HF 7478

Getting Ready for Your Colonoscopy (Golytely, Colyte or Nulytely)

Read this entire document at least 1 week before your test. For a printable version of your bowel prep instructions and checklist click on download & print. Let’s review how to get ready for your colonoscopy using Golytely, Colyte, or Nulytely. These products might be referred to as PEG.

Bowel Prep Video:

View the bowel prep video at: uwhealth.org/colon-prep-gcd

1 Week Before Test

Arrange Transportation

Due to the sedation medicines, you must have a responsible adult drive you home. It is recommended that you are observed for at least 6 hours after discharge.

Health Changes

Please tell us about any major health changes, illnesses, or recent hospital stays you have had since you scheduled your test. If at any time you have symptoms of illness (cough, stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, body aches, chills), please call the procedure center to reschedule your test. You should not have this test while ill.

Blood Thinners and Diabetes Medicines

You must call the doctor who prescribes this medicine to see if you need to stop or adjust your medicine before your test. That doctor will tell you how to safely do this.

The UW Digestive Health Center suggests talking to your doctor using the table below. That doctor should give you the final advice on stopping these medicines.

Ask your doctor about your bleeding risk with this test. If your doctor feels your bleeding risk is low, they will likely have you follow the schedule below to stop your blood thinning medicines. If your doctor feels your bleeding risk is high, they may have you follow a different timeline.

The list below has common blood thinning medicines. It does not include all blood thinning medicines.

DHC Med List

If your doctor tells you not to stop your medicine, please call the Digestive Health Center at 608-890-5010, as this may affect your procedure.

Iron, Multivitamins with Iron and Fish Oil

Stop taking these 5 days before your test. (You do not need to contact your doctor first).


You may need extra prep if you are often constipated or if you have had problems prepping before. Please call to talk about this in more detail.

3 Days Before Test

Low Fiber Diet

Stop the following foods and medicines. These foods may slow your digestion, and your colon may not be clean enough for your test:

  • Corn, popcorn, seeds or nuts. Uncooked vegetables, beans and lentils, potato skins.

  • Fruits with skins or seeds.

  • Whole grain breads, granola or high fiber cereals.

  • Fiber supplements (like Metamucil®, Citrucel®, or Benefiber®).

  • Anti-diarrhea medicines (like Kaopectate®, Lomotil®, Pepto-Bismol® and Imodium® or loperamide).

Bowel Prep Tip: For a list of safe foods visit: https://patient.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/381

Pick up Bowel Prep

Your bowel prep will be ordered about two weeks before your test. Three days before your test:

  1. Call the pharmacy to tell them you will be picking up your bowel prep.

  2. Pick up your bowel prep. Do not mix the prep until the day before the test.

  3. Buy soft toilet paper.

1 Day Before Test

Mix the Prep

Mix prep as instructed on the jug and place in the fridge.

Bowel Prep Tip: Take bowel prep out of the fridge at least 2 hours before drinking.


Begin clear liquid diet. Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of clear “see-through” liquids. Clear liquids include:

  • Water, clear sports drinks like Gatorade®

  • Broth

  • Black coffee, tea, soda

  • Apple juice

  • Jell-O®

  • No creamers, milks or other dairy products

  • No red or purple liquids or Jell-O

  • No solid food

  • No liquids with ‘pulp’


Take your daily medicines except those you were told to stop. Take at least one hour before or one hour after drinking your prep.

Bowel Prep

  • Start drinking your prep at the time listed on your Prep Checklist.

  • Follow the directions on the checklist. Do not follow the directions on the jug.

  • Stay near a bathroom. You will have loose, then liquid stools. This is normal.

  • If stools are not clear, keep following the bowel prep schedule.

Bowel Prep Tip: Add yellow Crystal Light ® lemonade to each glass to improve taste.


You may have cramping, bloating and/or nausea. If you have a lot of nausea or vomiting, slow down or stop for 30 minutes, then start again.

Test Day


  • No food

  • Stay on only clear liquids (no red or purple).

  • Stop drinking everything, even water, 4 hours before you arrive.

