How to take your bowel preparation for a gastroscopy and colonoscopy standard morning appointment
It is essential that your bowel is empty for this investigation. In order for your bowel to be empty please follow the instructions below.
7 days before your appointment
If you have diabetes or are taking any medication that thins your blood, other than aspirin (which you can remain on) please contact the relevant Endoscopy Unit on the Medication Advice Line (answer phone). The telephone number is at the end of this page.
Stop taking any of the following medication
- Imodium® (loperamide)
- Codeine phosphate
- Lomotil (co-phenotrope)
- Iron tablets
- Fybogel® (ispaghula husk)
Please note all other medications such as heart tablets and blood pressure tablets should be continued as normal, including on the day of your test.
2 days before your appointment
Start on a low fibre diet. Eat foods only from the following list:
- Eggs – boiled or poached
- White fish
- Lean meat for example beef, lamb, veal or ham
- Gravy using stock cubes (white flour or corn flour to thicken)
- White bread or rolls (no seedy bread)
- Potatoes – boiled or mashed (no skins)
- White rice
- Butter/margarine – use sparingly
- Clear jelly (avoid red) - without fruit pieces
- Sugar/honey/syrup/treacle/jelly (e.g. bramble jelly) /jams/marmalade (without peel)
- Boiled sweets or clear mints
- Herbal team – clear (avoid red colours)
- Lucozade®, water, soda water
- Fizzy drinks, squashes, clear fruit juice (no bits)
- Quorn, tofu, textured vegetable protein
Do not fry food
Avoid seeds and sweetcorn especially
Drink plenty of fluids
1 day before your appointment
At 8:00am have a good breakfast of food taken from the low fibre list. After this do not eat any solid food.
Drink plenty of clear fluid (tea/clear herbal tea/coffee/fruit squash/ carbonated water drinks or plain water). You may have small amounts of milk in tea or coffee. Clear jelly (not red) is allowed.
At 2:00pm dissolve the contents of 1 sachet of Picolax in 1 pint (500mls) of water and drink it over 10 to 20 minutes.
At 6:00pm combine and dissolve sachet A and sachet B or Moviprep in 2 pints (1 litre) of water and drink this over 1 hour.
Drink a further 2 pints (1 litre) of fluid before going to bed. Please note: Moviprep and Picolax may be flavoured with clear fruit juices (such as apple) or clear squash (such as lemon). Moviprep can be chilled in the fridge.
You should expect frequent bowel actions and eventually diarrhoea. Some cramping in your stomach is normal. Your bottom may become quite sore. Please use a barrier cream to stop any irritation. There are many products available from your local pharmacy.
Morning of your appointment
At 6:00am combine and dissolve sachet A and sachet B of Moviprep in 2 pints (1 litre) of water and drink this over 1 hour.
Clear fluids only should be taken this morning – no solid food.
It is important that you do not become dehydrated. Clear fluids can be drunk up to 2 hours before the time of your appointment.
Do not drink in the 2 hours before your appointment.
If you have any difficulties
Sometimes, the bowel preparation may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal fullness and bloating, abdominal cramps, fatigue, sleep disturbances, anal irritation, urticaria and allergic reaction. If you have any allergies, please check the preparation ingredients before taking.
Do not take if you suffer with the following:
- Hypersensitivity (allergic reactions/sensitivities)
- Congestive cardiac failure
- Gastrointestinal obstruction or perforation
- Toxic megacolon or ileus
- G6PD deficiency
- Renal impairment (kidney problems)
- If you are pregnant, please discuss with a doctor before taking
If you feel that you will be unable to complete the bowel preparation successfully, please contact the relevant Endoscopy Unit for advice.
Medication Advice Line (answer machine)
If you have any questions relating to your medication, please leave a message and a member of staff will return your call:
Cheltenham General Hospital
Tel: 0300 422 3370
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
Tel: 0300 422 8232
Other Endoscopy Units
Tel: 0300 421 6294
Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm
Stroud General Hospital
Tel: 0300 421 8073
Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm