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Heart failure colonoscopy prep is the bowel prep for a patient with heart failure. People with heart failure are often on many medications like water pills and blood thinners. These medications can affect bowel prep for colonoscopy. Patients with heart failure can safely have colonoscopy.
What is heart failure?
Health failure is a medical condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body. It can affect both sides or just one side of the heart. Heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped working. Patients with heart failure have a variety of symptoms. These include swollen legs, difficulty breathing, cough, fatigue, dizziness and irregular heart beats.
What are the stages of heart failure
There are different stages of heart failure. For more information on the stages of heart failure, click HERE.
Who should not be prepped for colonoscopy
- Patients with hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients of the the bowel cleansing agent.
- Those with a gastrointestinal obstruction that will prevent passage of liquid into the intestine.
- Patients with an ileus.
- Unconscious patients. In some instances, bowel cleansing agent can be given through a nasogastric tube.
- Inability to swallow. In certain cases, bowel cleansing agent can be given through a nasogastric tube.
- Patients with toxic colitis or toxic megacolon.
Common side effects of bowel prep
- Abdominal distention.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Abnormal electrolytes like low potassium, low sodium, low magnesium and low chloride. These can cause seizures.
Which bowel cleansing agents should be avoided by people with heart failure?
Oral sodium phosphate should be avoided in patients with heart failure. Examples of oral sodium phosphate drugs are Visicol, Osmoprep, and Fleet Phospho Soda. Some patients with heart failure also have kidney failure. Also, these medications should be avoided in patients with kidney failure. Read kidney failure colonoscopy prep.
In 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning regarding oral sodium phosphate use in high risk patients. These patients include those with kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, high blood calcium, and elderly patients over the age of 55. Also included are patients taking certain medications like NSAIDS, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers, and diuretics.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) based bowel cleansing agents such as Golytely, Nulytely, Trilyte, and Colyte are preferred in patients with heart failure. Suprep, Clenpiq and Prepopik can also be used.
All bowel cleansing agents have the potential to cause arrhythmia because of changes in electrolytes . Having heart failure does not mean you should not stay hydrated during the bowel prep process.
How to do heart failure colonoscopy prep
- Do not schedule non-emergent colonoscopy if you have acute exacerbation of heart failure.
- Inform your doctor if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator.
- Avoid sodium phosphate products.
- Take the bowel cleansing agent using the split dose bowel prep regimen.
- Use your heart medications as prescribed. Blood thinners may need to be stopped.