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Colonoscopy prep changes?

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi all,
I am scheduled for my annual colonscopy next week (3 years post surgery). I have gotten horribly sick in the past with both the phopho soda and the go litely, with vomiting AND diarrhea and dehydration (and I'll spare everyone the really gross details!) I have used "old fashioned" citrate of magnesia for my last 2 colonoscopies with no real problem. This time, my GI docs office said they are back to using the citrate of mag as the standard prep due to some kidney function problems that were attributed to the phospho soda. Anybody else encounter this or have additional info? I plan to ask my doc before the proceedure (and ask him to write down the answer, since I don't remember much about that whole day!). Judy

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Judy,

My doctor has always recommended Citrate of Magnesia for my colonoscopy.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers for a good result.

Let us know.


2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Ladies!

Can you get this Citrate of Magnesia without a scrip? I have my colonoscopy (5 year woohoo!) on Monday and I usually take the phospho, but if there is something easier or healthier then I'd like to check it out too.

Please advise.

peace, emily who likes to remain awake and watch :-)

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I think I drank somethink like nulighty and you got to pick the flavor pack!!!!!!!!

It wasn't as bad as the phospho stuff (sorry Em, prescription stuff).

I woke up midway thru mine and since it didn't hurt I watched the last 15 minutes. Very interesting!!!!!!! I could see where my resection was from January and even saw the suture indentions.

Lisa P

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Judy -

Based on discussions with my gastro doc last time I had a scope, the high phosphorous levels in the phosphosoda prep have reportedly caused kidney damage in some patients so docs are getting away from using it.

I haven't heard of the citrate of magnesia or the prep that Scouty used. The military is still using the phosphosoda - knowing the government, they probably bought-up all of the excess Fleet's on the market at a low price and will just keep using it until the supply runs out!

Is it c-c-c-cold up that way yet? Getting to be chowdah time!


- Bob

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Magnesium Citrate is avaiable over the counter. I've used it, too, not for colonoscopy, but it does the same thing as the phosphosoda.

Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi Everyone,

My colorectal surgeon told me that the deal wth the Phospho Soda is that the "risk" has always been there.. Just that someone did a study and it got published somewhere. Hence, the media getting it out there. My guess, and it's only a guess, is that the people most at risk are the ones that don't drink enough water with the prep. Believe it or not, I know someone who didn't drink hardly enough and almost had to be carried into to have the scope done! Rediculous.

Anyway, I have heard, and I hope it's true, that there is a new prep out there. My guy said it mixes with Gatorade and is almost tasteless. I'm going to search that out next time.

Best of luck to both Judy and Emily.


jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Barb,
In my own defense, I took VERY seriously the need to remain hydrated, but both the phospho and the go litely cause projectile vomiting for me. I have also always wondered why it is the same dose of phospho for a 300 lb man as a 100 lb woman. The nurses at the hospital confirmed that their impression was that it's often the little ladies that get into trouble.
I'm with Emily...if there is a possible problem, I'm happier to stick with an old fashioned prep.
I do remember reading on this site that someone used miralax as a prep. I use it for a daily fiber/laxative thing since surgery....it really is tasteless! Have to ask my doc about that one!

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

If my mom were in charge she would just make me drink a load of cod liver oil! Personally, I think if I just ate an entire bar of ex-lax (that's the stuff that tastes like chocolate, right?) I'd do fine.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Judy,

I had a colonscopy in August and my GI doctor gave me a prescription for a small bottle of Miralax which I mixed with orange Gatorade. I can't remember the specific instructions, but I think I drank a bit of it for the course of several hours. Best wishes for a clear colonscopy.....I had five polyps!!! UGH! I'm just glad I insisted on a scope because I wasn't scheduled for one until another two years!

Let us know your outcome.



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KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I, too, have a heck of a time with the prep. What I did beforehand, 2 days earlier, I started eating/drinking light, low-bulk stuff...you know, the stuff you KNOW will go through quickly (sigh...the stuff I usually shy away from unless I am at home....). I only got down less than 1 bottle of phosphosoda (PLEASE don't tell, my gastro doesn't know...pics were clear), because I didn't know about SpongeBob's 'secret' to mix with margarita mix. My gastro also had me taking laxatives (pill form) first.

As much as I HATE to say it, I try very hard to do the best cleaning job I can...after all, it doesn't make much difference to the gastro---it's their job, but, it COULD be my life!!!!!

Hugs, Kathi

CynthiaA's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: Feb 2004

I get sick from any of the preps for colonoscopies. I do better on Phospho-Fleet than Golitely. I also have had bladder and ureter cancer and have lost my right kidney in the process. My GI doc has never felt there was a problem with the Phospho-Fleet...even with just one kidney. I'm due to get my annual endoscopy-colonoscopy-barium enema next month. If I get new instructions for the prep I will post them.
Cynthia A

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