Colonoscopy with Colyte

Download the instructions as PDF


There are many things a person would rather do than undergo a bowel prep for a colonoscopy, but your efforts at cleansing your colon are essential for an accurate procedure. These instructions are designed to maximize the ease, safety and success of your preparation. Please read these instructions carefully at least one week prior to your exam. Obtain Colyte (or Golytely/Nulytely) from your pharmacist (Note: this requires a prescription).

Medication and Diet Instructions:

Seven days before the procedure:

If you take aspirin (and or aspirin containing products), Plavix, Eliquis or any other medication which may influence your ability to clot, please get specific instructions from your doctor about when or if you must stop these medications prior to your procedure.

Three days before the procedure:

  • If you take Coumadin (warfarin) for a heart valve please speak to your prescribing cardiologist about alternatives prior to your procedure.
  • If you take non-steroidal anti-inflammtories (NSAIDS; Advil, Motrin, Aleve), please discontinue three days prior to your exam. You may use Tylenol as an alternative if needed for pain.
  • Avoid eating nuts, seeds, popcorn, grapes, green peas, beans and tomatoes. Fibers from these foods can clog the colonoscope.

On the day before the procedure:

You may have a regular breakfast. After breakfast, you will need to go on a clear liquid diet. You can drink clear liquids up to 2 hours prior to the appointment. Avoid juices with pulp such as orange or grapefruit juice. No dairy products, cream or soy. Coffee and tea are O.K. Examples of clear liquids include broth or bouillon, Jell-O, clear juices (white grape or apple), sports drinks such as Gatorade or PowerAde, sodas such as Sprite, 7-Up, or gingerale, lemonade, Popsicles, coffee or tea and of course, water. Avoid red or purple colored liquids. You may use sugar, honey or lemon. It is important that you drink as much fluid as you can throughout the day. It is also worthwhile to get a supply of aloe wet wipes and Desitin ointment to ward off a sore bottom.


Mix the Colyte/Golytely/NuLytely by adding drinking water to the indicated line near the top of the gallon jug. Shake jug until the powder is mixed with the liquid. Most people find the solution easier to drink when it is chilled, but you may drink the solution at room temperature. If you receive flavor packets with your prescription, sprinkle small amounts of the powder into the glass of fluid to vary flavor (one package is enough for 1 gallon of fluid).

Beginning at: 5 to 8PM

Step 1:

Begin drinking the solution, a large glass (8 ounces) every 10 to 15 minutes until you are finished with half the bottle. Rapidly drinking a glassful is better than sipping an ounce or two at a time. A straw may be helpful to use when drinking the solution to get it down easier. Bowel movements may begin to occur about one hour after drinking the first glass and may continue two to four hours after you finish the last glass.

Step 2:

Feelings of bloating, nausea and chills are common after the first few glasses. This is temporary and will soon disappear once bowel movements begin. If nausea becomes acute, stop drinking the solution for 30 minutes, then resume drinking every 15 minutes as before.

Day of the procedure:

  • Do not drink anything 2 hours before the procedure.
  • You should be accompanied by a friend or relative to drive or assist you home. You will not be allowed to drive for 12 hours after the procedure.
  • You should take your regular medications with sips of water unless you are instructed otherwise.

Special Instructions:

  • If you are a diabetic taking insulin, hold the morning dose of insulin the day of the procedure.
  • Be sure to remember any allergies to medications and to Latex, or conditions that would make you sensitive to sedation such as sleep apnea syndrome.

Commonly asked Questions:

How do I know if my prep is adequate?

The stool should be watery in consistency. It does not have to be clear in color like water since digestive juices will continue to tint the stool yellow and small flecks of debris are not a problem as long as the stool is not muddy or thick. If there is any question, you can self administer a fleet enema prior to leaving home for the procedure.

What side effects may I expect?

Since the prep works by flooding the intestinal tract with fluid, abdominal bloating and cramping may occur, as well as some nausea and vomiting. This is usually temporary, and as the diarrhea develops, symptoms will gradually improve. Weakness can also occur, especially if you have not taken enough fluid with the prep, and can be remedied by increasing fluid intake (especially with sports drinks such as Gatorade or PowerAde).

Will the prep interfere with my other medications?

Medications taken at least an hour before beginning the prep should be adequately absorbed, but thereafter, they are likely to be washed away by the prep.

What if I have other questions?

Call our office to address any other concerns not answered here.

Your message was sent successfully. Thanks.

Request An Appointment