Hard decision I need help with.

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 3/10/2009 10:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I am scheduled for my colonoscopy the end of the month.  I alreadysent away for, and received my Pico-Salax(generic kind) from Canada.
Now he has already givine me a prescription for the gallon prep yuk.
The last time I tried to take this I threw up more than I took in.   No matter what I did.  Sucked candy, drank strong tasting fluids, the minute I put the glass to my mouth, I stated to gag. The thought of it now can make me shiver.  He is unsympathetic to this, and just says  "do the best you can".
If I start and find I just can't get it down, of course I will have to postpone the colonoscopy.
If I tell him about what I ordered he will not grant permission to take it.(really can't blame him as since it isn't available in US he probably would be going out on a limb to tell me to take something he isn't familiar with)
So, would you just take the Pico and not say anything? 
I am just sitting here thinking what if it doesn't work, or something?  You see what I am saying?
So, has anyone ever done this on their own?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 3/10/2009 10:21 PM (GMT -6)   
How is the P-S different, is it also a drink?
My doc has given me so many different kinds of preps over the years, I'm not sure she thinks it makes any difference. Do you think he would care? Mine wouldn't, as long as I was honest with her about whether it worked! (and of course you can tell if you're cleaned out when everything turns clear). But I guess I would ask her first.

Lately what she tells me to get does not even require a prescription. So I guess I do it on my own in that regard...
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering. Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances; eliminated all wheat/gluten from my diet. Probiotics (Ultimate Flora, 50 billion), trying Curamin. 
Flaring, seasonal? or supplements too harsh? Back on prednisone, trying 15/20 mg. Appt 3/6 to discuss Humira, etc.   

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 3/10/2009 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Peety, trhe PS is orange flavored. People say not a bad taste and not having to drink all that salty liquid at such a fast pace.
Many here swear by it.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 3/10/2009 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I would suggest doing the best you can. I had to try that stuff once and although I, like you, threw up more than I was able to keep down, and didn't finish nearly what I should have, it worked well enough that the colonoscopy was possible. I had another colonoscopy a week ago which was unsuccessful since I was apparently in too much pain for them to go beyond 30cm. So now I'm having to go for a chest x-ray and a barium enema among other things. So if you have a colonoscopy that isn't successful, you will just be in store for a whole new range of tests.

If you try it, and it messes up the colonoscopy, he may just give you the same stuff and tell you to try again.

I know the stuff is vile, but I'd at least try your best. If you find you can't do it at all, then maybe use the Pico-Salax.

Good luck.

Peety said...
How is the P-S different, is it also a drink?

Pico-Salax tastes like orange pop. And you only need to drink two cups 150 ml each. Meaning you could take the entire preparation in two gulps if you wanted. I'm not sure which other prep the original poster is talking about, but the stuff I tried 'Kleer Prep' or something, tasted absolutely putrid and I was ordered to drink liters and liters of it. If you have the choice you definitely want Pico-Salax.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 678
   Posted 3/10/2009 10:30 PM (GMT -6)   
My GI has me take a huge thing of Miralax w/Gatorade plus laxatives. I couldn't imagine having to drink something that tastes nasty. Ask about Miralax, it's tasteless. What does it matter as long as the colon is cleaned out?
31 yr old female currently breastfeeding
Diagnosed 2/29/08 with Mild Universal UC
I've had UC since 2000 but was in remission for most of those 8 years med free
Lialda Colazal & Asacol made symptoms worse, MUCH worse
Not taking any meds for now. May be on 6mp soon?

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 3/10/2009 10:43 PM (GMT -6)   
You could try drinking it through a straw, that helps some people...but I agree anything that's meant to clean you right out should be good enough.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 3/11/2009 3:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Products that contain oral sodium phosphate products (OSP) can damage the kidneys. On December 11, 2008, the FDA started requiring black-box warnings on oral sodium phosphate products Visicol and OsmoPrepl. The FDA also started requiring all OSPs to be available by prescription only.