Bowel Prep

  • Start drinking the rest of the prep 6 hours before you arrive for your test. This may be in the middle of the night.

  • Drink 1 cup (8oz) every 10-20 minutes.

As you finish the prep, your stools should be watery clear or yellow, with no solids (flecks of stool are OK). You should finish the entire bowel prep solution, no matter the stool consistency.

If you are still passing solid or brown stools, please call the procedure center.


If you need to take medicine during the 4 hours before your test, drink no more than 1/2 cup of water (4 ounces). Follow your provider’s directions for your diabetes or blood thinning medicines.

What to Bring

  • CPAP or BiPAP and any inhalers that you use.

  • Eyeglass or contact lens case, denture cup.

  • Ostomy supplies.

  • Wear comfortable clothing.

  • Phone number for your driver.

Do not bring:

  • Jewelry

  • Money

  • Other valuables

Before the Test

  • When you arrive, you can choose if your driver waits in the waiting room or in your private room where they will hear private health information.

  • The doctor will talk with you, answer questions, and ask you to sign a consent form.

  • A nurse will review your health history, take your vital signs and attach a heart monitor.

  • A nurse will place an IV and give you medicines to help you relax and keep you comfortable.

  • Your visit will take about 2-3 hours.

After the Test

  • Your doctor will review the results and give you a report. We strongly suggest that you have your driver in the room with you to hear the results.

  • You may feel tired when you leave.

  • Spend the day resting at home. You cannot drive or return to work. You can return to your normal routine the next day.

  • It may take up to a week for your bowel habits to return to your normal.

  • If you stopped blood thinning medicine before your test, ask when it can be restarted.


If you have biopsies taken or polyps removed, you can expect to get lab results in 1-2 weeks. Your results will be sent to your MyChart account. If you don’t have a MyChart account, someone will call you with results or results will be mailed to you.

When to Call

  • If you are still passing solid stools or your bowels have not started to empty by the morning of your test.

  • You have severe cramps.

  • You feel dizzy or lightheaded.

  • You have constant pain, rectal bleeding and/or a fever.

Who to Call

Patient Resources

(They can help figure out if your insurance will cover transportation.)

Digestive Health Center

(608) 890-5010

UW Hospital GI Procedure Clinic

(608) 263-8094

Meriter/Unity Point

(608) 417-6389

Prep Checklist

1 Week Before Test

 Call your insurance company.
 Find safe transportation for the day of your test.
 Talk to your primary doctor about your diabetes and/or blood thinning medicines.
 Call if you are constipated, had trouble prepping in the past or if you’ve had any major health changes since you scheduled your test.
 Stop iron supplements , vitamins with iron and fish oil 5 days before your test.

3 Days Before Test

 Start a low fiber diet.
 Call pharmacy to pick up bowel prep.

1 Day Before Test

If your arrival time is before 11:00 am
 Mix prep and put it in the fridge
At 10 am- stop eating solid food and begin clear liquid diet
 Take daily medicines (except those you were told to stop) at least 1 hour before or 1 hour
after drinking prep.
At 4 pm- start drinking prep
o Drink 1 cup (8 oz) every 10 20 minutes until you’ve finished 3/4 the jug (about 12 cups).
o You should be done with the prep by 6 pm.

If your arrival time is after 11:00 am:
 Mix prep and put it in the fridge
At 2 pm- stop eating solid food and begin clear liquid diet
 Take daily medicines (except those you were told to stop) at least 1 hour before or 1 hour after drinking prep
At 6 pm- start drinking prep
o Drink 1 cup (8 oz.) every 10 20 minutes until you’ve finished 1/2 the jug (about 8 cups)
o You should be done with the prep by 8 pm.

Day of Test

6 hours before arrival start drinking the rest of your prep.
o Drink 1 cup every 10- 20 minutes until you finish the prep.
 Stop all liquids (even water) 4 hours before arrival.
 If you need to take medicine during the 4 hours before arrival, drink no more than 1/2 cup of water (4 ounces).
 Call if you are still passing solid or brown stools or your bowels have not started to empty