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What to use for colonoscopy prep...

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

I just wanted to share this with everyone. I saw it in todays paper. It might be something to discuss with your docs. I have a colonoscopy coming up and I have always used Fleets Phosphosoda. Yeeks........

Bowel cleansers get FDA warning
The Associated Press

Published: May 5, 2006
Last Modified: May 5, 2006 at 02:55 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal health officials warned Friday of kidney failure associated with certain products used to cleanse the bowel before colonoscopies and other procedures.
The Food and Drug Administration said in an alert to doctors and patients that it has documented 22 cases of acute phosphate nephropathy, a rare but serious form of kidney failure associated with the use of oral sodium phosphates. The products cleanse the bowel by causing patients to loose large amounts of fluid through bowel movements.
Of the cases, 21 involved patients given solutions such as Fleet Phospho-soda or Fleet Accu-Prep. One patient had taken Visicol tablets. None had taken OsmoPrep tablets, a recently approved oral sodium phosphate product, the FDA said.

cindybob's picture
Posts: 61
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi Shmurciakova.
I have never used fleet. I have used something prescription that is, I think, a gallon of stuff that I had to drink completely within a certain amout of time, like 10 ounces every 10 minutes, but I forgot what that was called. It was extremely difficult to finish, in fact, I couldn't. I stopped when I started throwing up, but I had enough to be completely squeaky clean. That was the first time (Colonoscopy), since then, I take ducolax I think it is 3 tablets and then 3 more an hour later and then two? maybe more bottles of magnesium citrate. That stuff is still awful but easier than the gallon of "colon blow" as my hubby calls it. Either way, I'm sure that all of it is tough on the kidneys. I never thought about it before. I guess talk with the doc about your concerns and ask what signs to look for to see if you overdosed on the stuff and hurt your kidneys.
Is kindey failure permanent or is it like a heart attack and can be "re-booted?" Does anyone know?
On a side note, here's how wonderful my husband is . . . every time I need to do the dreaded PREP for these procedures, he puts our portable tv/vcr in the restroom and stacks my favorite movies in there so that I'm not so bored during those horrible cleansing hours.
Maybe that gallon of stuff is Fleets, but I was thinking of enemas when you say fleets.
I'm betting this reply was no help at all, I just threw in what I knew.
Thanks for the head's up on the possible problems.

Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005


I use Half Lytly. It's not so bad....


chynabear's picture
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

Yeah, I've used only prescription stuff... I think the first two were Go Lytly or something and the last one was Half Lytly. The Half Lytly is only like one quart versus one gallon or something. When I mentioned wanting the script for the Half lytly the lady said Ok, but it's more expensive. I said that's ok; it's well worth the money.

These have electrolites that replace fluid lost during bowel movements.

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Sue,
I have used both the go-litely and then the phopha soda; the Go litely (I like the alternate name of colon blow) made me hurl soon after I started drinking it, and while I was loosing it from the other end. Nice.
I then used the phopha soda for the next coloscopy, which my doc has you repeat in the early am,or 3 hours before the test; with the second dose I also got nauseous, throwing in the car on the way to the test, and had such a headache, I didn't think I would last to get to the hospital. Luckily, once they started the IV I felt almost immediately better. I know I was horribly dehydrated both times. I'm not surprised to hear about the kidney problems; never made sense to me that a 115 lb woman takes the same dose as a 215 lb man.
My GI doc now has me use the old fashioned citrate of magnesia, but I modify my diet for an additional 24 hours before to make sure I eat very low residue with lots of clear liquids. Sounds like I'll stick with this plan for me.
Thanks for the cited update. I'm always so pleased to see all that I continue to learn at this site! Judy

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi all -

I forget (or have perhaps repressed) the water drinking regimen my gastro doc prescribes but it is pretty extreme. I have a feeling, both from my understanding of physiology and from what I have read, that this is not so much a concern if you remain very well hydrated throughout the treatment. I know my gastro has me pretty continuously drinking water etc. Guess I'll be even more diligent about that next time. (I had Go-lytely when I had my colon surgery and thought I was going to die! Surgeon did prescribe Reglan - helps with both locally and centrally initiated vomiting - and I didn't barf, but sure thought I would a few times! So I am not looking forward to going that route again.)

Oh gee, I can hardly wait for next November!

Take care,

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