Pico-Salax contains sodium picosulfate. I don't know what the difference is between sodium phosphate and sodium picosulfate.

Make sure you are fully hydrated before using any products that contain sodium phosphate. Apparently, being fully hydrated will reduce the affect of sodium phosphate on your kidneys.

My GI had me use over-the-counter Fleet enemas before getting a sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. I don't know the risk to the kidneys, given that I took them anally, not orally.

I would use whatever I felt posed the least risk to my health.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...
Avoid: pro-inflammatory foods, HFCS, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 3/11/2009 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
To add to what subdued is saying...

I had a long talk with my GI about the dangers of Osmo because it's the one prep I've had success keeping down. He says that the risk is higher for the elderly and children but if you take it, there is not really any more risk than any other meds as long as you HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE. The risk to the kidneys comes, he says, when the salts hit your kidneys without being diluted at all.

It's always important to have honest discussions with your doctor about any prep (or other med) and get as clear a story as you can about what any of these meds do to our bodies. A good doctor will always level with you.
dx UC Dec. 2001
currently in remission
Meds: asacol 6(400mg)/day
         entocort 3(3mg)/day
         canasa 1(1000mg)/day
         Culturelle 1/day

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 3/11/2009 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I hate that stuff!!!

The first time I drank it I puked my guts out! When I was in the hospital during my second flare they tried getting me to drink that nasty stuff.. When the nurse would leave I put it down the toilet.. I drank maybe two cups, but they had me on a liquid diet for a few days anyways. I just drank a little and everything was fine..

My opinion would be to try and drink it, but if you can just try a liquid diet a day or two before your procedure that way you dont have much to digest anyways... Goodluck
Life is not measured by the amount of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/11/2009 11:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel your pain, i have had to do that prep 3 times! i have found that mixing lemonade flavored crystal light in the mix and chugging it 8 oz at a time will suppress the gag reflex just long enough to get it down. if that doesn't work there is another prep out there. admittedly it is almost as bad from what i hear ( i have never tried it) but maybe it will be a little easier for you

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 3/12/2009 6:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I used the phospho-soda which wasn't that bad and was available over the counter in the US. Not sure if it still is.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 3/12/2009 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
     Geez, I must be living under a rock!  I never heard of Osmo and Pico..whatever.  My GI doctor always has me drink that Nulitely or Golightly...you know..that gallon jug thing.  He says it is the easiest on the gut of people who have UC.  Who knows, maybe he has shares in the company.  Anyway...my solution is to eat very lightly for three days before taking the prep.  As a matter of fact, the day before I take the prep I try to stay on only clear fluids and maybe soda cracker.  Then, the day of the prep I only have to drink like 1/3 of the fluid.  I make sure it is very cold and drink through a straw.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/08...now see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 3/12/2009 4:06 PM (GMT -6)   
my last two times i took the pill prep- can't remember what it was called...not fun but a lot better than the liquids!!!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 499
   Posted 3/14/2009 7:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I am from Canada, and I took pico-salax a few months ago, I have been using pico salax for a while to do my scopes.
It is much easier and quicker to take, and it does clean you out.


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 3/14/2009 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   

After having my last colonoscopy last week, my gastro told me that some people only require about a glass of prep to be cleaned out and some require more. 

Personally, I start fasting about 5 days prior to my colonoscopy and then drink about 3/4 of a glass of prep vs. the 2 liters usually required.  My colonoscopy's have always been fine.  I simply eat jello, popsicles, Italian ice and juice.  It is tough as I am usually hungry but I would rather deal with that then the prep as I have the same problem you do, I vomit when I try to drink it.

I also take a sip of prep and before swallowing it take a sip of apple juice and then swallow them together.


Good luck!


UC diagnosed in 2002
Currently taking 400mg Asacol, 9 per day; 100mg of Imuran per day; Remicade every 7 weeks
Mommy of twins
Previously a Promotions Marketing Manager
Husband in law school.

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