowel movements should be watery, see-through and free of solids (flecks are OK). The
color may appear clear to yellow.

If you don’t get these results or you have steady stomach pain, get light-headed and dizzy, or
don’t have a bowel movement, please call us at (608) 890-5010 or toll free at 1-855-342-9900.

The Day of Your Colonoscopy

No Food or Drink

ξ Don’t eat any food today before your colonoscopy procedure.

ξ Stop drinking liquids (including water) 4 hours before your arrival time. Don’t drink anything
during the 4 hours right before your procedure.

To Do

ξ Wear loose, comfortable clothes. You may feel bloated after your procedure, so you may want to
wear pants with an elastic or adjustable waistband.

ξ Leave jewelry and valuables at home.

ξ Bring your eyeglass case, contact lens container or denture cup, if you have any of these.

ξ Bring any inhalers, CPAP, or BiPAP that you use. CPAP and BiPAP are needed for sedation to
be used safely.

Follow the arrival and registration instructions in your cover letter. If you are delayed, please
call us to let us know you are going to be late. If you are over 30 minutes late, we may have to cancel
and reschedule. We do our best to stay on time.

Going Home

You will stay in our recovery area after your procedure. A nurse will monitor your recovery and go
over your discharge instructions with you.

Plan to be with us for about 2-3 hours. We ask that your driver be available in our building or by
phone during this time. Your driver needs to be here to take you home at the time your procedure
ends. You may not leave the recovery room without a responsible adult.

After the Colonoscopy and for the Rest of the Day
 Do not return to work.
 Do not use hazardous machinery.
 Do not make any important decisions.
 Plan to rest.
 Do not drink alcohol.
 Do not drive.

Before you leave, please let us know if you have any concerns or questions. We want to be sure to
address your concerns and questions before you leave.

How to Contact Us

Digestive Health Center, 7am to 5pm weekdays, (608) 890-5010.
After clinic hours, this number will connect you to the paging operator.
If you live outside of the Madison area, please call 1-855-342-9900.

If you are not able to keep your appointment, please let us know 5 days before.

UW Health Digestive Health Center
750 University Row
Madison, WI
(608) 890-5010
(855) 342-9900
University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics
GI Procedure Clinic
600 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI
(608) 263-8097
(800) 323-8942

Meriter Hospital Digestive Health Center
Lower Level
202 S. Park Street
Madison, WI
(608) 417-6389

Spanish HFFY #7547

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical
advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are
different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an
emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 3/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved.
Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7477