Instructions for colonoscopy

You are scheduled for a colonoscopy. During the colonoscopy exam, your doctor will use a flexible tube called an endoscope which contains light and a video camera to look at the walls of your colon. You will be here approximately 2 hours.


  • If you take medicine to thin your blood (e.g. heparin, plavix, coumadin, warfarin) your primary care doctor must tell you how many days before the procedure you must stop taking it. In some cases you may continue to take medication but you must check with your doctor first.
  • If you are diabetic and using insulin or are taking oral diabetic medications, contact your primary care doctor for instructions on adjusting these medications for the day of your procedure.
  • You may take your blood pressure and heart medication as usual the morning of the procedure with a sip of water.
  • DO NOT take ibuprofen (Motrin), Advil, Aleve, naprosyn, aspirin or medication containing aspirin or NSAID (Vioxx, Celebrex) 5 days prior to your procedure.
  • Begin a clear liquid diet the day before the exam. DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure unless advised otherwise.
  • REMOVE all jewelry and piercings prior to arriving for the procedure.

You may not drive yourself home or return to work the day of your procedure. Someone must accompany you to and from the procedure.

Colon preparation

Your colon must be completely empty for the colonoscopy to be thorough and safe. To prepare for the procedure you must do the following:

  • Begin a clear liquid diet the day before your exam. It is important to drink clear liquids throughout the day. You may have water, black coffee, tea, broth, Gatorade, soda, juice, popsicles, Jell-o (not red) or anything else you can see through. You may also have hard candies.

Colyte preparation

You must follow our instructions. Fill the container to the line on the bottle with tap water the day before the procedure. Refrigerate the Colyte for better taste but do not add ice, flavorings, or dilute it further. The day before the test, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., start drinking an 8 ounce glass of Colyte every 10 minutes until it is all gone. If you are having problems with drinking this prep we suggest the following: try using a straw to drink the Colyte solution, drink other clear liquids between the Colyte drink, drink the Colyte slower and if all else fails pinch your nose and drink. This will start to cleanse your intestines in a couple of hours. Plan on staying home near a bathroom for the rest of the day.