Harvard Health Letter

The prep is worse than the procedure

Prepping for a colonoscopy is unpleasant, but the bowel needs to be clear for the procedure to be effective.  Split dosing and some new liquids may make the bowel cleansing needed for colonoscopy a bit easier and perhaps more palatable. A variety of flavorings (cherry, citrus-berry, lemon-lime, pineapple) are on today's bowel prep menu, as are solutions without sodium sulfate, which produces a rotten-egg flavor. There are also combination approaches that start with laxative pills and then finish the job with two liters of solution, instead of the usual four liters (a liquid liter is just a little more than a liquid quart). Meanwhile, colonoscopy guidelines were revised in 2008 to recommend a so-called split dosing strategy: about half of the liquid prep the day before the examination and the other half the day it's scheduled, instead of all of it the day before. 
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