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Before Colonoscopy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.


Before a colonoscopy,

your colon needs to be cleaned out. This is called bowel prep or colon prep. You may need to start your bowel prep 1 to 2 days before your colonoscopy, or the night before. Your bowel movements should look yellow to light brown and be liquid. You should not have solids in your bowel movements.

Call your doctor if:

Types of bowel prep:

You may need any of the following medicines to help clean out your colon:

Self-care during bowel prep:

Clear liquids before a colonoscopy:

Your healthcare provider may tell you to drink only clear liquids 1 to 2 days before your colonoscopy. Clear liquids are liquids that you can easily see through. Do not drink clear liquids that are blue, red, or purple. Do not eat or drink solid foods, milk, milk products, or juice with pulp. The following are examples of clear liquids:

Other ways to prepare for your colonoscopy:

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.