Colonoscopies allow your doctor to view the inside of your colon. During the procedure, you will be asked to lie on your left side and, after receiving a mild sedative, your doctor will insert a flexible tube with a camera attached. To prepare the path, traditional preparation methods involve adopting a clear liquid diet for between one and three days before the procedure and drinking a special preparation mixture to cleanse and completely empty the colon.


Available over-the-counter, Fleet Phospho-Soda is an alternative to GoLYTELY-type preparations for bowel cleaning that are commonly associated with a colonoscopy.

On the day before the procedure, you can eat as you normally would until noon. After noon, you should only consume clear liquids, including gelatin, 7-Up or Sprite, apple juice, white grape juice, ginger ale, water, tea, coffee, popsicles, broth and Gatorade. Avoid solid foods and dairy products.

At 3 p.m., take the first of two doses. Mix 3 tbsp. of Phospho-Soda to 4 ounces of the clear liquid of your choice. Drink the mixture and follow it immediately with 8 ounces of water. Within 30 minutes to three hours, you will begin to have some movement within your bowels. Be sure to stay near a bathroom and drink four or more 8-ounce glasses of the clear liquid of your choosing over the course of the next five hours.

At 8 p.m., repeat the process. Be sure to stay near a bathroom and drink a minimum of three 8-ounce glasses of liquid before you go to bed.

On the day of your procedure, avoid any solid foods or dairy products until after your colonoscopy. Drink clear liquids, but discontinue doing so 4 hours before arriving for your appointment.


A new form of colonoscopy preparation is available. Many patients shudder at the thought of GoLYTELY, Fleet Phospho-Soda or other traditional bowel preparation concoctions. OsmoPrep is a series of nearly tasteless tablets taken along with clear liquids. The tablets are designed to purge all materials from your colon by inducing diarrhea. The entire regimen must be followed in order to achieve optimal results.

The evening before your procedure, you should begin by taking four OsmoPrep tablets accompanied by 8 ounces of clear liquid. Repeat this every 15 minutes for a total of 20 tablets in one hour.

The following morning, take four tablets accompanied by 8 ounces of clear fluids every 15 minutes for the next half hour. You should take 12 tablets total.

Possible side effects include vomiting, decreased urination, nausea, severe abdominal cramping and bloating. Severe effects may include arrhythmia (abnormal heart beat), seizure and loss of consciousness. Avoid taking other laxatives that contain sodium phosphate or using an enema containing sodium phosphate while you are taking OsmoPrep.