A colonoscopy is a test used by doctors to determine if your colon is healthy. Before the test is done, your colon has to be cleaned out. This usually requires you to stop eating solid food one to two days before the test. The day before the colonoscopy, you have to take a laxative. This is usually a series of tablets or a liquid solution your doctor will prescribe for you.
Cleaning Out the Colon
The laxative solution or tablets have to be taken within one to two hours. The solution is usually very salty and causes people to feel sick to their stomach. But there are some tricks to make it easier. Every time you have to drink the solution, also drink a clear liquid or apple juice to get rid of the salty taste. Refrigerate the solution. It might be easier to get down if it's cold. Check with your doctor about adding a flavor to the solution, like Crystal Light. You could also add lemon or suck on lemon slices after drinking the mixture.
There is a tablet form available called OsmoPrep. Taking it requires two steps. First, you take four tablets with eight ounces of a clear liquid every 15 minutes, for a total of 20 tablets over an hour. The second step requires four tablets with eight ounces of a clear liquid every 15 minutes, for a total of 12 tablets in a 30-minute period. You can take these tablets with any clear liquid, including ginger ale, apple juice, water and lemonade. The tablets are tasteless. OsmoPrep's website says the medication is well tolerated.
Stay home while taking the preparation, because you may have to take several trips to the bathroom. Keep drinking clear fluids to help with the cleansing process. This will also keep you from getting dehydrated. You will need to stop drinking liquids six to eight hours before the test. Your doctor may give you an enema right before the colonoscopy to completely clean out the colon.