Colonoscopy Preparation Instructions

IMPORTANT – Please Read These Instructions at Least 2 Weeks Before Your Colonoscopy.

Follow all of the instructions in this section EXACTLY as they are written:


  • Bowel preparation kit (Peglyte or Colyte​) from your local pharmacy
  • No high fiber foods 1 week before the screening
  • All liquid diet the day before the screening (avoid those coloured red/purple)
  • Ensure you have someone to accompany you home after the screening. Expect to be in the clinic for 1.5 – 3 hours   
  • Bring your valid health card to the appointment

2 Weeks Before Your Screening

  • Some of the medicines you take may need to be stopped or adjusted before your colonoscopy. You MUST call the doctor who ordered any of the following medicines at least 2 weeks before your colonoscopy: Blood thinners -- such as Coumadin® (warfarin), Plavix® (clopidogrel), Ticlid® (ticlopidine hydrochloride), Agrylin® (anagrelide), Xarelto® (Rivaroxaban), Pradaxa® (Dabigatran), and Effient® (Prasugrel).
  • Insulin or diabetes pills: please call the doctor that monitors your glucose levels. Your insulin dosage may need to be adjusted due to the diet restrictions required with this bowel preparation. (Please bring your diabetes medicines with you on the day of your procedure.) If you take aspirin, take it and ALL other medications prescribed by your doctor. On the day of your colonoscopy, take your medications with a sip of water.

5 Days Before Your Screening

  • Do NOT ingest food containing NUTS and food that contains SEEDS 5 days prior to your procedure.
  • Do NOT take medicines that stop diarrhea – such as Imodium®, Kaopectate®, or Pepto Bismol®.
  • Do NOT take fiber supplements — such as Metamucil®, Citrucel®, or Perdiem®.
  • Do NOT take products that contain iron — such as multi-vitamins (the label lists what is in the product).
  • Do NOT take vitamin E.
  • Do NOT eat high-fiber foods — such as popcorn, beans, seeds (flax, sunflower, quinoa), multigrain bread, nuts, salad/vegetables, or fresh and dried fruit.
  • Buy your bowel preparation kit (Peglyte or Colyte) at your local pharmacy or drugstore pharmacy at least 5 days before your colonoscopy BUT DO NOT OPEN OR MIX THE SOLUTION until the day before your colonoscopy. If you do NOT follow the directions for when to start drinking the bowel preparation, your colonoscopy WILL be cancelled.

The Day Before Your Screening

  • Only drink clear liquids the ENTIRE DAY before your colonoscopy. Do NOT eat any solid foods. Drink at least 8 ounces of clear liquids every hour after waking up. The clear liquids you can drink include: water, apple or white grape juice; broth; coffee or tea (without milk or creamer); clear carbonated beverages such as ginger ale or lemon-lime soda; Gatorade® or other sports drinks (not red/purple); Kool-Aid® or other flavored drinks (not red/purple). NO DAIRY/SOY products and NO SOLID FOOD.
  • You may eat plain jello or other non-red/purple gelatins or non-red/purple popsicles.
  • Do NOT drink alcohol on the day before or the day of the procedure.

Peglyte Solution Steps

Step 1. In the morning (day before your colonoscopy)

  • Mix the Peglyte solution. Do this by adding water (4 litres) up to the fill line marked on the Peglyte container. Mix thoroughly and put in the fridge to chill. DO NOT DRINK THIS YET.

Step 2. In the afternoon (day before your colonoscopy): 

  • At 1PM, take 3 DULCOLAX tablets to help start the bowel cleansing process.

Step 3. In the evening (day before your colonoscopy): 

  • At 7PM (evening before procedure), begin drinking the Peglyte solution. Rapidly drink a glassful (8 ounces) every 10-15 minutes until you have finished 2 litres (half of the jug). 

Step 4. In the morning (the day of your colonoscopy) – Remember, no solid food until AFTER your procedure:

  • About 5 hours before your colonoscopy (day of your procedure), begin drinking the remaining 2 litres of Peglyte solution. Rapidly drink a glassful (8 ounces) every 10-15 minutes until finished the remaining 2 litres..

Day Of Your Screening

  • Your bowel must be empty so that your doctor can clearly view your colon.
  • Make sure to complete your bowel prep such that you have finished drinking by three hours before your appointment. You are to have NO FLUIDS within three hours of your appointment. If you do, your procedure will likely be cancelled for the sake of your safety. The only exception to this is: If you take aspirin, take it and ALL other prescribed medicines with a sip of water on the day of your colonoscopy.
  • Please bring a list of your current medications.
  • Please remove nail polish prior to your procedure.
  • Please arrive 20 minutes before appointment to register
  • Designated Driver on the Day of Your Exam: A responsible family member or friend MUST come with you to your colonoscopy and REMAIN in the endoscopy area until you are discharged! You are NOT ALLOWED to drive for 24 hours, take a taxi or bus home by yourself, or leave the Endoscopy Centre ALONE. If you do not have a responsible driver (family member or friend) with you to take you home, your exam cannot be done with sedation and the screening will be cancelled.
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