The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Colonoscopy Preparations

Many patients consider cleansing the bowel in preparation for colonoscopy the most unpleasant part of the procedure. Several methods are available.

POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (PEG) ELECTROLYE SOLUTIONS — These isosmotic, non-absorbable liquids should pass through the bowel without net absorption or secretion of fluid. Large volumes (up to 4L) must be ingested to produce a cathartic effect. The large amount of liquid in the colonic lumen flushes out the colonic content.

Because they are generally not absorbed, PEG electrolyte solutions are probably the safest choice for patients who cannot tolerate a fluid load, such as those with heart failure, renal insufficiency or ascites. They have a salty taste and the large volume of fluid can cause nausea, abdominal fullness and sometimes vomiting; between 5% and 15% of patients are not able to finish drinking the required amount.

Plus Bisacodyl – ... more      

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