For a colonoscopy prep, how long does it take the laxative to work?

This varies anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours after taking the laxative. Do not be alarmed if you have not noticed any response to the laxative after several hours.

What if I have nausea or vomiting with the colonoscopy prep?

You may chill the prep in the refrigerator or put it on ice. You may dilute the prep in juice, ginger ale, or lemonade, for example. Drink slowly over 45 minutes.

What if I inadvertently took aspirin or NSAIDs (motrin, ibuprofen, naprosyn, aleve)?
    • This is usually OK but please call the office to discuss this with the physician doing the procedure.

    What if I have a viral infection, urinary tract infection, or menstrual period?
    • These issues will not interfere with the colonoscopy or other procedure.

    Can I use the “pill” colonoscopy prep?

    The visicol or other pill preps are phosphate based preps similar to osmoprep or Fleet phosphosoda. We have moved away from using these preps because of the increasing reports of chronic kidney problems associated with these bowel preps.

    After a procedure can I go home by myself?
    • NO. If you receive any amount of sedation medication you will need a family member or friend to take you home. You may not drive, take public transportation, or a taxi alone after the procedure.

    When will I be able to resume normal activity after the procedure?
    • Usually by the next day.

    When will I be able to return to work afr the procedure?
    • By the next day after the procedure.

    What medication is used for sedation during the procedure?
    • We use a combination of two drugs which are rapidly acting intravenous sedatives.

    Will I meet the physician doing the procedure prior to the procedure?
    • Yes. If you have not met the physician in the office, you will meet the physician in the endoscopy unit prior to the procedure.

    What time should I arrive for my procedure?
    • If your procedure is scheduled at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, you should arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled procedure time.
    • If your procedure is scheduled at Boston Endoscopy Center, please arrive 45 minutes prior to your procedure time.

    Do I have to take the third bottle of Magnesium Citrate for my colonoscopy preparation?
    • YES. This is our most commonly asked question. The last bottle needs to be taken 4 to 5 hours prior to your procedure regardless of what time your procedure is scheduled.

    What time will I be ready to leave after my procedure?
    • You should expect to be at the hospital for about 2 to 2 ½ hours from your arrival time.