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The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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ISSUE
1408
Colonoscopy Preparations
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Colonoscopy remains the preferred method of colorectal cancer screening.1 Many patients consider cleansing the bowel in preparation for colonoscopy the most unpleasant part of the procedure, but inadequate bowel preparation significantly lowers the diagnostic yield.

POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (PEG) SOLUTIONS — These isosmotic, non-absorbable electrolyte solutions should pass through the bowel with no net absorption or excretion of ions or water. Large volumes (up to 4L) must be ingested to produce a cathartic effect.

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, vomiting, abdominal fullness and cramping. Some patients are unable to finish drinking ... more      

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Title: Colonoscopy Preparations
Article code: 1408b
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