HF 8259

Getting Ready for Your Colonoscopy (Extended 2-Day MiraLAX®)

Prep Checklist

1 Week Before Test

  • 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 and vitamins with iron and fish oils 5 days before your test

3 Days Before Test

  • Start a low fiber diet

  • Pick up your bowel prep supplies

2 Days Before Test

  • At 12 pm (noon) start clear liquid diet and stop solid food and dairy products

  • Between 3 pm-7 pm: Drink two 28-32oz Gatorade bottles with one 8.3oz Miralax Powder.

  • Take daily medicines (except those you were told to stop)

1 Day Before Test

If your test is before 11:00 am:

  • Morning: Take 4 bisacodyl tablets

  • Between 4 pm- 6 pm: Mix half of the MiraLax® powder into 28-32oz of Gatorade® or Powerade®

  • Drink the entire 28-32oz of prep mixture

  • Keep drinking clear fluids to stay hydrated

If your test is after 11:00 am:

  • Morning: Take 4 bisacodyl tablets

  • Between 6 pm- 8 pm: Mix half of the MiraLax® powder into 28-32oz of Gatorade® or Powerade®

  • Drink the entire 28-32oz of prep mixture -

  • Keep drinking clear fluids to stay hydrated

Day of Test

  • 6 hours before test mix the second half of the Miralax powder into the other 28-32 oz bottle of Gatorade® or Powerade®. Start drinking the prep.

  • Keep drinking other liquids to stay hydrated

  • 4 hours before arrival, stop all liquids (even water)

  • Call if you are still passing solid or brown stools or your bowels have not started to empty

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.

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. Your doctor will tell you how to safely do this.

The UW Digestive Health Center suggests using the schedule on this page to adjust your blood thinning medicines before your GI procedure. The list on this page has common blood thinning medicines. This list does not include all blood thinning medicines.

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If your prescribing provider tells you to not hold 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://www.patient.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/381

Pick up Supplies

  • 4 Bisacodyl (5mg) laxative tablets

  • MiraLAX® (2 of the 8.3 oz bottles)

  • Four 28-32oz bottles of Gatorade® or Powerade®

2 Days Before Test


You can eat and drink like normal until 12 pm, noon. After noon, do not eat or drink any solid food or dairy products. 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


Take your daily medicines except those you were told to stop.

Begin the Bowel Prep

Between 3 pm-7 pm, mix two 28-32oz of Gatorade with one 8.3oz bottle of Miralax. Drink the entire 28-32oz of Gatorade mixture and if can, drink more fluids during this time. This may give you loose stools and mild cramping.

Bowel prep tip: Add yellow Crystal Light® lemonade to each glass to improve taste.

1 Day Before Test


Continue clear liquid diet. No solid food.


Take 4 bisacodyl tablets in the morning. Take your daily medicines except those you were told to stop.

Bowel Prep

  • Mix half of the MiraLAX® powder into 28-32 oz of Gatorade® or Powerade®.

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

  • If you can, keep drinking clear liquids to stay hydrated.

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

  • Mix second half of Miralax® powder into 28-32oz bottle of Gatorade® or Powerade®.

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

As you finish the prep, your stools should be watery clear or yellow, with no solids (flecks of stool are OK). If you are still passing solid or brown stools, please call the procedure center. Allow time for prep to work before leaving home.


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 have biopsies taken or polyps removed, you can expect to get lab results 1-2 weeks later. 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.

Bowel prep tip: To learn more about colon polyps visit: patient.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/7917

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

Who to Call

Patient Resources

(If you need help finding a ride to and from your test)


Digestive Health Center

(608) 890-5010

UW Hospital GI Procedure Clinic

(608) 263-8094

Meriter/Unity Point

(608) 417-6389