You’ve been scheduled for colonoscopy. It’s time to go shopping!

Like every great shopper, you need a list. Here is a list of items to shop for:

  1. Bowel cleansing agent. This is usually a prescription medication (Golytely, Suprep, Moviprep, Prepopik) or over the counter medication (Miralax plus Gatorade).  Often, your doctor also want you to use bisacodyl (Dulcolax). Dulcolax is available over the counter.
  2. Clear liquid diet. Most patients are told to be on a clear liquid diet a day before colonoscopy. Acceptable items that qualify as liquid diet include water, coffee without milk, tea without milk, lemonade from powdered mix, carbonated beverages and soda, clear juices such as apple and white grape, plain or flavored gelatin, sports drinks such as Gatorade® , All-Sports®, Powerade®; sorbet, popsicles, honey, sugar, hard candy, fat-free broth, bouillon or consommé.
  3. Flavors. You can add lemon juice, lemon slices or sugar free flavor enhancers like Crystal Light® to your bowel cleansing agents to improve the taste.
  4. Straws. Sipping is better than gulping; so get some straws.
  5. Sugar free menthol-candy. Suck on menthol candy (e.g. Halls menthol candy) during ingestion of the bowel prep solution. This has been shown in research to improve taste allowing patients to complete their bowel preparation.
  6. Wipes. Because you will be pooping quite a bit, use the softest toilet paper possible or adult wet wipes with aloe and vitamin E. You can also get medicated wipes like Tucks.
  7. Lube. To prevent or treat anal irritation and soreness as a result of diarrhea from the bowel cleansing agent, use Vaseline or Desitin. You can also use any cream or ointment for hemorrhoids.
  8. Ice. The bowel cleansing agent is better consumed cold. Chill the bowel cleansing liquid by putting it in a fridge or ice bucket. Do not put ice in the bowel cleansing agent itself.
  9. Alarm clock. Your doctor wants you to take your bowel cleansing agent at specific times. If you’re given the split dose regimen, you must take half of the bowel cleansing agent the evening before your colonoscopy (usually around 5:00-6:00PM) and the second half 4-5 hours before your scheduled colonoscopy. You should also arrive at the surgery center at a specific time and on time. An alarm clock will help you stay on track.  An alarm clock is often on your phone or wrist watch so you may not need to buy another one.
  10. Book, Magazine, Newspaper or DVD. To pass time during bowel preparation, get something to read or watch. Nowadays, our phone or ipad has everything we need to pass time.

Don’t be a poor prep. Good luck!